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Preventing Violence in the Workplace

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.

Violence in workplace

 

 

 

 

 

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:

  • Paranoia
  • Outbursts of anger
  • Severe mood swings
  • Resistance to company policy
  • Increased use of drugs and alcohol
  • Poor hygiene or decreased personal appearance

(Gibson, 2017)

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.

circleL.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.

Resources:
On-Demand Webinar: Preventing Workplace Violence (2017).  By Gibson Insurance.
Adult Bullying (2014).  By Veraquest Rapid Research.

A Day of Leadership Adventures

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 Right Fit

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

 

A Spring Forward to Growth

A summary of our company-wide meeting held on April 20th, 2017

Executive Reports

“We are back to growth mode,” states Dave Mischler, President at Daman.  Record low scrap rates, quality rating improvements, and market demand are all driving factors for us to continue advancing.  “We’re ready for this.”

Gordon Weiler, Vice President of Sales, presented on the value of Market Tracking.  It’s taken many strides over the past two years to capture this industry segment intel.  “As a company, to get where we want to be, we must understand where we’ve been.”

Here’s a snapshot of our markets over the past year.

Market Segment

According to Weiler, bookings for 2017 have been encouraging.  The railroad market is set to pick up, and the Oil & Gas industry will be better than expected.

Human Resources

Daman announces an onsite Fast-Track Hiring Event slated for Saturday, May 6th from 8:00 am to 11:00 am.  Our recruiting process includes screening for desired skills, aptitude assessments, interviews, job shadowing and pre-employment drug screening.  We are currently looking to hire 12 people for 2nd and 3rd shift production.  Visit our career site now, or join us at the event May 6th.

Our next Employee Appreciation Cook-Out will be Friday, May 26th, serving up chicken and steak!


Employee Service Awards 

Two employees received service awards:  Bob McIntyre, 20 Years of Service, and James Parmalee, 5 Years of Service.  Thank you for your dedication and years of service!

Service awards

$$$ Attendance Bonuses $$$  

Eight employees received excellent attendance; and 40 perfect.  Great Job!


Daman Products Athletic Association (DPAA)

The Better Living Committee and the DPAA announce upcoming events.

Sunburst Races —The DPAA is sponsoring Daman employees who would like to participate.  Race Day is Saturday, June 3rd.  Proceeds from the Sunburst Races benefit the Child Life Services at Beacon’s Children Hospital.

Food Bank of Northern Indiana—Food Drive!  Donate at Daman.  Barrels should be in place starting May 12th.  The donation drive will go from May 12th thru June 11th.  Please consider donating to this worthy cause.

The DPAA Golf Outing will be at Black Squirrel Golf Course in Goshen on Saturday, June 17th at 8:00 am.

Guest Speakers

Gibson—Daman’s benefits management service, ushered in Nicole Fallowfield to present the results from recent surveys given to all Daman employees.  The surveys are used to assess engagement and satisfaction from the benefits offered at Daman.  The results revealed useful information that Daman can use to make adjustments and understand more clearly the wants and needs of employees.

Highlights of these results are as follows:

  • 61% of employees participate in the Health and Wellness Programs.
  • 77% of employees reported making healthier choices after visiting with OnSite nurse Christy.
  • 79% feel that the base salary at Daman is average or better than compared to others
  • 83% of employees feel valued at work

Overall, 91% of Daman employees recommend Daman as a good place to work, and are pleased with their benefits; but there’s always room for improvement.

Guest speakers, Sandi Pontius and Rachel Brown of the United Way of St. Joseph County, also spoke to employees on several initiatives helping residents of St. Joseph County.  These include VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance), 211, People Gotta Eat, HEAT (Home Energy Assistance Program), and FamilyWize, a free prescription savings card.  Information on these programs can be found at www.uwsjc.org.  Daman proudly supports the United Way.