Overcoming ‘Can’t See the Forest for the Trees’ Tendencies in WPV Investigations

Overcoming ‘Can’t See the Forest for the Trees’ Tendencies in WPV Investigations

You are a Human Resource Professional or Workplace Violence Investigator and asked to complete a Workplace Violence Investigation.

You are aware the context leading to workplace violence is usually one in which a current or former employee perceives him or herself as having been gravely humiliated, wronged, or betrayed in some way, but are you equally aware of the important “warning signs” that have come to be identified as clues to possible violence? Or who do you turn to when you suddenly become the unwanted preoccupation of this individual? The pathway to violence is rarely sudden and impulsive, but almost invariably an escalating one.

Although actual incidents of work-related targeted violence are statistically rare, instances of threats and other warning signs are a common occurrence in workplaces of any size and require appropriate, efficient methods of informed monitoring and screening. The presence of warning signs does not necessarily mean that someone will be violent, only that there is a threshold of concern. The context of a situation and what is known about an individual overall may need to be considered for risk screening and assessment. This will help prevent over-reacting to a situation or treating someone unfairly based on very little information.

The idiom “cannot see the forest for the trees” comes to mind which means that a person or organization cannot see the big picture because the focus is too much on the details.

This can also happen when an investigation of workplace violence is being conducted and information relevant to a threat assessment may be overlooked or ignored.

Lions Gate Risk Management Group have assisted many HR Professionals and Investigators to navigate successful outcomes for these very serious files. This is in part due to LGRMG having professional investigators who are also threat assessment professionals who have first-hand knowledge drawn from personal and collective investigative experience, educational background, specialized training and who can recognize the “warning signs”. Lions Gate Risk Management Group can assist in an advisory role or can work with you in developing a “threat management team model” for your organization, which is a viable and effective method for assessing violence. A ‘threat assessment and management team’ is a multidisciplinary body, assembled to assess and recommend management strategies for persons of concern and threats of violence.

For more information contact Lions Gate Risk Management Group at 604.383.0020 or toll free at 1.800.212.2026

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