Human-resource professionals often play a critical role in developing workplace policies, not to mention communicating, enforcing, and providing training or practice drills for these policies. They must also be prepared to guide their managerial staff in supporting employees with these policies in a number of ways.
The following information is meant to help human-resource professionals address questions frequently asked by their supervisors:
- How can we protect our teams from violence?
Once policies are in place, it is critical that they be enforced consistently at all levels of the organization. Also, an EmployeeAssistance Program (EAP) provider contract will give employees an outlet to deal with personal and relationship issues so that they do not escalate. Training for supervisors about these tools will ensure that they will have the information they need, relevant to policies and support resources, when a problem arises.
- What are some behavioral warning signs to watch out for?
Whenever co-workers or supervisors notice rude, intimidating, or aggressive behavior, action should be taken. Often, however, the signs are not as outward—isolation, withdrawal, fatigue, stress, or signs of drugs or alcohol use are cues as well. Right before a violent outbreak, a person may also display changes in voice, eye contact, body tension, or skin tone.
- How can supervisors intervene early?
A constructive conversation is essential to document the behaviors present and to refer the employee to an EAP professional. These behaviors will affect performance, so documentation is critical. HR is an important partner in these processes, and typically coordinates EAP activities. Again, supervisor training on conducting these conversations is critical.
- When must the details of an employee’s relationship problem be disclosed?
Whenever a personal relationship becomes a threatening situation that poses danger to the employee or other staff, the information must be shared with the proper authorities. Details of circumstances and performance issues should be shared with those who “need to know” in order to prevent injury and properly handle the situation.
- What should employees do if they have obtained any type of restraining order?
The site security department should be provided with a copy of the order and identification photos, so that security can take measures to prevent the noted individual’s access to the workplace.
- How can we support our teams after an incident? A Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) should take place within 48–72 hours. These debriefings follow a standard model for intervention that allows employees to review what happened and how it affected them.
Encouraging the sharing of emotions and providing stress-management tools is critical. Again, an EAP provider can assist with such professional support and resources.Post-incident, it is critical to perform a CISD within 48–72 hours, in order to assist with affected employees’ wellbeing. These debriefings are often provided through an EAP provider and include a structured session for dealing with the emotions and stresses related to the incident.
CRITICAL INCIDENT STRESS FOUNDATION, INC.
Post-incident, it is critical to perform a CISD within 48–72 hours, in order to assist with affected employees’ wellbeing. These debriefings are often provided through an EAP provider and include a structured session for dealing with the emotions and stresses related to the incident. Guidelines for CISDs can be found through the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, Inc. www.icisf.org