Sadly, we live in a world where organizations develop and train employees for catastrophic, disaster, or terrorism situations, which now includes ‘active shooter’ situations.
As a leader, it’s your responsibility to prepare your team for these situations and that means not ignoring the possibility these situations happening, including an active shooter situation taking place in your facility. Here are the things to consider when it comes to keeping your employees safe.
You might tell yourself that no one at your company would ever dream of bringing a gun to work with the intent of using it. Or that a major earthquake will never happen because you are not located near an active fault line. However, these situations often happen without any warning at all.
In the situation of an active shooter, this could be a person connected to your organization it could be a total, random stranger. Staying in denial about the possibility of any situation happening is probably the riskiest thing you can do, so why go that route?
Teach a “see something, say something” mentality
The best way to handle a potential active shooter situation is to keep it from happening in the first place. By raising awareness around noticing strange or suspicious behavior and addressing it in the proper manner, you can seriously reduce the odds of an active shooter situation playing out in your workplace.
Employees should be interested in unusual behavior, and told not to ignore it. They should also be told to report conduct they find odd. “Courteous but assertive” is always a good approach to handling odd or suspicious behavior.
Bring in an expert
Police officers and other first responders are often happy to offer emergency planning suggestions and even training; with many current and former officials consulting on security matters. Locate someone who is an established expert in workplace safety. When talking to this expert, you may find intuitive thinking isn’t always the best approach to handling a dangerous situation.
Make a plan
After consulting with an expert, develop an action plan that can be included into existing company policies and teach the plan to everyone in the organization. Be sure to run this plan past your legal team.
Putting the plan into practice
It isn’t sufficient to just have a program in place. Employees must be able to implement the plan when the situation calls for it. Every quarter or at least twice per year, have staff members practice the action plan so they will know what to do in the event of particular emergencies.
Also, identify leaders inside your team that can function as captains to help organize and take further responsibility in the event of an emergency. Workplace security should be a team effort, from the top to the bottom of the organization.
At Career Concepts, we work hand-in-glove with our client companies when it comes to implementing safety programs. If your organization is looking for a staffing firm to support its various policies, please contact us today.