As every small business employer knows, your employees are your most important asset; therefore, you do what you can do take care of them. That means not only ensuring they are compensated fairly and have the resources they need to achieve a healthy work-life balance, but also proving a safe, secure working environment. And according to a recent CareerBuilder survey, the vast majority of small business workers (93 percent) do in fact feel their office is a secure place to work.
But while they may feel safe overall, here’s some food for thought: More than 1 in 5 workers (22 percent) say they would not know what to do to protect themselves if there was an emergency in their office that posed a physical threat. Furthermore, while workers feel safe in their workplaces overall, when it comes to specific threats and how prepared their employer is to handle them, they aren’t as confident.
- 19 percent do not feel their workplaces are well-protected in case of a fire, flood or other disaster, and 33 percent don’t believe their companies have emergency plans in place should such events occur.
- 20 percent do not feel their workplaces are well-protected from weather-related threats,and 38 percent do not think their companies have an emergency plan in place if they were ever faced with extremely severe weather.
- 30 percent do not feel their workplace is well-protected from a physical threat from another person,and 50 percent do not believe their company has an emergency plan in place in case of a physical attack from another person.
- 36 percent do not feel their workplaces are well-protected from a digital hacking threat, and 50 percent do not feel their companies have an emergency plan in place in the event of a technology security breach.
Emergency Prevention and Preparation
Frankly, most of us like to think that tragic events would never happen in our workplace. While this mindset can be comforting, it does nothing to actually improve the odds of preventing or getting through a disastrous situation. Show employees that you prioritize their safety by taking protective measures. A few ideas to consider:
- Watch “Run. Hide. Fight: Surviving an Active Shooter Event” at your next staff meeting. Not only does the video offer critical advice, it can serve as a springboard for discussion.
- Take a look at OSHA’s “How to Plan for Workplace Emergencies and Evacuations”for tips on everything from alerting employees to establishing exit routes.
- As a group, do an office assessment. Are smoke alarms present and working? Does everyone know how to use the fire extinguisher? Are people wearing their ID badges? Do workers routinely compromise security by propping open doors? Addressing these important questions will leave you better prepared in case of an emergency.
- Encourage employees to speak up if something seems wrong or suspicious. Checking out “little” things may prevent a major problem down the line.