Violence at the workplace is a fact of life, and let’s face it. Why some people resort to violence at the workplace is still a deep mystery, despite many years of research having gone into it. It is not possible to pin down a single factor that one can consider conclusive, because in the same set of circumstances, different people behave differently. Although, as we have just seen, there is no one formula for profiling a potentially violent employee; HR could look at these:
- An employee who makes intimidating gestures at other employees without too much provocation;
- A tendency to make abusive and threatening calls or messages to colleagues;
- One who gets into frequent argument with colleagues and has a tendency for losing patience easily and becoming aggressive;
- A history of drug or alcohol abuse and violence;
- Deep interest in workplace violence and crime-related subjects;
- A history of having come from a broken family with little emotional support;
- Love of weapons and discussions about the same at the workplace;
- Volatile, rash and unpredictable behavior.
HR can do more
This is by means a comprehensive list, but it helps HR to look out for these signs in potentially violent workers. Also, it should bear in mind that when employees talk about this kind of behavior or attitude in a particular employee; it should not be dismissive. It should take such complaints seriously and take the matter up with a psychiatrist or with the law enforcement agencies. HR is, after all, the department responsible for such actions in the organization.
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