One in four Americans admits to being a victim of bullying as an adult (Veraquest 2014). Did you know that adult bullying predominates in the workplace compared to other environments? Violence in the workplace is not limited to physical abuse, it can also be psychological, verbal, or emotional. We’ll look at some types of violence, the warning signs, and how to prevent and deal with this growing workplace epidemic.
Image: Veraquest (2014)
TYPES OF VIOLENCE
Bullying is the most prevalent form of violence in the workplace and encompasses social undermining, belittling, and personal attacks. Bullies use these tactics to achieve a false sense of power.
While adult bullying is not a new concept, it has become a fervent topic among employers, as workplace crimes and violence continue to rise.
Other forms of bullying, which can lead to violent behavior, include humiliation, intimidation, ostracism, hazing, political slandering, and cyber bullying.
Exclusion is a more subtle form of bullying and is the act of intentionally isolating individuals from the team. Minimization occurs when the perpetrator discounts others or their work and unfairly diminishes someone else’s views or concerns. Perpetrators may also create conflict intentionally, be deceptive, or give unreasonable criticism to coworkers.
So, how do employers know when or if it is appropriate to take action?
WARNING SIGNS AND COMMON TRAITS
People who have tendencies toward violence may display these warning signs and common traits:
- Outbursts of anger
- Severe mood swings
- Resistance to company policy
- Increased use of drugs and alcohol
- Poor hygiene or decreased personal appearance
Other signs to watch for include increased absences, depression, withdrawal, talk of suicide, or threats of bodily harm against others. If an employee is concerned about a co-worker’s behavior, he or she should communicate the concern to the appropriate person, whether that’s the human resources manager or the supervisor.
HOW TO PREVENT AND DEAL WITH VIOLENCE IN THE WORKPLACE
Employers need to address the issues as they become known to prevent escalation of the unwelcomed behavior. Implement programs and policies to inform employees of behavioral expectations, and create programs that encourage positive ways to deal with violence. Communication is critical in helping employees shift their behaviors to ensure security and well-being in the workplace.
L.E.A.P.S. is a communication method that represents listening, empathizing, asking, paraphrasing, and summarizing. Listening to an employee’s grievances is critical to understand how to help him or her. Whether this person is the perpetrator or the target, empathy is essential. People want to feel understood. Paraphrasing can help with fact-finding and clarity of the issue. And finally, summarizing the incident in a concise, inarguable statement can help employers determine the next steps for resolution.
Given the growing concern about violence and bullying in the workplace, companies are adopting workplace violence prevention programs, which include a prevention policy, a violence response plan, and an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). These tools can help employers navigate the uncertainty of workplace violence. The goals are to make sure employees feel safe at work, can openly communicate concerns to management, and can get the help they need when they are faced with challenges in the workplace.
Daman offers its employees an EAP, in addition to on-site health and wellness programs. These programs are put in motion by Human Resources (HR), the Better Living Committee (BLC), the Emergency Response Team (ERT) and the Daman Products Athletic Association (DPAA). Next month we’ll feature these groups and how they work together to implement wellness programs at Daman.
At Daman, we believe that a company’s success relies on multiple personalities being able to work together, communicate effectively, and solve problems quickly. It’s why we invest a lot of time and energy into educational programs and leadership events that help our employees grow.
Last month our leadership team spent the morning at LEAD USA where they learned the “4 Essentials Required to Build Stronger Teams” from some of the best business and thought leaders in the country. They were inspired by a powerful lineup of speakers including world-renowned Eric Thomas, PhD., a.k.a. “ET The Hip Hop Preacher.”
After the event, the Daman team accepted the “Locked Up Live” challenge. This Escape Room Experience is a team building exercise designed to increase productivity, improve communication, keep employees motivated and develop problem-solving skills.
The team was divided into two groups and then locked in themed “Escape Rooms.” They had 60 minutes to solve a series of puzzles and clues using only their combined brain power, teamwork, and cooperation to get out. Did they do it? Did they escape? Guess you will have to ask them!
Finding the perfect employee is becoming increasingly difficult as the unemployment rate drops. That’s why we’ve put a lot of thought into our recruitment processes which sometimes take up to 2 weeks to complete. At Daman, we believe it is vital to ensure a new partnership is a good fit all the way around.
Job fairs, advertising, and ApplicantPro are just a few of the tools we use to find the right people for the right jobs. Our summer internships offered to local high school students have also been highly productive.
This year we’ve partnered with the Indiana Conexus Internship Program. The program focuses on developing a strong advanced manufacturing and logistics (AML) workforce by connecting high school students with AML companies. It provides students with real-world experience and gives employers a preview of the emerging pool of talent who could one day become full-time employees.
For more information about our recruitment process, watch our short video. >>WATCH VIDEO
Attendance at the 2017 Offshore Technology Conference was down from previous years. Deep-water drillers, who have not yet felt the budding onshore recovery, stayed away from the industry’s largest convention. Only 65,000 people walked the exhibit halls at NRG Park in Texas compared to the 108,000 individuals who attended in 2014 when oil prices passed $100 a barrel.
After suffering through the worst downturn in more than three decades, the oil and gas industry is embarking on “a new cycle of expansion” as companies send dozens of new rigs into Texas oil fields, drill hundreds more wells, and hire thousands of workers.
Ryan Zinke, Secretary of Interior, was the keynote speaker for Offshore Energy Policies: Harnessing the Full Potential of America’s Offshore at OTC. During the conference, Zinke signed two secretarial orders aimed at unleashing America’s offshore energy potential and growing the U.S. economy.
The first order implements President Trump’s Executive Order signed April 28th and directs the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to develop a new five-year plan for oil and gas exploration in offshore waters and reconsider a number of regulations governing those activities.
The second order establishes a new position – Counselor to the Secretary for Energy Policy – to coordinate the Interior Department’s energy portfolio that spans nine of the Department’s ten bureaus.
“Today’s orders will help cement our Nation’s position as a global energy leader and foster energy independence and security for the benefit of the American people while ensuring that this development is safe and environmentally responsible,” Secretary Zinke told industry representatives. “We are committed to fuller cooperation with the offshore industry and coastal communities to expand responsible energy development while holding industry accountable to strict safety and environmental protections.”
The general attitude about the oil and gas economy thus far is cautious optimism. ”2017 is going to be a year of recovery and expansion in the Texas statewide oil and gas exploration and production economy,” says Karr Ingram, economist.