Audio: Crisis Management: Crisis
What is a crisis? A crisis is any event that threatens a person, group of people, or the company itself and its bottom line. Crisis can occur any time, day or night, weekday or weekend. A company that anticipates a crisis, and prepares for such an event, is better able to avoid negative situations completely, or, if the situation occurs, better manage the crisis.
Internal risks occur inside of the company property or during company hours involving an employee and their duties. The internal risks to crisis are many. Triggers can occur outside of the workplace, resulting in a reaction or escalation within the company. Vendors, employees, customers, all these people could pose a risk for committing an act of violence inside of the company or on its property. Internal risks are not always a violent act such as an assault, it could also come in the form of threatening emails, unwanted deliveries, etc.
Another source of internal risk for violence, is the company and its management. Understaffed sites, poorly managed departments are another risk that could trigger an escalation to violence. High turnover rates, under equipped areas, and poorly organized departments can be a source of stress that could be addressed before an event does occur.
External risks, are just like they sound, they are the risks that the company or employees have from the outside environment. Strangers, non-employees, anyone not related to the company. These risks can include crimes like robbery, larceny, and drive by shootings, etc.
Although external risks are not as easy to control as internal risks, the risk of an event occurring can be lessened. With the proper analysis of the operations of the company, risks can be mitigated such as a drop safe for deposits at the cash register, security cameras, etc.
Aggression is defined as violent or hostile behavior, without provocation. It can also mean the readiness to confront others, especially those perceived to have wronged the aggressor. Aggression usually results in the physical or mental harm to one’s self, or others. There are sometimes warning signs to aggressive behavior including a withdrawal from social life and isolation from others, losing one’s temper easier than before, and possibly violent displays against inanimate objects.
Aggression can serve a number of different purposes for the perpetrator:
- Competition and assert dominance
- Express possession
- Intimidation or threat
- Reaction to fear and loss of control
The textbook definition of violence is, “The use of physical force or power to hurt, damage, or otherwise do harm to others or property of others.” Other definitions describe violence as a criminal offense of physical force or intimidation; an extreme form of aggression. Workplace violence occurs more often than many of us realize. Violence can be committed by a stranger, a co-worker, a manager, even the owner. Most violent acts, have warning signs; indications that occurred before the act, that indicated that the person’s emotional state was escalating, and a danger to others.
Every company needs a stern and well planned policy and program against workplace violence. Every employee needs to be made aware that violence will not be tolerated. A culture of non-violence, is one way to protect everyone, including the customers from an unpleasant event.