25% Discount Off Of ePanic Button Subscription

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From now through November 15, we’re offering current trial users a 25% discount off of an initial annual or 3-year subscription.  To qualify for the discount, trial users must receive an invoice by 11/15/2012.  Subscription renewal fees will be our regular cost effective pricing.

This is a great opportunity to have a PC-based panic button system in place before the end of the year!  What better gift than to improve the safety and security of your front line employees.

Don’t have a free trial yet?  No worries – request a free trial today!

Email or call me at 919-701-9707 with questions about ePanic Button.  Happy to speak with you!

posted by Lisa Hirsh

Similarities Between Workplace Bullies and Domestic Abusers

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Recently, much attention has been given to the issue of bullying in the workplace, its impact and how it can be prevented. However, in studying workplace bullying behavior and prevention, bullying at work mirrors another social ill that impacts millions of people every year, domestic violence. Domestic violence is another form of abuse that has striking similarities to bullying, particularly one person dominating another.

The first similarity between bullies and domestic abusers is how they begin relationships. There is an initial state of trust at the formation of a relationship. An employee starts a new job with an assumed integrity and wanting to contribute to everyone’s success. Romantic relationships start off optimistically as well with courting behavior and excitement on both sides. These relationships do not start with an assault or verbal abuse at the outset. It is a gradual deterioration that is hardly noticeable at the first stages.

A warning sign in both workplace bullies and domestic abusers is their selection of the first target and victim. Abusers, both bullies at work and intimate partners, will focus on the victim’s self-esteem. Chipping away, little by little, with comments about performance or abilities, the perpetrators want victims to question their own worth.

The end goal is always control of their target. Other methods depend on the situation or individuals, but a myriad of tactics is used. A controlling husband will take all funds and manage all finances in the home requiring his spouse – the victim – to ask for the smallest amount of money. Similarly, a bullying manager might limit available resources for an employee. Mental, verbal, psychological and emotional abuse can all be emphasized with the threat of physical violence, although workplace bullies are usually more hesitant to utilize this tactic. Whatever means work but can still maintain a veil of normalcy are utilized to exert their domination over the victim.

The victims themselves are often at a loss to understand the abuse. Some may even question themselves and believe, consciously or not, that some of the abuser’s accusations are accurate. Anxiety, stress, lack of sleep and depression often limit the victim’s ability to recognize the intent of the abuser and end the abuse. Witnesses may be somewhat aware of the dynamics but are not aware of the depth of the hostility or the impact on the victim’s well-being.

This abuse continues in both the workplace and in the home because the environment allows it to occur. Organizations that value and reward dominating personalities and pay little attention to the quality of work relationships are more likely to have bullies. As domestic abuse is more often men harming women, it is the demeaning, sexist and culturally reinforced views of women that foster abusive behavior. It is the environment that validates a perpetrator’s belief they should be in control. At the root, both abusers and bullies dominate others to maintain their own sense of power.

Fortunately, the lessons learned in stopping domestic violence can also be applied to the newly recognized issue of bullying in the workplace. While there are model guidelines and policies readily available, professional support should also be utilized. It is the utilization of key concepts that actually creates impact.

The basis of intervention for victim support should be believing the victims. When bullying and domestic violence are disclosed, there is often disbelief that the perpetrator is really engaging in this behavior. Disbelief causes victims to be reluctant in seeking help. People who want to support victims must believe them to be of any assistance. While accusations between employees need to be fairly and impartially investigated, managers can accept and empathize with the psychological trauma and difficulty the victim is experiencing.

Prevention should not entirely focus on getting bullies to stop or victims to defend themselves. Bystander education can have the most lasting influence. While domestic abuse usually has more secrecy, those who know the couples involved often can detect something is amiss in their relationship. Unfortunately, sometimes the abuse is outright and obvious, especially when the perpetrators feel more confident in their control to publicly display their aggression. But when a co-worker, neighbor or friend confronts the instigator, checks in with a distressed person or even speaks up when an abusive act is occurring, it is this intervention that limits the abuser’s attempt at control.

Intervention by others only can only happen in an environment and culture that values healthy relationships. While an employer can set up employee training or have employees sign an ethics code, the most effective factor is a community of people who notice when abusive control is exhibited and make it stop.

The answer is not in monitoring negative behavior, but focusing on and supporting healthy relations. A workplace that promotes integrity and fairness will identify early attempts by perpetrators to slight and demean victims. This culture can be modeled in the workplace by leadership of both management and employees. These values can then flow out into the community beyond the workplace into families, and thereby children and the future.

posted by Johnny Lee

Why Workplace Security Systems Matter for Your Organization

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When I talk with prospective customers about why they’re looking at workplace security systems like ePanic Button, it’s for one of two reasons:  they recently experienced a threatening or dangerous incident with a customer, visitor, student, employee (fill in the blank) and need to quickly install some type of security tool; or, they’re taking preventative measures by researching and purchasing systems before something bad happens.

Group #2 is proactively protecting their employee’s safety, but also their organization’s financial performance, reputation, brand and image.

According to the “Executive Survey of Workplace Safety” published by the Liberty Mutual Group in 2001, 95 percent of business executives report that workplace safety has a positive impact on a company’s financial performance.  Of these executives, 61 percent believe their companies receive a return on investment of $3 or more for each $1 they invest in improving workplace safety.

There are negative consequences to public-facing employees without a discreet, rapid way to summon support and security before early stage incidents escalate into larger, dangerous events.  They don’t have peace-of-mind regarding their safety.  Stress, low morale and low productivity impact their performance and reduce your organization’s efficiency.  When employees suffer, your operations suffer.

If, heaven forbid, your employees are endangered or harmed in the workplace, the financial impact can be far reaching.  Workers’ compensation payments, legal expenses, regulatory penalties and compliance costs add up.

Your employees are your assets, greatest resources and ambassadors.  Protect them!  Give them the control and tools they need to protect themselves!

Your investment in safety and security reflects the value you assign your people.  This in turn establishes and maintains your reputation as an organization that takes good care of employees, and that you’re a place where talented, excellent professionals want to work.

Risk cannot entirely be eliminated, but for the sake of your co-workers and employees, you should do everything possible to ensure security incidents are as preventable and manageable as possible.

posted by Lisa Hirsh