Security at Workplace
Commonly the term of security includes the actions of the vulnerable things, places or people protection from something that impinge to harm. Security plays a significant role in the order maintenance. The workplace security is meant to prevent any damage to human health or property. Workplace security measures ensure the provision and support of safety regulations and respect for the human and legal rights of the employees and customers. Nowadays, the proper security of the workplace is the necessity for any company, large or small. And the responsibility for the security efficiency primarily lies on the managers and executives of the organization.
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Since the employees can be regarded as the most valuable assets, it is in a company’s interest to ensure the secure working environment. The most effective methods for the prevention of workplace violence are the employees’ “background scanning,” the sufficient number of security guards, the entrance restrictions and controls, the safety trainings and programs, etc. (Smith, 2014, p. 5).
The scanning of the newly hired employee for the previous criminal accusations is important because it provides the legal security for the company and helps to avoid the potential violence at workplace. The efficient safety regulations must comprise the employees’ identification policies that would allow the exclusion of the unauthorized entries to facilities. Every company needs to employ the security guards who would allow the constant monitoring of the working areas and quickly respond to any emergency that could take place. The employer must make sure that all the subordinates know and understand the safety rules and know how to act in case of emergencies. It is important to arrange trainings and tests to trace the level of the employees’ awareness and knowledge about security issues.
Intellectual Property Theft
Intellectual property is intangible in its nature. It includes ideas, “patents, trademarks, industrial designs, and copyright” (Groves, 1998, p. 1). It is comprised of all sorts of information, both confidential and disclosed, that belongs to a company and determines its choices and decisions. Intellectual Property Theft (IPT) is the action of stealing, appropriation, sharing and copying of the company’s information.
Since the information is usually kept on the electronic carriers, devices, and computers, the provision of the computer security is of greatest significance for the IPT avoidance. The managers also need to control the validity of access to the confidential information and to reinforce the restrictions on copying and sharing by legal documents and regulations adoption. One of the best decisions is drawing up of the non-disclosure document that is to be signed by all the subordinates who is going to deal with the intellectual property of organization in their work.
The regular education of the workforce “about the threats of economic espionage, intellectual property theft, counterfeiting, and piracy” plays an important role in the prevention of IPT (Securing intellectual property, 2008, p. 5). When people are aware of the possible consequences of the unlawful actions and informational misuse, they are less motivated to act illegally. Some employees also can commit IPT unintentionally because of ignorance and lack of knowledge and the specialized training is, therefore, useful, as it makes the cases of IPT rarer.
IPT can cause the significant damage to business, profitability, and productivity. The professional informational security is of great necessity. The efficient informational security means the application of the best technologies, “such as firewalls, intrusion detection, encryption, strong authentication devices,” etc. (Securing intellectual property, 2008, p. 5). And the personnel’s background scanning is effective in the prevention of IPT as well.
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What Happened to Bob?
Bob Hill’s expressions of anger at workplace and his irresponsibility demonstrated with the high rate of absenteeism, and the repeated cases of lateness can be regarded as the signs of the potential cases of violence. These signs are even more emphasized by Clyde Fisher’s story about Bob’s personal problems and his frequent attendance of bar and drinking alcohol. Although Bob’s problem isn’t proved to be real so far, it is Jack Otto’s professional responsibility to take actions needed for the potential violent incidents prevention when the warning signs arise.
The rumors about Bob’s domestic problems, his mood swings, and oppression cannot be regarded as the sufficient evidence for any accusation. First of all, the investigation should take place. After interviewing personnel and finding out about the overall situation, Jack needs to invite Bob for the interview as well. The support of the interview’s confidentiality leads to more positive outcomes and allows a person to feel freer in conversation about his or her personal problems.
Although Bob can be not completely honest and can also be reluctant to answer the questions about his personal life and its effects on his working performance, the interview still will allow revealing some more details regarding this issue.
Since the threat of violence is vague and ungrounded, the professional threat assessment could be helpful. In case Store Fixture Manufacturing Co. has a workplace violence consultant as a member of its staff, it is useful for Jack to involve him or her in the investigation process. When “an employee shows a dramatic decline in mood, mental acuity, or awareness, or appears to be losing control” it is the exact situation to refer to consultant’s assistance (Guerin, 2010, p. 290). The consultants are helpful in the arrangement of interviews and elaboration of the disciplinary actions and solutions. If there is a lack of knowledge regarding the violence threats in the company, the professional consultancy just what is needed. Nevertheless, Jack can find the other ways achieve positive results in Bob’s problem.
In case Bob admits his problems in the interview, it could be useful for him to apply to the employee assistance program (EAP). EAP could provide the psychological assistance in Bob’s anger issues and help him to cope with his personal life challenges and the alcohol or drug abuse. In case this program is available in the company, Jack needs to inform Bob about its existence. In case the company doesn’t have EAP, its future development would be of great use in organizational security controls.
Family disputes increase the probability of the workplace violence committed by outsiders. In Bob’s case, his wife or other members of his family whom he has the domestic fights with can become involved in the violence at workplace. In this turn of events, it is crucial for the crime and violence avoidance to increase the workplace security. For example, Jack can increase the security staff number, place a locking door in the entrance lobby, install more cameras, etc. It is also very important to keep up to the rules of the employees’ identification controls and make all the staff members and visitors to wear badges to make the unauthorized entrance detection more effective and faster.
The adoption of the antiviolence policies would allow Jack Otto to keep both the current situation and the potential future possibilities of violent workplace behaviors under control. When the prohibition of violence is legally reaffirmed and states the employees’ responsibilities, rights, and the punishment measures following the violent actions, the risk of crimes winds down. All the kinds of workplace violence must be included in the policy, and the employees must be informed about the regulation adoption. The staff members need to be informed about the necessity of the potential and actual violence reports because it is one of the crucial means for the crime prevention.
The personal issues inevitably affect employee’s working performance and, as the result, the company’s productivity and financial profitability. Thus, neglecting of Bob’s problems by managers can have negative impacts on the overall working process in the company. At the personal level, without psychological or material assistance Bob will continue to be involved in alcohol abuse and will cause the degradation of his state, and it more likely will provoke the behavior problems extension. The disregard of Bob’s personal problems is thus a big managerial mistake, and it is in the company’s interests to start the investigation as soon as possible.
As a good manager, Jack Otto probably will ask Bob if there is any connection between his oppression and work. Despite some issues of self-organization and discipline at workplace, Bob did justice to himself by being a professional and experienced specialist in his field. The constant absenteeism and lateness could be to some extent related to the low job satisfaction because of the size of salary, working conditions, or something else alike. In case the connections revealed, Jack can suggest the possible solutions and offers to improve the level of Bob’s job satisfaction. Offering even a little improvement can positively impact the whole situation both of a working and personal character.
Showing respect is of tremendous help in resolving of the possible threats of violence. Jack needs to demonstrate the respectful and emphatic attitude because it is observed that employees who feel mistreated or aggrieved and who hold in low esteem at workplace are reported to outburst in anger and fury much more often. Therefore, it is important to show Bob that he is appreciated and regarded as a valuable employee. The demonstrated empathy would possibly contribute to the improvement of Bob’s problem.
By and large, in Bob’s case, Jack Otto has several methods to apply for the prevention of the violence outbursts. He must strengthen security controls during the whole period of the investigation procedure and make sure that all the staff members know how to behave in emergency cases. Jack needs to interview Bob and assess the potential of the security threat. Jack will contribute to the improvement of the Bob’s situation by providing psychological and material help and treating Bob respectfully. The feeling of appreciation will probably help Bob to reduce psychological tension and will decrease the risk of violent behavior at work.
Groves, P. (1997). Sourcebook on intellectual property law. London, UK: Cavendish Publishing.
Guerin, L. (2010). The essential guide to workplace investigations: How to handle employee complaints and problems. Berkley, CA: Nolo.
Securing intellectual property: Protecting trade secrets and other information (2008). Oxford, UK: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Smith, E. (2014). Workplace security essentials: A guide for helping organizations create safe work environments. Waltham, MA: Elsevier.
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