Showing posts with label workplace safety. Show all posts
Showing posts with label workplace safety. Show all posts

Sunday, August 19, 2018

What can You Do to Screen Out Dangerous Employees?

What can You Do to Screen Out Dangerous Employees?

When it comes to hiring, employers are understandably cautious. Of course their first worry is whether or not their new hire will be able to do the job. But, it doesn’t end there. 

Many have become even more concerned that they may be bringing someone into the company who could possibly cause harm to their other employees, their customers, and even to their company.

That is why they want to do whatever they can beforehand to at least lessen the possibility of bringing in a potentially dangerous hire!

The question then becomes….How?

Here is an answer I posted in Quora recently in answer to this question:
What evaluations are the best to screen out employees capable of aggressive or violent acts?”.

My answer:
"The safety of your employees, your customers, and your company itself should be a priority for any business. The first step in achieving this is by consistently using thorough pre-employment background checks. This screening needs to include a search for criminal records in anyplace where your applicant has lived and/or worked within the last 7 -10 years. It should also include past employment verification and reference checks

Some may think checking references is a waste of time, after all, anyone listed by the applicant is bound to say only good things about them, right? While that is a legitimate concern, in reality, references can be unpredictable and, if asked the right questions, may reveal more than intended. 

In addition, a good background check company will recommend that “developed” references are also checked. Developed references are ones that are identified through the listed references. Doing these checks helps an employer get a good overall picture of their applicant.

However, it can’t stop there. If you decide to make the hire, there are also things you can do after that to help protect your other employees, customers, and company. Workplace observation is key. Establishing sound procedures within your company for reporting unsafe or worrisome behavior is a start. Then it is important to follow that up with direct supervisory observation and discussions with the identified employee.

Find out how you can create and implement good employee safety practices in Workplace Safety Needs to be a Team Effort!

Another step you should take is to periodically re-screen your existing employees. Establish a protocol and stick to it. You may decide to re-screen on a rotating time-frame, or only when considering someone for promotion or there is cause. This cause can stem from workplace observations or concerns.

Learn more about How and When to Re-Screen your employees in Re-Screening Existing Employees? The Pros and Cons for Your Small Business.

Whatever steps you take to protect your company, it is vital that you are consistent. Don’t pick and choose who you screen. Make it a practice to do background checks on all new hire and consider re-screening existing employees as needed.

You can see the original question and other responses here!".

Be Proactive! Discover Tips to Screen Out Dangerous Hires Now! "Tweet This"

However, despite your best efforts, it is still possible that a dangerous situation can happen in your workplace.

This threat may come from an employee or even a visitor or intruder in your company. 

That is why, if you haven’t done so, you should develop a Workplace Vulnerability Assessment.

The goal of a Workplace Vulnerability Assessment is to establish policies and procedures for your employees to follow in the event of a hostile or dangerous situation. You will need to address everything from the physical security of your employees to safeguarding your systems, controls, and company assets.

The most important goal of this assessment is to create a plan so every employee knows exactly what they need to do and how to react if something happens. 

You will need to identify the best route for every employee to take to get out of your building and, if that is not possible, safe places to hide. You will even need to identify tasks that key employees should initiate if law enforcement or medical help needs to be contacted.

Then, after developing your strategy, it is vital to practice your planned procedures long before there is an actual threat. Through this you can identify and correct any weaknesses in your strategy and make sure your employees are well trained. The employee training should include both table top exercises and actual drills.

Are you ready for your company to develop their own safety strategy? 

We can provide you with a Comprehensive Vulnerability Assessment or guide you in conducting table top exercises and drills to identify areas for improvement ~ all tailored to your company’s specific needs.

While no one can ever predict the future, doing what you can in advance to keep your workplace as safe as possible makes sense. Not only does it protect your company and your employees, it establishes you as an employer who truly cares about the safety and security of the people they hire. And that is a place where people will want to work!

Authored by   

To find out more about other ways you can protect your company, visit our Background Investigation and Security Consulting services pages. 

You can also find out more About Us and What Our Happy Clients have to say!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Why You Need to Know How a “Certificate of Relief” will Help You Hire more Safely ~ even if Your New Hire has a Record!

Learn How a Certificate of Relief will Help You Safely Hire Ex-Offenders
Would You Hire Someone with a 
Criminal Record?

That is a question that plagues both employers and job applicants who have any kind of criminal history.

When it comes to employers, many are understandably wary of hiring applicants with a criminal record. They worry that they could cause problems for their company, their other employees, and their customers. They think that by hiring an ex-offender they are putting themselves and others at risk. 

Companies also fear that hiring someone who already has a criminal history makes them more vulnerable to negligent hiring lawsuits. Employers can be found liable if, while during the course of business, one of their employees commits a criminal offense or acts in any way that could cause harm to someone else. 

Ex-offenders also have their own set of worries and fears. They know that even after they have completed their sentences, they face a prejudice that is hard to overcome. And that prejudice is crystal clear when it comes to getting hired.

However, helping those with a criminal history get a job is not only important for them, it is good for our society as a whole. 

When criminals are released from jail or finish a period of probation, they are, for the first time in awhile, on their own. Many make vows to themselves that things are going to be different. They dream of being a self-reliant, responsible adult.

But the problem then becomes, how can they make that happen?

It all comes down to this ~ Find a Job!

Getting hired is the key! It is a huge step for any ex-offender when it comes time to start over. Being employed not only helps them financially, it also gives ex-offenders a sense of normalcy and, most importantly, pride.

Without that step up, many will re-offend and can even end up worse than before.

This is a problem not just for them, but for all of us ~ and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and many states are starting to take notice.

One of the latest ways that some states are helping ex-offenders get a new start is by granting them a “Certificate of Relief”.

A “Certificate of Relief” will Help You Hire Ex-Offenders with Less Risk! “Tweet This”

A “Certificate of Relief” is a statement by the court that an ex-offender has met a certain pre-defined set of circumstances and conditions concerning their past conviction(s). This certificate is designed to help reduce the risk to employers who hire ex-offenders.

But this certification is not given to everyone. While specific criteria may vary state to state, common conditions that ex-offenders must meet to be granted a “Certificate of Relief” are:
  • A limited number of felonies and/or misdemeanors.
  • A specific period of time has passed since the completion of their sentence (may be 12 months or more) including any probation or parole assigned.
  • They must have completed all terms of their sentence(s) including probation, substance abuse or anger management treatment.
  • They have not violated or failed to comply with any term of their criminal sentence(s). 
  • They have no criminal charge(s) pending.
  • They must be engaged in, or seeking, lawful employment, an education, training, or registered in other rehabilitative programs or have a lawful source of support.
  • Belief of the court that granting the “Certificate of Relief” would not put the safety or welfare of the public or any individual at unreasonable risk.

But perhaps the most important result of a “Certificate of Relief”, at least to employers, is that it helps protect them from liability when it comes to most negligent hiring claims. 

Considering a "Certificate of Relief", along with other background check information, to determine employment helps prove that they have done their due diligence and vetted that employee to make the safest hire possible.

In addition to the “Certificate of Relief”, many other states are revamping their expungement procedures, especially when it comes to first-time, non-violent, offenders.

These states are passing legislation that will expand the ability of ex-offenders to have their record expunged.  

In many cases, it will be is as if their conviction never existed. A job applicant would be then be able to legally state that they have never been convicted of a crime.

Many believe it is a way to give an ex-offender a second chance. Others feel it is simply a way for those convicted of a crime to hide their past”.

Find out more about the pros and cons of expungement in “Expunging Criminal Records ~ What You Need to Know”!

I believe that a “Certificate of Relief” is of more value to an employer than an expungement.

A “Certificate of Relief” still reveals an applicant’s criminal history and it offers proof that the ex-offender has met a specific set of requirements and has taken steps to move beyond their past. It also offers some protection for employers.

An expungement, however, tries to “hide” a criminal history entirely from employers, while still making them vulnerable to potential negligent hiring lawsuits.

This is unfair and results in more employers being wary to hire ex-offenders at all.

No hiring decision should ever be made blindly. 

It is possible to hire an ex-offender and to do so safely and with eyes wide open.

The key is to never skip the background check. Be sure to do background checks on each and every new hire, and use re-screening and workplace observation post-hire!

Background checks play an essential role in any businesses’ hiring practices. They give you the information you need to make an informed and safe employment decision.

No matter what current or future employment laws and regulations dictate, it ultimately comes down to this ~ whether we choose to believe in second chances.

People cannot only be defined by their pasts. Our greatest ability as human beings is being able to learn from our mistakes. We need to recognize this.

We as employers and Background Check companies need to move past the notion that “Once a Criminal, Always a Criminal”.   

People can change.  And giving them another chance can help make that change more permanent”, excerpt from “Once a Criminal, Always a Criminal ~ Why We Need to Believe in Second Chances”!

Giving those with a criminal past a second chance, while protecting the interest of employers, is possible. And if more states consider offering a “Certificate of Relief” to qualified ex-offenders, we are closer than ever to making that a reality.

Authored by    

Have Questions about Your Hiring Process or Need Help Screening Your New Hires? 
Contact Us! We can Help!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

What You Need to Do Now to Keep Your Employees Safe

Is Your Workplace Safe?

As an employer, it is your duty to provide your employees with a safe workplace ~ and that includes protecting it from workplace violence, drug abuse, bullying and harassment.

It is also important that you recognize and understand why these acts and  behaviors are dangerous to you, your workers, and your company! 

Effects of an Unsafe Workplace:

  • reduction in individual and overall productivity
  • increase in health issues due to stress or physical harm
  • increased potential of being sued
  • decrease in your business’s reputation and brand

Here I am revisiting my series discussing the 
3 Biggest Dangers to Your Workplace ~ 
Employees Who Steal, 
Office Bullies, and 
Workplace Violence and Drug Use. 
I also shared what you can do to lessen their impact on You, Your Employees, and Your Business.

Employees Who Steal
Employee theft is not uncommon. Billions of dollars are lost each year by employee theft, fraud, and embezzlement. And many times it is the employee that you least expect that is responsible.

While workplace theft is harmful to any business, the effect that it has on a Small Business can be devastating.

Take a look at these Employee Theft Statistics released by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners* on September 7, 2015:

  • 7% of Annual Revenue Lost to Theft or Fraud     
  • 75% of Employees Who have Stolen at Least Once from their Employer
  • 37.5% of Employees Who Have Stolen at Least Twice from their Employer
  • 33% of Business Bankruptcies Caused by Employee Theft        

Learn more about the impact of employee theft on your company here!

Office Bullies
Workplace Bullying happens, and when it does, it can have serious implications on both the victim and your company.

Victims of bullying are often plagued by health problems. They may experience elevated stress levels, changes in sleep patterns, and may even find themselves prone to panic attacks.

Even more seriously, they are more susceptible to stress-related illnesses like high blood pressure and ulcers.

Being bullied can also effect a person’s work performance. 

Many victims suffer from decreased self-esteem, resulting in them having difficulty making decisions. Their confidence is low. They may also experience a loss of motivation. Their work suffers because they can no longer concentrate. 

Frequent absences are not uncommon. Victims would rather not come to work at all instead of spending their day worrying what their bully will do next or doing everything they can to stay out of the bully’s path.

Many times victims also feel a sense of isolation. They believe they are in this situation alone and that they have no where to turn. This is especially true of adults who feel that they are showing weakness if they are unable to handle the situation on their own.

Check out this article on Workplace Bullying to find out more!

Workplace Theft, Bullying, and Violence Oh My! “Tweet This”

Workplace Violence and Drug Use
Violent and Addicted employees pose a special danger to businesses. Not only are they a problem for your other employees and clients, they can have serious complications for your company.

While violence in the workplace is not common, it can happen.  
And as an employer, it is your obligation to do what you can to prevent, recognize, and stop it whenever possible.

Employee drug abuse can have serious implications on your entire company. When an employee is on drugs, they are often incapable of making sound decisions, on top of often being physically impaired. This can result in more on-the-job accidents and injuries, both for the employee using drugs and those around them. This can cost you both in harming your workforce and being dangerous to you financially.

Discover the effects of Violent and Addicted Employees in your Workplace here!  

As with most business dangers, prevention should be your focus. Doing what you can before hiring any employee makes sense.

And while not all dangers are completely avoidable, it is best to do what you can before something happens.

What You can Do?

Your First Line of Defense against a Violent Employee is the Background Check! 

Background checks should be done on every employee before you hire, and periodic re-screening after. Remember, “Trust but Verify”!

Write strong company policies with a zero tolerance for theft, bullying, violence, or workplace drug use ~ and make sure to discuss these polices with your employees.

Get Everyone on Board with recognizing, reporting, and stopping unsafe behavior.

Create a Safe Zone for reporting problems without repercussions.

Establish a good checks and balances system so no one person has control over company finances.

Form strong relationships with your employees.

It is your duty to create a safe workplace.

When you take the time to protect your employees, it shows that you are dedicated to making your workplace as safe and productive as possible.

In the end, what it really comes down to is wanting the best for your employees and your business. And that is something we should all want!

Authored by  

Let Us Help You make Your Workplace Safer! Contact API Today!
We will work with you to better screen your potential and existing employees with our Background Investigation services. We also offer Security Consulting services that can help!

Learn more About Us and what Our Happy Clients have to say too!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Helping Your Employees Tackle Tragedy

Are You and Your Company Prepared to Tackle Tragedy?

Tragedies happen.

There have been hurricanes in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. Massive wildfires in areas of Montana and California. And even the mass shooting in Las Vegas.

We all find ourselves riveted to news shows and social media posts covering these stories. We follow the path of the storms and wildfires. We become saturated with information about the shooter and the victims. Even interviews with those effected are on 24/7.

Many grapple with feelings of horror, helplessness, and anger. And it is impossible to think that these feelings don’t carry over into the workplace.

It is even worse when the acts of violence or natural disasters directly impact one or more of your employees or occur within your own company. Stories of disgruntled workers who go on a rampage or ex-employees who return to exact some sort of revenge, while not common, do happen. 

The bottom line ~ if a workplace tragedy occurs, it is sure have an impact on your employees.

That is why it is crucial for you to be proactive and create policies to protect your workforce. You can start by prohibiting any type of weapon in the workplace and establishing physical security measures like controlled entry and strategically placed cameras.

Adopting a zero tolerance policy for any type of workplace harassment and violence is also key.

You can find out more about protecting your employees in “Dangers to Your Small Business Part 3 ~ Violence and Drugs in the Workplace”!

But no matter whether it is violence that occurs outside or within your workplace or a catastrophic natural disaster, developing a plan to help guide you through, long before a tragedy strikes, makes good business sense.

It is possible that your employees are effected both physically and emotionally by these incidents. While the physical injuries are most easily understood, it is often the emotional impact that can go unrecognized or untreated.

So, what can you do to help your employees?

It is important that you provide, or give your employees and their families access to, the support they need both emotionally and physically.

4 Ways to Help Your Employees Deal with a Tragedy

Reach Out  
Offer your support and, whenever possible, a chance for your employees to come together and share. What is most important here is that they know you care.

Establish a Plan to Accommodate Employees’ Grief and/or Injuries 
This is especially important if the violence occurred within your workplace, close by, or involved family or friends.

Establish Time Off and Leave Policies
This can be essential for those who have been closely impacted by a tragedy. 

Find a Way to Make a Difference
Organize efforts to donate time, supplies, or money to help those impacted. The key here is to find a way to work together as a team and help your employees, or even their families, feel more in control.

Discover more about the steps your company can take in “What You can Do to Help Your Employees Deal with Tragedy”!

No matter what methods you choose, helping your employees through a difficult time does good on many levels.

It shows through actions, not just words, that your employees matter. That you empathize with what they are going through and truly want to help.

In the end, doing what you can to prevent tragedies within the workplace, recognizing the impact of those that occur outside your company, and establishing ways to help your employees deal with both is simply the right thing to do.  

And that is important for both your employees and your business!

Authored by   

Learn how we at API can help you keep your company safe. Visit our Background Investigation and Security Consulting pages.

And if you need help moving your business forward, check out our Business Mentoring services too!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Labor Day ~ Our Nation's History!

At Access Profiles, and across our Nation, we celebrate the American worker!
We honor their hard work and achievements and value what they contribute to our communities and our nation. 

Many of us will share posts on our social sites wishing everyone a Happy Labor Day. And we will make plans for a long weekend with family and friends. 

But while it is certainly a time for celebration, it is also important that we remember the original reason for Labor Day. 

Labor Day began as a way to quell civil unrest and recognize those that fought for, and achieved, workplace reform.

Before Labor Day became a national holiday, protests were escalating over the working conditions of the time. People worked an average of 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, and many much more than that. (*Source1) Employees earned an approximate yearly wage of $445 (which translates to about $10,200 by today's standards). Benefits like vacations or health insurance were unheard of.  

Workplaces were also unsafe. Labor regulations and employee safety legislation did not exist in our country. Long hours contributed to weary workers. "Get the job done no matter the cost" was the norm.   

According to "The Struggles of Labor"(*Source2); anyone trying to change the system, was met with unresponsive and uncooperative business owners. Even the judiciary was found to rule against those trying to enact change to benefit the American worker. The courts' rulings followed "the prevailing philosophy of the times. As John D. Rockefeller is reported to have said: "the growth of a large business is merely a survival of the fittest." This "Social Darwinism," as it was known, had many proponents who argued that any attempt to regulate business was tantamount to impeding the natural evolution of the species". Even as late as 1900, the United States had the highest job-related fatality rate of any industrialized nation in the world! 

It took those willing to put themselves on the line to enact necessary change. Groups organized, some nationwide, whose goals were to increase wages, reduce hours, and improve working conditions. 

Incidents of violent protests and strikes were not uncommon. 

It was in direct response to this civil unrest that Congress passed the law making the first Monday in September Labor Day (Congress passed the Labor Day law in 1894).

While things now are certainly not perfect, the days of complete disregard for our workers' safety and quality of life hopefully are a thing of the past.

What Employers should learn Now from Labor Day's Past! "Tweet This"

The best employers know and understand this. They have learned from the past and changed their focus.

Instead of placing little value on their employees, the best companies do what they can to make their workplace safe and provide their employees with the tools to succeed. 

Companies recognize that Workplace Safety means things like keeping it a drug free zone and doing background checks before hiring.

"When you hire, you need to remember that who you hire is a reflection of your business.  They are often the first “face” of your company that your clients and customers see.

Your clients often deal with your employees on a much more intimate basis than they do with you.  

That is why making a hiring mistake can actually harm your carefully cultivated brand. It can even put your small business, your other employees, and your clients in jeopardy".

Find out more about the importance of employment screening in your business in "If You're not doing Background Checks on Your New Hires, You are making the Biggest Mistake Your Small Business can Make!". 

This emphasis on workplace safety even includes policies designed to stop bullying and harassment. Unlike in years past, business owners understand the need to get on board and make their workplace a "bully free" zone. They are willing to do what it takes to keep their employees safe.

"Responsibility for making changes in how your company deals with harassment needs to start at the top ~ with you, the business owner, and your managers and supervisors. You need to develop a “follow the leader” mentality and set an example.  When upper level employees are allowed to discriminate or harass, your company is in trouble". 

Discover more about what you can do in, "It's On Us ~ Is Your Company Ready to Step Up & Stop Workplace Harassment?".

Good business owners also realize that creating that safe workplace needs to be a team effort. It can't be accomplished alone.

"One of the most successful tactics you can use to create a work environment that is as safe as possible is to make it a Team Effort. Getting all your employees onboard and creating the culture that safety is more important than profits makes sense".

Discover steps to accomplish this in "Workplace Safety needs to be a Team Effortand you can learn more tips to help you keep your company safe in "5 Things You Need to Consider to Keep Your Company Safe"!

In addition to the importance of workplace safety, the best businesses also recognize the importance of creating a company that values their workers and retains their good ones.

Being clear about your company culture, encouraging a diverse and welcoming environment, and even revamping your hiring procedures can all make a difference. All have an impact on how job seekers, and eventually your employees, perceive you and your company. 

Discover more about what you can do to make your workplace interesting and inviting in "Hiring? What You Should Do Now to Attract the New Hires You Need".

Finally, as a business it is important for you to set yourself apart from your competition...and that is especially important for a Small Business!

To make your company shine, you need to not only show, but embody, what you can offer that makes your business a perfect place to work. 

You should emphasize how your company is different and what benefits working for a small business offers that a bigger company can't touch!

"By nature, a small business atmosphere is more hands-on and close knit. Employees have a much more tangible stake in the success of the company and often have a chance for greater input.  Even flexibility of work hours,  telecommuting, and promotions are often part of the small business culture", excerpt from "4 Reasons Why Job Seekers will want to Work for Your Small Business"!

It is this focus on employees and what they bring to our businesses and our country that is a direct result of the fight for improvements in working conditions. We have learned valuable lessons from the past. 
Those early crusaders showed us that we must recognize the daily contributions of our nation's workers. We need to treat them with dignity and honor. Without them, we would not succeed as a business or as a nation.

Happy Labor Day from Us at 
Access Profiles, Inc.!

Authored by  

Contact Us for information on Background Investigations & Applicant Services and Security for your business.

API also offers Business Mentoring to help take your company to the next level. Check it out!

Source1: National Bureau of Economic Research 1990 Census 
Source2: "The Struggles of Labor"

Monday, July 10, 2017

What You Need to Know about Background Checks

Why, When, and How Should You be Using Background Checks in Your Business?

This is the one big question that drove me to start my blog, and one that continues to stymy many business owners! 

Back in 2012, when I was just getting started with the whole social media marketing thing, I found that so many companies were confused and unsure about background checks. They really didn't understand how using them to help make hiring decisions was good for them and their business.

Many cited money reasons ~ after all, they were looking at spending their hard earned funds on someone that they may not even end up hiring. Others didn't think that the information they could find during an employment screening would really be of any value.

Then there were these 3 big questions ~ 

  1. Why should I use background checks to hire? 
  2. How can I choose a quality background check company? 
  3. What can do with the information in the background check report to help me hire?

Background Checks are Crucial to Every Good Hiring Process "Tweet This"!

This confusion prompted me to start off my blog with a 3 part series of articles designed to answer these questions and help alleviate the confusion ~ a lofty undertaking if I do say so myself!

I began by focusing my first article on the question of "Why" using screening potential employees makes sense.

I believe in this as a fundamental truth ~ employment background checks are a crucial step in helping you hire the most qualified and safest employees for your business.

Employment Screening will Help You:

  • Determine Your Applicant's honesty
  • Create a Safer Workplace
  • Protect Company Assets
  • Keep Compliant
  • Increase Your Protection from Lawsuits 

Discover more about the "why" of background checks in "5 Reasons Why You Need to Use Employment Background Checks".

In the next few weeks I will take a look back at the rest of this series and touch on "How" to choose the best background check company for you and "What" you can do with your background check report during your hiring process.

Please Pay it Forward and Comment and Share this article on Your Favorite Social Sites!

Authored by  

Learn how API can Help You and Your Business by visiting our About Us, Background Investigation & Applicant Services, Business Mentoring, and Security Consulting Services pages.

And for more Business News and Tips, 
You will get one new article each week and No Spam!   

Sunday, July 24, 2016

What You can Do to Help Your Employees Deal with Tragedy

Created by Kimberly Kline, API

Sadly, in this world, tragedies happen.  

From recent events, to ongoing acts of hate across the globe and at home, incidents of violence and terrorism are part of the world we live in.

Whether on a local, national, or world wide scale, they impact us all.

And if they happen within the workplace, 
or hit close to home for any of your employees, then you need to know how to deal 
with the aftermath.

It is important that you provide, or help your employees and their families find, the support they need both emotionally and personally.  There are even workplace accommodations you may want to consider.

Steps to Help Your Employees Deal with Tragedy “Tweet This”

Developing a plan to help guide you through this emotional time, long before a tragedy strikes, makes good business sense.

Created by Kimberly Kline, API

What You Should Do:

Reach Out
Reach out to your employees.  Offer them support and understanding.  Many times simply giving them a chance to come together as a group or share their grief individually can make all the difference.  What is important is that your employees know you care and that you sympathize.

Help Your Employees Deal with Their Grief
Your employees can be emotionally impacted or even physically injured by a tragedy or violent episode.  They may experience symptoms of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) or become debilitated by extreme grief.  Because of this, they may be entitled to certain accommodations as outlined in the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Make sure these are listed in your plan and that your employees understand how they may pertain to their individual situation. 

Consider Increasing Your Time Off 
and Leave Policies
To help your employees particularly affected, you may consider expanding your leave of absence policies. This can include extending FMLA leave to your employees whose family members have been victims or otherwise affected by the incident. Taking this step shows you recognize their feelings of grief and loss and want to help them deal with them in a respectful and compassionate way.  Being flexible now will not only help your employees heal, but it will also be remembered and appreciated later. 

Give Back and Make a Difference 
When tragedy strikes, people often feel helpless.  They search for something, anything, they can possibly do to make some sort of a difference.  Empowering them by organizing efforts to help makes sense.  You can make a donation or raise funds to help support the victims, their families, and your community.  Or you could come together as a group to create your own project. No matter what you choose, finding a way to help will give your employees a chance to make a difference and, most importantly, start to heal. 

While there is not much you can do 
to prevent acts of terrorism, violence, and evil from happening in the world, 
you do have some control over 
what happens in your own workplace.  
And, as a business owner, this should be 
one of your top priorities.

That is why you need to be proactive and develop clear policies to deal with Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment, and Violence in your workplace.

Created by Kimberly Kline, API

How To Fight Discrimination, 
Bullying & Harassment, and Violence 
in Your Workplace

Fighting discrimination in the workplace begins at the hiring stage. It is never acceptable to deny employment based on race, gender, religion, or any other protected status.  The fight continues by prohibiting any type of discrimination against existing employees. 

You need to make sure your employees know that any action taken against another employee because of their race, sex, etc. will not be tolerated.  This includes racial slurs, derogatory comments, and any physical actions including touching and, most definitely, assault.

Bullying & Harassment
Despite your employees being adults, it is important that you recognize that Bullying does occur in the workplace.  And, if it happens, there can be serious consequences for the victim, you, and your business.

Victims often find themselves experiencing health problems, stress issues, and emotional turmoil.  They may even be absent from work more often.  All of these will have an impact on their work performance.  

Bullying and harassment can also have a negative impact on your workplace.  Other employees will feel the stress and tension.  They may even be concerned that they will become a victim.

This will all have an overall effect on your business.  Lower levels of productivity and a stressful work environment can all cost your company.

Before bullying or harassment become an issue in your workplace, you need to set clear and concise expectations of acceptable behavior within your company.

Screening your employees before making a hire, making your company a Zero Tolerance / Bully Free Zone, and establishing a safe way to report any incidents is key.

Find out more about what you can do to prevent and deal with Bullying and Harassment in your workplace in Dangers to Your Small Business - Workplace Bullies.

Workplace Violence
Incidents of violence in your workplace can have a devastating effect on your entire company ~ but especially on your employees and their families.

Luckily it is not common, but having a plan in place to deal with it in case it does is wise.  

As an employer, it is your obligation to ensure your workplace is as safe as possible.  This means doing background checks before you hire, being aware of signs that a problem may be brewing, and knowing how to deal with an act of violence if it does occur.

Of course prevention (as far as is possible) should be your top goal. This includes running not only a criminal court record search on all your potential employees, but also checking with their past employers and references.

You should also develop a comprehensive written policy that specifically deals with workplace violence.  It is vital you include language that prohibits any violent behavior and also addresses the consequences if it does occur.

You can learn more about dealing with Violence in the Workplace in Dangers to Your Small Business ~ Violence & Drugs in the Workplace.

The most important thing for You to remember is that you don’t have to be helpless.  
By taking simple, concrete steps now, 
even before a tragedy occurs, 
you will not only will you be helping your employees and their families, you will be protecting your company. 

And that is important for any Business!

We can help you 
develop a strong employment background check 
 and Security plan 
that fits your Business!

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