From Threatened to Threat Management: How to Deal with Workplace Threats

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As much as we’d like it not to be the case, threats and violence are a part of life and they can occur in the workplace. Even if you have a positive working environment and your employees all get along, there are so many factors that can elicit thoughts of hostility or violence in people both in work and outside of an organisation, that it is almost impossible to completely prevent it.

While this might be the case, there are some measures that you can implement to prevent as much as you can and others that will allow you to prepare for and effectively manage any threats that do arise. Having this threat management plan in place allows you to stop many occurrences becoming serious, therefore it is absolutely essential that you have one to ensure the health and safety of your employees.

To help you ensure that you have the correct policies and procedures in place to deal with workplace threats efficiently and effectively, we’ve put together this brief guide for employees.

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First, there’s the threat

To manage threats effectively, you first need to know what foreseeable risks may arise. From employee disputes to burglaries and violence, you need to be prepared for them all.

To help you identify workplace threats, respond to and manage them, we have many invaluable articles to help you do just that.

What Types of Threats Can We Face in the Workplace

Threat Awareness: The 5 Types of Workplace Violence

Understanding Employee Theft and How to Combat it

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace and What to Do About it

Advantages of Being Prepared in the Workplace

Second, it’s down to you (as the employer) to manage it

The best threat management strategy is one that outlines all of the potential risks and their probability of occurring, the policies and procedures that they have in place to manage them, and any external factors, such as insurance coverage and professionals and their resources, that are involved in the process.

Below we have outlined the absolute basic threat management plan that you should have in place, so read about our general guidance and seek expert advice if you need more information.

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Things that your threat management strategy needs to cover are:

Preventative Measures

  • An Effective Hiring Practice – this should include adequate drug/alcohol screening, criminal background checks, reference checks and questions that elicit signs of an antisocial personality.
  • Employee Threat Orientation – good practice in threat management is ensuring that all staff know and understand what is considered a threat, what the risks are in the workplace, what policies the company has in place to prevent and manage them, and what to do or who to notify if any circumstances should arise.
  • Hostility Management Training – it’s essential that employees and managers are able to defuse hostile reactions from customers, other employees and others as they can dramatically reduce the risk of a situation escalating into violence. 
  • Threat Notification System – a sufficient notification system will allow employees who are concerned about confidentiality to report any threats easily and privately. Just ensure that everyone is aware of how to report threats.
  • Sufficient Security Measures – you need strong security measures in place such as pedestrian and vehicle access controls, on-site security guards, CCTV, locks, controlled-access systems, and emergency response and lockdown capabilities. 
  • Physical Security Audits – you need to be reviewing and assessing your security measures frequently to ensure that they are all up to date and in the best condition.

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Management Measures

  • Programme Policies and Procedures – you need threat policies such as workplace violence to clearly define what is considered a threat and the consequences of these threats occurring.
  • Crisis Communications – this is essential for effective responses to threats that arise.
  • Threat Response Team – you need a trained and multidisciplinary team that can plan for, investigate, assess, and defuse threatening situations. Core team members should include, at a minimum, managers from Corporate Security, Human Resources, and Legal.
  • A Threat Preparedness Guardian – allocate someone to ensure that the plan, teams and measures are all up-to-date.
  • Human Impact Team  you also need a trained team that is prepared to manage the human side of threat responses. This can include support programmes, next-of-kin notifications, enhanced benefits to affected employees, and return to work programmes. Team members should include those who are equipped to address legal, financial, benefits, human resources and security issues of impacted people.
  • Family Assistance Programme Team – this can be a team of trained employees or outsourced to health professionals.
  • Health Care Services – you need to be able to provide physical and psychological support to your employees.
  • Enhanced Workplace Security – you may need to implement additional security measures in times where there is increased risk.
  • Post-crisis Preparedness – if your company is large, serious workplace violence can attract unwanted attention. Prepare for your responses to the media to reduce the damage this can have on your brand.

Read our other articles on Threat Awareness for more useful information:

Why it’s Important to Run Threat Drills in the Workplace

Terrorism Awareness Training: Are Your Staff Threat Aware?

How Would You or Your Staff React to a Threat Situation?

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An effective threat management strategy aims to maximise awareness and preparedness (as these are key to prevention) whilst showing employees that their safety is a top priority of the business.


What we can do for you:

RGM Security offers a wide range of security services as well as penetration testing to check your defences and threat awareness training for your staff.  If you need training or just advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us!


Need more information about threat awareness or your other security measures? Check out our other useful articles:

6 Tips For Running Effective Threat Drills

Password Security: 10 Tips to Keep Your Passwords Safe

4 Ways to Prevent a Cyber Attack on Your Business

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