Lesson 2: Topic 4 of 6
It may come across as heartless to plan for resuming business in the face of a tragedy, but it’s not. Your establishment is a part of a larger community. Employees depend on their jobs for income, and your clients (particularly if you’re a provider of healthcare or social services) depend on your business for their wellbeing. It’s in their best interest for your company to succeed. If you haven’t already done so, this is your opportunity to reach out to and develop relationships with the chamber of commerce, local law enforcement, local government officials, utility providers, and so on. All of these may be resources to help in times of disaster.
Another part of being prepared is curating an atmosphere of trust in leadership. You need this so that your staff feel comfortable bringing to you their concerns. How to create that trust is beyond the scope of this course, but know that if trust isn’t there, staff morale and productivity will drop and turnover will climb.
Those same negative things happen in the work climate that is perpetually tense, hostile, or toxic. The longer that sort of thing is tolerated, the more likely a violent outburst will happen, and the less likely the staff will help when it does. The “Violence in the Workplace” symposium, sponsored by the FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, reported that emotional distress is “potentially contagious, self-sustaining, and self-amplifying.” That conference was conducted two decades ago, but without question their conclusion remains true today: Employers must aim to create a workplace with minimal emotional distress. Reflect on this quote from Nothing Personal, Just Business:
“Our cultural category of ‘violence in the workplace’ does injustice to the scope and range of workplace destructiveness when we turn a blind eye and deaf ear to everything that precedes and often provokes the use of guns, knives, and bombs against people and property.” ― Howard Stein
There are root causes behind all behaviors, terrible and antisocial ones included. They arise from a complex interplay among physiological, cognitive, social, environmental, and possibly even genetic factors, plus the individual’s previous experiences and cultural influences.