HR Management & Compliance

Common Mistakes Made When Providing Training on Workplace Violence

Addressing the very real threat of violence in the workplace is never a pleasant thought—but you can’t allow that negative reaction to derail your training. “When it comes to workplace violence training, a lot of organizations are ‘doing the right thing the wrong way,’” says Jay Hart, director of Force Training Institute.

Hart says, “Three of the most common mistakes are (1) failing to realize that workplace violence training is an emotional issue; (2) implementing a workplace violence program without conducting a training needs assessment; and (3) implementing a training program that mirrors law enforcement training and does not take into account the nuances of the private sector employee.”

So, how can trainers avoid those mistakes? “Just the words ‘workplace violence’ or ‘active shooter’ can frighten people and turn off their willingness to be open to your training program,” Hart says.


Workplace violence can take many forms and has numerous causes. Keep alert to signs of potential violence and take immediate action when you recognize them. TrainingToday Preventing Workplace Violence: What Employees Need to Know


“Shifting the focus away from the single issue of ‘workplace violence’ or ‘active shooter’ to a wider perspective of ‘workplace safety’ is something everyone in your organization can get behind and support. After all, everyone wants their workplace to be a safe place.

“Your company’s workplace violence training program should seamlessly integrate into your organization’s culture, which will help ensure the concepts are well-received and retained by your employees,” he explains.

“Moreover, your training program should be created or, at a minimum, be reviewed by someone who has a background in education/content development. This will help facilitate the transfer of knowledge in a systematic manner [so] your employees are able to retain and recall the training material under stress [and] your training program [will be] legally defensible.


This Preventing Workplace Violence presentation will help you to identify the causes of workplace violence, spot the signs of potential violence, follow required security procedures, and respond effectively to violent acts. Get the details.


“Although, in general, risk mitigation is a priority for most organizations, the reality is many companies avoid workplace violence training because they don’t know where to start or how to effectively implement the training,” Hart continues. “If done poorly, workplace violence training can be intimidating, if not outright frightening. However, if done correctly, such training can be an empowering tool.”

Hart recommends providing training on workplace violence at least annually and making supporting materials available to employees year-round.