I usually shy away from immediately writing about the most heinous events that occur in our society for a variety of reasons. But I recently read an article that strikes my cord sufficiently and I decided to post a few words re the terrible event that occurred in Las Vegas. It’s points to an issue I have been preaching about for over four decades.
This article, Stopping an Office Nightmare, uses the event in Las Vegas to springboard into how many business owners must now also be concerned in what way they can be better prepared to prevent any kind of similar event. Thus it explains some beneficial, common sense approaches to preventing “workplace violence”. But here’s the thing:
First, while the overwhelming majority of people still think workplace violence is a shooting of some sort, or other act that takes someone’s life, the incident in Las Vegas was not workplace violence (contrary to another professionals opinion I read yesterday this was “targeted violence”, I predict it will be shown to be more of an “autogenic massacre”).
Second, the majority of business owners are really not that concerned about workplace violence since there really are no laws governing the issue in the United States (just regulatory guidelines and court cases for civil litigation). Besides, that’s why they have attorneys on retainer or in-house – and administrators/managements primary purpose is to make money for their shareholders, not spend preventative money on something that “might” happen! Third, no one really wants to think about such a volatile act since it is statistically insignificant and most are still certain there really is not much you can do to prevent it from occurring (when’s the last time you thought about the Orlando shooting?).
Until our society is willing to accept the fact workplace violence in an organization is nothing more than a reflection of our society (tell me it’s not becoming more volatile out there these days!), and we must all do something about it (part of the problem or part of the solution), workplace violence is here to stay…and escalate as time goes by. There are plenty of issues to focus on recognized and substantiated as precursors to potentially volatile acts (hence, potential workplace violence). Harassment, intimidation, bullying, incivility, insider threats, direct and indirect threats, domestic (intimate partner) violence, stalking, and suicidal ideation are most of them that come to mind…and all are considered part of the workplace violence problem by regulatory agencies and experts alike.
Yes, what happened in Las Vegas was evil. But when we look at a mass shooting and declare there is nothing we can do to prevent it, and then try to correlate it to workplace violence…really? Let’s get our priorities straight. Let’s first identify the real problem and then develop the solution – it’s really possible.