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The Telltale Warning Signs of Violent Employee Behavior

Workplace violence rarely occurs without warning. People rarely wake up one day and suddenly have the desire to become violent. Experts agree that people display warning signs before acting out. The key to avoiding workplace violence is to recognize the signs of “pre-violence” and assist employees.

The following may be early warning signs and indicators of violent behavior.

  • Weapons – If an employee has a distinct fascination with weapons, this may be a sign of potentially violent behavior. Please note that weapon ownership is very different from someone being obsessed by weapons.
  • Violent History – Once people have explored crossing the ethical or moral barrier of violence, they are more apt to reoffend.
  • Substance Abuse – Studies show there is a significant correlation between substance abuse and violence.
  • Decreased Productivity – Employees that demonstrate or have a higher tendency towards violence display a harder time maintaining consistent productivity.
  • Severe Stress – People that display signs of violence use severe stress as an excuse for their behavior.
  • Poor Hygiene – Poor personal hygiene may be a sign that an employee doesn’t care anymore, which can be a trigger for workplace violence.
  • Poor Relationships – Experts agree that loners or people that have poor peer relationships are more likely to display signs of violence. This is largely in part because they do not have the social resources to talk to people and work out their problems.
  • Personality Changes – If someone drastically changes from being super outgoing to very shy, this can be a sign of a personality disorder, manic depression or someone who has a tendency to display violent behavior.

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