The holiday season brings about added stress to many employees, fearing a job layoff or that they won’t receive that promised Christmas bonus. Many are laid off during the holidays as companies themselves struggle to find a balance for meeting the bottom line by year-end. Added expenses and extravagant shopping racks up the credit card bills and people find themselves in a position of not being able to pay regular bills like mortgage, electricity and phone. Struggling to make sense often means that people do whatever comes to mind to solve the problem, even is it means resorting to violence or killing.
Workplace violence is more pronounced during the holidays. Stress levels remain very high and acting out can mean danger to those in the area. What are some signs and symptoms of a co-worker’s propensity toward violence?
- Mood changes and mood swings: Behavioral changes like excessive and prolonged moodiness is a red flag.
- Lack of energy throughout the day, including an overall dismal outlook on life.
- Tardiness and frequent disorganization.
- Uncharacteristic outward display of verbal attacks.
- Unkempt and disheveled appearance in grooming.
When someone in the workplace resorts to violence, one never knows how long the spree has been brewing. The thought process could be developed over time as one plots and plans a way to get to the end result. Others simply “snap” as their coping mechanisms shut down. If you suspect that a coworkers is exhibiting minor personality signs that might lead to something more pronounced, here are a few things you can do to protect yourself and others in the area:
- Submit a written and verbal concern to the human resources director evidencing a paper trail.
- Stay calm and avoid spreading rumors that may exacerbate the situation.
- Offer assistance and help if someone seems overly stressed.
- Take time for yourself so that you can alleviated any added stress that may come your way.
- Know your company’s crisis management or emergency plan.
If a place of employment is aware of someone’s propensity toward violence, and does nothing to protect the rest of its employees, there could be a case of negligence in the workplace. Documentation will be key in investigating your case should a situation escalate to the point of crisis or violence. An attorney known for handling personal injury cases can assist you.