As a former law enforcement officer, I’m deeply passionate about workforce safety. I believe strongly that the CEO sets the organization-wide tone on this vitally important issue. It’s not an HR issue. It’s not a facilities issue. It’s a CEO issue.
At Sikich, we’ve made great strides on this front. The effort to keep our employees safe — both in our offices and at client sites — includes physical security measures, an anonymous reporting platform, in-person training sessions and more. To see what steps other companies across industries are taking to keep their employees safe, we recently conducted a survey of 159 business leaders (director-level and above) at companies with between 100 and 10,000 employees nationwide. Sadly, the results were disheartening.
- Many companies neglect key workforce safety measures
- More than 65% of respondents said their companies don’t have an incident response plan.
- Nearly 70% have not conducted in-person employee training in the past 12 months.
- More than 75% don’t have an anonymous reporting platform or policies governing the handling of employees’ orders of protection.
- More than 80% don’t have technology-enabled notification systems.
- Many companies have experienced threats and acts of violence in the past 12 months.
- 35% have experienced a threat of violence made against an employee by a customer/client; 34% cited a threat of violence made against an employee by a colleague.
- 29% have experienced an instance of physical violence in the workplace.
- 26% have had an arrest on company property.
- 26% have experienced a violation of an employee’s protection order on company property.
These findings paint a sobering picture of the state of workforce security efforts across the country at a time when companies should be doubling down on these efforts. Clearly, while most company leaders likely say employee safety is important, far too few have implemented concrete measures that help them deliver on this front.
We’re proud of the efforts we’ve made so far, and we’re constantly updating our programs to keep up with the evolving threat landscape. By bringing these deficiencies to light, we hope to spur discussions among executives around this topic that drive improvement in companies’ practices. In the end, I want to prompt real change that leads to safer workplaces across the country. I’ll continue to talk about this vitally important topic, so stay tuned.