Workplace violence during a severe economic downturn

Workplace violence during a severe economic downturn

Read our complete White Paper “Recession Layoffs, Workplace Stability” here.

The stakes are high and workplace liabilities very real. More than ever, companies are looking for flexible, effective strategies to minimize the emotional and physical risks associated with all the stunning economic contractions. While contending with an increase in disgruntled employees and concerned shareholders and attempting to instill corporate confidence, businesses are also juggling the reality of increased security threats to managers and executives.

Does your company have a plan?

Studies conducted after the relatively mild recession of the early 1990s found that a mere one point rise in the unemployment rate increased the incidence of workplace deaths due to violent crime by 3.4 percent. That economic downturn was nothing to compare with the perfect economic storm of recent years rocking businesses worldwide. Even in the best of times, workplace violence is a pervasive problem that affects the lives of some 1.7 million Americans a year. How recently have you examined your company’s workplace violence and incident management policies and updated them to reflect changing circumstances and best practices? Do you have an established relationship with a professional security firm to assist you in the planning, coordination, and execution of employee terminations and downsizings?

Managers are often trained on hiring new employees, but most are not trained to recognize the telltale precursor signs of workplace violence, and rarely are they taught how to properly terminate an employee so as to minimize a backlash. “With so much stress and uncertainty regarding our economic futures, anxiety naturally is on the rise. Employee conduct will often reflect that and anybody can be pushed to a point at which they no longer can control their emotions and actions,” said Greg Pearson, chief operating officer at FirstCall CSS

The yearly cost of violence in the workplace in the United States amounts to $35.4 billion. A recent International Labour Organisation report estimates the combined burden of workplace stress and violence at 0.5 to 3.5 percent of national GDP per year. The consequences often translate to a compensatory burden, loss of productivity and personal tragedy. As these costs have been quantified, there has been recognition of workplace violence as a valid issue and major health and safety liability for enterprises, the elimination of which is necessary for success.

Promoting workplace stability doesn’t have to be costly or onerous. FirstCall CSS has developed a methodology for assessing and managing threats at a tactical and strategic level. FirstCall helps companies in the planning stages of downsizing as well as in responding to an incident or concern about violence in the workplace. For the last 25 years, FirstCall has helped define best practices as they relate to any aberrant behavior manifested in a work setting; determine the critical risks, how best to reduce exposure and, where necessary, manage incident response.

Interested in learning how FirstCall can help you mitigate your security risks? Contact us today at:

FirstCall Corporate Security and Advisory Services One Sansome Street Suite 3500 San Francisco, CA 94104 –

USA Phone: +1 (415) 781-4300

Email: mktglobal@firstcallcss.com