Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 11th 2013 Contents B19
Tuesday, June 11, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
From Page B18
Porte says that perpetrators of vio-
lent acts usually have one of these
motives. The person responsible for
the workplace violence wants to:
• achieve notoriety or fame;
• bring attention to a personal
• avenge a perceived wrong; or
• end personal pain, to be killed."
He feels that attacks "are the prod-
ucts of understandable and often dis-
cernible processes of thinking and
Dr Lynne McClure, a nationally-
recognised expert in managing high-
risk employee behaviours before they
escalate to workplace violence, defines
these discernible processes in a most
understandable manner. She says
there are eight categories of warning
signs that signal the potential for
workplace violence to occur.
Supervisors, managers, coworkers,
and Human Resources professionals
need to know these signals of poten-
tial workplace violence. They are easy
to miss and they are not always pre-
dictive of violent actions.
Following an incidence of violent
workplace behaviour, however,
coworkers often realise they saw signs
and changes in a coworker s behaviour
prior to the event and didn t take
In fact, training in recognising signs
of potential workplace violence in
coworker behaviour is one of the key
opportunities organisations have for
the prevention of workplace violence.
Behaviours that may predict
In her book, Risky Business: Man-
aging Employee Violence in the Work-
place , McClure describes eight cat-
egories of high-risk behaviours that
indicate the need for management
intervention. She says these high-
risk behaviours are everyday behav-
iours that occur in certain patterns
- they occur long before threats or
actual workplace violence.
The eight categories of workplace
• Actor behaviours: The employee
acts out his or her anger with such
actions as yelling, shouting, slamming
doors, and so on.
• Fragmentor behaviours: The
employee takes no responsibility for
his actions and sees no connection
between what he does and the con-
sequences or results of his actions.
As an example, he blames others for
• Me-First behaviours: The
employee does what she wants,
regardless of the negative effects on
others. As an example, the employee
takes a break during a last minute
rush to get product to a customer,
while all other employees are working
• Mixed-Messenger behaviours:
The employee talks positively but
behaves negatively. As an example,
the employee acts in a passive-aggres-
sive manner saying he is a team player,
but refuses to share information.
• Wooden-Stick behaviours: The
employee is rigid, inflexible, and con-
trolling. She won t try new technol-
ogy, wants to be in charge, or pur-
posefully withholds information.
• Escape-Artist behaviours: The
employee deals with stress by lying
and/or taking part in addictive behav-
iours such as drugs or gambling.
• Shocker behaviours: The employ-
ee suddenly acts in ways that are out
of character and/or inherently
extreme. For instance, a usually reli-
able individual fails to show up or
call in sick for work. A person exhibits
a new attendance pattern.
• Stranger behaviours: The employ-
ee is remote, has poor social skills,
becomes fixated on an idea and/or
She offered the eight categories of
behaviour that an employer must be
aware of to prevent workplace vio-
lence earlier in this article.
According to McClure, "When the
manager, supervisor or HR person
sees these behaviour patterns, she
must document, talk to the employee,
discuss the behaviours in terms of
their negative effect on work, and
require training, counseling, or both.
"The manager, supervisor or HR
person must then continue to monitor
the employee s behaviour. The goal
is to either get the employee to change
his behaviour, via skills acquisition
and/or dealing with problems, or leave
the workplace by choice or company
In addition, business owners are
increasingly being held liable for not
making their premises safe for
employees and customers. Potential
areas of workplace violence-related
litigation that should concern employ-
ers include civil actions for negligent
hiring, workers compensation claims,
third-party claims for damages, inva-
sion of privacy actions, and Occupa-
tional Safety and Health Administra-
tion (OSHA) violation charges.
Workplace violence can happen
here. Workplace violence can happen
to you or someone you love. If you
are knowledgeable and watchful about
workplace violence and its signs in
employees, however, you can antic-
ipate and take actions that may pre-
vent its occurrence.
Know your employees; know when
employee behaviour is out of the ordi-
Train supervisors and other
coworkers that reporting unusual
behaviour to Human Resources is
expected and positive.
Stop the spiral that can result in
violence; give the potentially violent
person somewhere to turn for help.
Links Archive June 10th 2013 June 12th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page