Momentum was important to the process. Each action was tagged as easy, moderate, or difficult and as low, medium, or high hanging fruit. The team started with easy items and low hanging fruit and moved to the more difficult ones as gaps were closed. This kept the team moving and motivated. An example of low hanging fruit would be communication. For example, a behavioral profiler was on retainer; however, contact information had not been communicated to all members of the team.
A difficult task would be establishing on site drills with law enforcement agencies and first responders. Stamford had a new police chief, so new relationships had to be established between the head of security and the police. Recent building construction in a multi-tenant facility meant that a process needed to be developed that ensured floor plans were updated and delivered to the appropriate municipal personnel.
The gap analysis revealed that the company’s policy did not meet the standard. Some of the issues that had to be addressed were minor ones that required only a change in language. For example, the existing policy said that threats made by “employees” were unacceptable. The standard mandated that the policy prohibit threats by “any individual.” However, other changes were more substantial and included issues such as communication, domestic violence, training, and partnerships with law enforcement.
Communication. One of the first things that became apparent when conducting the gap analysis, according to Faber, was that communication among departments needed to improve. For example, when assessing how terminations of company employees were handled, security indicated that the company did not have a best practice for handling high-risk terminations. However, HR did have such a policy, and it met the recommendations of the standard.
The team that had been assembled to assess the workplace violence policy became the company’s official Threat Management Team. The team meets regularly and communicates any problems or policy changes. The team will also reconvene to address any potential or actual incidents of workplace violence.
Domestic violence. Domestic violence and intimate-partner violence has the greatest potential to spill over into the workplace says Arenovski. It wasn’t originally addressed in the policy, however, that gap has been closed with new language.
The training program established now includes sections dealing with domestic and intimate partner violence and protective orders. “We let employees know that there’s an avenue to report domestic violence and that the company may provide additional appropriate security measures in the workplace,” says Arenovski.
Security also maintains files that provide information regarding the end-dates of protective orders. Arenovski stresses that such situations are often fluid; couples get back together or the aggressor becomes incarcerated, so the situation must be updated. It is the practice of security to check back with the affected employee at regular intervals to get updates.