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SHRM Survey Findings: Workplace Violence. February 29, 2012. Definitions.

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SHRM Survey Findings: Workplace Violence


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    1. SHRM Survey Findings: Workplace Violence February 29, 2012

    2. Definitions • Workplace violence: Assaults and other violent acts or threats that occur in or are related to the workplace and entail a substantial risk of physical or emotional harm to individuals or damage to company resources or capabilities. Workplace violence may involve employees, clients and vendors of the affected organization as well as those who do not have a relationship with the organization but who may know the intended victims. • Target: The person toward whom the threat of violence is directed.

    3. Key Findings • Are organizations experiencing workplace violence? Over one-third (36%) of organizations reported incidents of workplace violence. Compared with two years ago, most organizations indicated that incidents of violence had either stayed about the same (45%) or decreased in frequency (40%), while 15% reported an increase in frequency. • To whom are threats of violence typically reported? The majority of organizations reported that threats of violence are reported to the HR department/function head (83%) or to the threatened employee’s direct supervisor (68%). • How do or would organizations respond to threats of violence from an employee? The top four responses were: the response depends on the specific circumstance (61%), zero tolerance policy (immediate termination) (47%), a written warning (31%) and suspension (29%). • What are the costs of workplace violence? The three most common costs associated with workplace violence were management time/expense (55%), productivity loss (37%) and staff replacement costs resulting from turnover caused by the incident (34%).

    4. Workplace Violence • Incidents of Violence in the Workplace • Incident Reporting • Response to Incidents • Effects of Violence on Employees • Costs of Violence to the Organization • Workplace Culture

    5. Has your current organization ever experienced an incident of workplace violence? Note: Respondents who answered “not sure/don’t know” were excluded from this analysis.

    6. Has your current organization ever experienced an incident of workplace violence? Comparisons by organization staff size Larger organizations (2,500 or more employees) are more likely than smaller organizations (1-499 employees) to have experienced an incident of workplace violence.

    7. Has your current organization experienced an incident of workplace violence? Note: Respondents who answered “not sure/don’t know” were excluded from this analysis.

    8. Have incidents of violence in your organization...? Note: Only respondents whose organizations had experienced an incident of workplace violence in the past five years were asked this question in the 2011 survey. Respondents who answered “not sure/don’t know” were excluded from this analysis. For 2011 data, the question asked about incidents of violence “compared with two years ago” whereas for 2003 data, the question asked about incidents of violence “since January 1, 2000”.

    9. Through what channels or to whom within your organization are threats of violence typically reported? Note: n = 69. Only respondents whose organizations had experienced an incident of workplace violence in the past five years were asked this question. Percentages do not total 100% due to multiple response options.

    10. Through what channels or to whom within your organization are threats of violence typically reported? Comparisons by organization staff size Larger organizations (2,500-24,999 employees) are more likely than smaller organizations (500-2,499 employees) to typically report threats of violence to other management-level staff (nonexecutive). Smaller organizations (1-99 employees) are more likely than larger organizations (2,500-24,999 employees) to typically report threats of violence to executive-level staff. Larger organizations (25,000 or more employees) are more likely than smaller organizations (100-2,499 employees) to typically report threats of violence to a hotline or other reporting system.

    11. How does or would your organization respond to threats of violence from an employee? Note: Respondents who answered “N/A, the organization has not had threats of violence from any employee” were excluded from this analysis. Percentages do not total 100% due to multiple response options.

    12. How does or would your organization respond to threats of violence from an employee? Comparisons by organization sector Government agencies are more likely than publicly owned for-profit organizations to respond to threats of violence with mandatory anger management training. Government agencies are more likely than privately owned for-profit organizations to respond to threats of violence with paid administrative leave. Government agencies are more likely than privately owned for-profit organizations to respond to threats of violence with reassignment to another department or area.

    13. How does or would your organization respond to threats of violence from an employee? (continued) Comparisons by organization sector (continued) Publicly owned for-profit organizations or privately owned for-profit organizations are more likely than government agencies to respond to threats of violence with a zero tolerance policy (immediate termination).

    14. Who is responsible for handling the organization’s response to threats of violence from an employee? Note: Respondents who answered “N/A, no set responsibility” were excluded from this analysis. Percentages do not total 100% due to multiple response options.

    15. Who is responsible for handling the organization’s response to threats of violence from an employee? Comparisons by organization staff size Smaller organizations (100-499 employees) are more likely to report that executive-level staff is responsible for handling the organization’s response to threats of violence, compared with larger organizations (2,500-24,999 employees). Larger organizations (2,500 or more employees) are more likely to report that legal counsel is responsible for handling the organization’s response to threats of violence, compared with smaller organizations (1-99 employees). Larger organizations (2,500 or more employees) are more likely to report that the security department is responsible for handling the organization’s response to threats of violence, compared with smaller organizations (1-99 employees or 500-2,499 employees).

    16. Who is responsible for handling the organization’s response to threats of violence from an employee? (continued) Comparisons by organization sector Publicly and privately owned for-profit organizations are more likely to report that the HR department/function is responsible for handling the organization’s response to threats of violence, compared with government agencies. Government agencies are more likely than nonprofit organizations to report that legal counsel is responsible for handling the organization’s response to threats of violence.

    17. In your opinion, how have incidents of violence in your workplace affected the employees in your organization? Note: Only respondents whose organizations had experienced an incident of workplace violence were asked this question. Percentages do not total 100% due to multiple response options. An asterisk (*) indicates response choice was not available in the 2003 survey.

    18. In your opinion, how have incidents of violence in your workplace affected the employees in your organization? Comparisons by organization staff size Larger organizations (25,000 or more employees) are more likely to report that incidents of workplace violence resulted in complaints about decreased trust in management, compared with smaller organizations (100-499 employees). Larger organizations (25,000 or more employees) are more likely to report that incidents of workplace violence resulted in complaints about decreased morale, compared with smaller organizations (100-499 employees). Larger organizations (500-2,499 employees) are more likely to report that incidents of workplace violence resulted in complaints about a decreased sense of safety, compared with smaller organizations (100-499 employees).

    19. Which of the following costs associated with incidents of workplace violence has your organization experienced? Note: n = 85. Only respondents whose organizations had experienced an incident of workplace violence were asked this question. Percentages do not total 100% due to multiple response options.

    20. Which of the following costs associated with incidents of workplace violence has your organization experienced? Comparisons by organization staff size Smaller organizations (1-99 employees) are more likely than larger organizations (100-2,499 employees) to report that they experienced temporary hiring costs associated with incidents of workplace violence. Larger organizations (25,000 or more employees) are more likely than smaller organizations (500-2,499 employees) to report that they experienced turnover related expenses associated with incidents of workplace violence. Smaller organizations (1-99 employees) are more likely than larger organizations (100-2,499 employees) to report that they experienced increased legal expenses/higher utilization of legal staff associated with incidents of workplace violence.

    21. Which of the following costs associated with incidents of workplace violence has your organization experienced?(continued) Comparisons by organization staff size (continued) Larger organizations (25,000 or more employees) are more likely than smaller organizations (500-2,499 employees) to report that they experienced increased HR expenses associated with incidents of workplace violence.

    22. Demographics

    23. Demographics: Organization Industry Note: n = 326. Percentages do not total 100% due to multiple response options.

    24. Demographics: Organization Sector n = 322

    25. Demographics: Organization Staff Size Note: n = 319. Percentages do not total 100% due to rounding.

    26. Demographics: Other • Is your organization a single-unit company or a multi-unit company? • Does your organization have U.S.-based operations (business units) only or does it operate multinationally? n = 327 n = 331 • Are HR policies and practices determined by the multi-unit corporate headquarters, by each work location or both? • What is the HR department/function for which you responded throughout this survey? n = 226 n = 226 Note: Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.

    27. SHRM Survey: Workplace Violence Methodology • Response rate = 15% • Sample composed of 401 randomly selected HR professionals from SHRM’s membership. • Margin of error +/- 5% • Survey fielded May 9-27, 2011 For more poll findings, visit www.shrm.org/surveys Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/SHRM_Research