Whether it is an act of workplace violence or an active-shooter attack, post-incidence pieces of evidence often show warning signs that if properly and timely reported might have prevented violence or harassment acts before they escalated.
As Rick Shaw explains in Q&A Identify the Gaps: “Overwhelming evidence in post-event reports reveals that some of the most important—and critically needed—warning signs are observed by family, friends, significant others, and other community members. They may not report them to law enforcement because they fear for their safety or fear being attacked or criticized in the public eye.
Warning signs and other critical pieces of the puzzle can also come from social media…”
And one of the gaps he identified is “Employees may not trust reporting to supervisors or management due to fear of retaliation or fear for their own safety if not protected. Employees may not report concerning behaviors if a real anonymous option, such as a hotline, does not exist.”
Unless they provide their employees with clearly defined and trusted communication channels to report their concerns, employers will not be aware of these issues in their workplace nor take the steps towards resolving them.
If I only knew… then maybe I could…
For that reason, employers should stop talking, start listening! And employees stop stop watching, start reporting!