Preventing Violence An Organizational Self-Assessment

By Staff Report

Apr. 28, 2005

Companies can use the following self-scored checklist to determine whether they have sufficient safeguards in place to prevent workplace violence.

Pre-Employment Screening Yes No

1. Does your company adequately check references with attention to any details regarding the employee’s ability to get along with co-workers?


2. Does your company carefully review the employee’s application to uncover inconsistencies, significant gaps in employment and/or possible deception?


3. In the pre-employment interview, is the applicant specifically asked about his or her ability to handle conflict and any other interpersonal issue that may be job-related?


4. Does the company’s pre-employment screening include thorough criminal background checks?

Workplace Violence Policy Yes No

1. Does your company have a policy that clearly states the company’s commitment to the issue of aggression and violence in the workplace?


2. Does this workplace violence policy clearly describe the broad range of aggressive behaviors that are not tolerated within the work environment?


3. Does the workplace violence policy specify what is expected of both the general employees and managers not only in terms of their own behavior but what they should do if and when they encounter behaviors of concern?


4. Does the policy explicitly detail the reporting process if an employee does have concerns about a potential risk?

Employee Awareness Yes No

1. Do you believe that your company has effectively communicated to all employees the importance of participation in the company’s workplace violence program?


2. Do your employees understand the importance of being aware of and appropriately reporting potential warning signs?

Employee Training Yes No

1. Is there a training program in place that is regularly provided to the employees that focuses on the company’s workplace violence policy?


2. Is there a regular training programs for supervisors that trains supervisors in regards to their specific responsibilities under the company’s workplace violence policy?


3. Is there a regular training program for human resources, corporate security and other managers who would be involved in decision making in situations involving workplace violence?

Threat Response Planning Yes No

1. Does the company have a threat response team that is designated as primarily responsible for developing and maintaining the company’s threat response plan?


2. Does the company have a threat response plan that can guide critical personnel in situations involving threats of violence?


Grievance, Disciplinary and Termination

Yes No

1. Do you believe that your company has an adequate process that addresses the grievances of employees who feel chronically mistreated?


2. Do you believe that discipline is fairly and consistently applied within the organization?


3. Do you believe that there are certain employees, because of their intimidating behavior, who are able to avoid disciplinary action?


4. Do you believe that your company gives adequate consideration when at-risk employees are terminated or encounter any kind of adverse employee action?


5. Are high-risk terminations conducted in a secure setting with attention to relevant security concerns?


6. Is the exiting strategy for terminating employees conducted with concern for security and the employee’s dignity?

Employee Assistance Programs Yes No

1. Does the company utilize any services that can help employees during times of stress?


2. Are the employees made adequately aware of these resources?


3. Do the employees utilize these resources or are they suspicious of their intent?

Outside Resources Yes No

1. Does the company consider utilizing outplacement services for terminated employees who may have difficulty finding employment?


2. Does the company have a good relationship with its local law enforcement agency?


3. Does the company have knowledge of a threat assessment professional who can aid the company when confronted by a potential threat of violence?


4. Is the company aware of its legal resources?


5. If the company does not have an internal security staff, is the company aware of a security consultant who could be called in when needed?

Training, Supervisory and Conflict Resolution Skills Yes No

1. Does the company train supervisors in appropriate management and conflict resolution skills?


2. Is there any kind of program available that can help employees resolve conflict and help supervisors resolve conflict among their supervisees?

Physical Security Yes No

1. Has there been an assessment of physical security systems?


2. Can the company communicate to the employees quickly after a critical incident in order to either warn or address their concerns?


3. Is the company comfortable with its exposure to outside risks?


4. Is there adequate control of the access points into the physical work environment?


5. If necessary, is there a way to review any threatening correspondence from customers or other outside individuals?


6. How comfortable are you with the qualifications of the security firm that the company utilizes?

Cultural and Other Issues Yes No

1. Do the company’s employees believe that they will be treated fairly, with respect and in a confidential manner?


2. Is it generally considered acceptable for employees to approach either human resources or the EAP for help when needed?


3. Is performance regularly reviewed in a direct, supportive and constructive manner?


4. Are the supervisors trained to recognize and deal very directly and quickly with any performance-related problems?


5. Does the company offer any educational programs regarding stress management, harassment and other issues that would promote health and safety?


6. Does the company have a plan for communicating with the media should there be a critical incident at the company?

SOURCE: Reprinted with permission from Aggression in the Workplace: Preventing and Managing High-Risk Behavior, by Marc McElhaney, published by AuthorHouse. For more information, go to











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