Dealing With Aggressive People In A Crisis
Our world has changed due to COVID-19. The pandemic has created some fear and anxiety amongst people, which has several negative consequences including aggression and violence. There has been an increase in the number of violent outbursts and incidents of aggressive behaviors.
In a crisis, people are faced with a situation that they do not have experience with, and this might cause them to react differently. Recently, there has been an unexpected demand for certain products, which has led to a global shortage of supply (where did all the toilet paper go?) With these shortages, we have seen a lot of media coverage of panic amongst people. This panic has resorted in inappropriate and aggressive activities in public.
Moreover, the restrictions imposed by governments in countrywide lockdowns have created an unforeseen disturbance in people’s lives. Social distancing and self-isolation practices are not allowing them to deal with their stress and anxiety in an appropriate way.
It is crucial for businesses to be responsible in a time of crisis. They must respond accordingly to provide a safe environment for their workers and customers. Businesses need to adopt some practical steps to avoid any workplace aggression.
Businesses must identify the potential risks where people can resort to aggressive behaviour. You can consult with your employees and try to find which products are in short supply and where are customers more likely to react negatively if their demands aren’t met? They should also find out what is triggering the violence from customers. It could be longer waiting times or empty shelves in the store. They should assess how likely is it that their customers will show aggressive or abusive behaviour in those situations.
After the problem is recognised, it is time to implement practical solutions. Businesses should update their policies and standard operating procedures to comprehensively include how their business is going to manage aggressive behaviours. They should seek to promote a zero-tolerance policy for such acts. Using signs, audio recordings, and video messages can help create awareness amongst customers.
Safe work says that businesses should also provide exclusive training and instruction to their employees who are directly in contact with their clients. They should promote the use of de-escalation strategies like non-threatening body language and negotiation techniques to help resolve conflicts.
Workers need to learn to be more empathetic and acknowledge the complaints of customers in a time of crisis. People should be enlightened regarding self-defence techniques and how to remain calm in threatening situations.
Placing physical barriers in entry and exit places can be an excellent way to ensure the safety of all people if someone resorts to the use of violence. Moreover, there should be additional security protocols like video surveillance, distress alarms or assistance from local law enforcement agencies for high-risk work environments.
At Resolution Education, we are leaders in training workplaces in dealing with aggressive people. We work with all industries, all ages, and levels of employment, to give all participants the necessary tools and confidence to handle aggressive or conflict situations in the workplace.
If you are looking for powerful, fun and informative conflict resolution training for your staff, customized to your industry and workplace, please contact the team at Resolution Education today.