One of the hallmarks of any successful organization is a thriving and productive workforce, engaged and driven by management with a commitment to developing employee empowerment. Empowering employees to think, behave, act, react and be more autonomous begins with effective communication and the right tools and training. As a result, employees are equipped to make better informed and independent decisions, exhibit stronger initiative and are more confident in taking risk.
Today, many companies have policy that focuses on the technical aspects of getting “the work” done, and human resource programs that prescribe employee interactions with each other and with the organization. All too often, even well-thought-out policy overlooks the components necessary to foster security empowerment throughout the workplace.
Whether an act of aggression, an armed intruder or a criminal incident, employees must be properly trained in preparation and response. Security training programs custom developed to align with unique workplace factors such as location, industry and risk environment and led by industry experts with unique tactical abilities, specialized skills and elite backgrounds, successfully address real-life workplace security scenarios. Let’s look at just three training specifics designed to protect life and property in the workplace.
Stimulus to Act
Employees are accustomed to responding nearly instinctively to certain office stimuli. The smell of fresh coffee in the break room provokes a certain action, while a sounding fire alarm provokes a different one. These responses are a result of either repeated exposure to the stimuli (the coffee) or because they received instruction and participate in regular drill exercises (the fire alarm).
Since most employees are unlikely to be exposed to repeated and regular violence in their workplace, security empowerment is a result only of training employees to recognize and respond appropriately to threats.
Regardless of the industry, successful organizations train their employees on best practices when engaging with other employees, customers and visitors, including courteous communication, strong customer service and accommodations. However, when unexpectedly confronted with a hostile actor or armed intruder in the work environment, aggression may be the only successful survival strategy. Employees must know how to quickly identify an unexpected threat situation and assess the appropriate reaction, even if it is a clear divergence from the standard service culture mindset. The absence of policy and training that supports this may result in dangerous hesitation and maybe even lethal consequences.
Emergency Exit Plans
While every workplace environment is different and carries a unique layout, it is essential that organizations have an emergency exit strategy in place and properly train employees on execution. Because working in a building every day creates a routine, employees can easily lose sight of alternative exits or optional evacuation routes when faced with an emergency. Their instinct is often to run out of the building the way they enter, which may be heading directly into grave risk. Proactive and consistent training drills are critical to ensure safety.