Talk to the Dogs And Prevent Workplace Violence

Within the Workplace Violence Prevention world, we place a great deal of emphasis on providing practical tools to employees in order to increase their ability to predict situations before they actually occur. We do this by raising their awareness level of what’s going on around them.
It’s literally a case of the worker being ‘forewarned’….therefore ‘forearmed’ and prepared for something to occur. This increases the employee’s confidence that they have the ability to handle such situations and defuse them before they even begin.
This in turn, then increases the employee’s safety, which is our ultimate goal.

 Talk to the Dog First!

Fiore Group Training provides organizations with employee workshops focused on Workplace Violence Prevention and Bullying and Harassment (Respectful Workplace) training. As I travel around to various client organizations, I enjoy listening to the employees whom I have the privilege of meeting and hearing the various methods which they have found work well in predicting situations ahead of time.
One idea I heard recently at a workshop, from several employees who worked at a particular landfill operated by my Regional District client. I heard a number of stories from those employees about their experiences at the landfill, and how badly some members of the public had treated them.
There was one ‘trick’ that some of the employees found worked very well for them and it helped immensely.
For the employees stationed in the booth at the front gate of the facility, there was a bag of dog biscuits near their counter. If a driver approaching the booth to pay the fee to drop off things that they no longer wanted in their life (which seemed to be a source of great upset to those members of the public) had a dog in the vehicle, the employee found that by addressing the dog first, rather than the driver, tended to break any negative ice that may have been present in that situation.
Then, having created a sense of calm by appearing human and very dog friendly to the driver…(and not someone whose sole job it was to remove money from the driver’s wallet to pay to dump something they no longer wanted anyway)…the driver and employee were more apt to have a pleasant experience.
Even those employees who were not dog lovers and had no canine pets at home themselves recognized that this was a highly effective distraction technique and always seemed to produce positive experiences.
If this is something you can use, just make sure you ask the driver about giving dog biscuits to the dog first and always have a stock of biscuits on hand. The last thing you want to do is to raise the public’s expectations and then to let them down when you run out of food!
This is called workplace violence prevention….not how to create it!