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Workplace violence: Its impact and strategies for prevention - Research Paper Example

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Workplace violence has received much attention not only in organizational settings but also from other entities such as the government, law agencies, healthcare organizations, and society in general. Increasing numbers and types of violent activities at workplace have alarmed and caused employers as well as other entities to adopt some serious measures to prevent them…
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Workplace violence: Its impact and strategies for prevention
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"Workplace violence: Its impact and strategies for prevention"

Download file to see previous pages Increasing numbers and types of violent activities at workplace have alarmed and caused employers as well as other entities to adopt some serious measures to prevent them. Workplace violence not only affects the victims physically and mentally but also has many other repercussions on an organization. This paper explores the impact of workplace violence in organizations based on literature review and strategies that have been adopted and will be highlighted. Findings from this review will be analysed and critiqued. Finally, conclusions will be drawn based on key findings and analyses that could be of help to address workplace violence in a practical manner. 2. Literature findings: Studies indicate that workplace violence not only harms employees physically and psychologically but also results in loss of precious working hours and productivity; it also affects quality of work. For instance, a report published by the Critical Incident Response Group of the US Department of Justice (Rugala & Isaacs, 2002) indicates that more than 95 percent of simple and aggravated assaults that were reported had occurred in workplaces during 1993-1999. This alarming number is indicative of the lost productivity during this time, which ran into billions of dollars along with medical expenses incurred due to these activities and other losses. Besides these, Rogers and Chappell (2003) point out that workplace violence can add to further productivity loss due to increased absenteeism and significant reputational loss for the organizations. In legal terms, workplace violence is identified to be of four types namely physical assault, harassment, verbal abuse and threat or coercion (Steinberg, 2007). Through a detailed research to study the impact of co-worker-initiated violence and public-initiated violence, LeBlanc and Kelloway (2002) identified that the former type of violence had greater and negative impact on the emotional well-being of employees, which subsequently affected their commitment and work outcomes, whereas the latter increased risk of workplace violence and employee turnover. Mayhew (2000) asserts that prevention is the best option to save the organization from various losses incurred from workplace violence. Policies can have a strong impact in this regard. A strong policy will clearly establish rules of acceptable and unacceptable behavior for employees within and outside work premises. A sample workplace violence policy has been presented in Appendix I. Disciplinary actions against reported workplace violence may involve immediate termination, warning, and even criminal proceedings against the offender. Besides the policy and disciplinary action, organizations should also provide counseling for victims to help them recoup from the mental trauma and immediate medical aid in case of physical injury. Mayhew (2000) has outlined a comprehensive list of best practices that can facilitate prevention of workplace violence. Firstly, it would be a good practice to train all employees in workplace etiquettes and educate them about workplace violence policies. A clear reporting structure to address all types of violence should be established. Management should also ensure all employees are aware of the reporting structure. This reporting line should be aligned to grievance handling procedures so that employees can report incidents of violence with confidence. Safety and security equipment such as CCTVs, alarms, security systems etc can be of great assistance to prevent violence and its ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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