The Importance of Instruction

Lesson 3: Topic 1 of 9

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I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.

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When educating employees on this topic, it’s imperative that the training be conducted in a reassuring manner. Emphasize that workplace violence, although serious, is relatively rare. You are preparing them for something that may never happen, but this may save lives if it does happen. Don’t be too reassuring, though, or some may not pay attention. 

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At minimum, training must cover two things the company is doing to mitigate violence, and four things each employee can do individually. You, as an employer, need to set in place and communicate: 

  • Your company’s “zero tolerance” policy towards harassment, bullying, and violent behavior. This should be referenced in the employee handbook and be a part of new hire orientation, with ongoing reminders as necessary.
  • Company emergency procedures. 

As to that last point, it is not advised that employees know ALL of your security systems, because you don’t want a criminal figuring out how to circumvent them. But you do want staff to know locations of fire extinguishers, how to seal doors and create barricades if trapped inside with an attacker, who would be the incident commander in the event of a crisis, and that sort of thing. 

In addition to understanding and complying with the above, each employee needs to:

  • Memorize the exits. This should begin at new hire orientation.
  • Learn stress management skills.
  • Practice situational awareness.
  • Understand and apply de-escalation techniques.