Does Warning Your Employees About Workplace Violence Frighten Them or Help Them?

Workplace ViolenceCategory: Workplace Violence

Have you thought about warning your employees about the possibility of an active shooter or other workplace violence in your facility, and what to do if that happens? This is a touchy issue that we at Marlin, as content producers, have been thinking about.


In fact, we recently produced a video for our customers that portrays such an event. However, as part of our regular pre-release quality process, we decided not to release it because we thought it might alarm our customers’ employees.

Don’t be afraid to cover the tough topics

Then the shooting happened last week at YouTube headquarters and we changed our mind. Ultimately, it’s better for an employee to be a little uncomfortable viewing a video than to be totally vulnerable if an active shooter situation does occur in their workplace.  Because of the subject’s sensitivity, we didn’t automatically add it to our customers’ playlists, but instead sent it out as an option.

Our customers trust us to provide them with content that reflects the modern workplace experience. That has always included such staples as safety, quality and productivity issues, along with tools to help them with employee recognition. As the workplace has changed over the decades, (we’re a 100+ year old company), we’ve added current issues such as sexual harassment, diversity awareness, the opioid crisis, workplace violence, and now active shooter education. These issues can be difficult for a company to communicate. We know they rely on us to deliver these messages respectfully and honestly, in tone and with appropriate graphics, that will both engage and emotionally support those on the receiving end.


Our rule of thumb is, anything that occurs in the workplace that impacts employees becomes our responsibility to our subscribers to communicate about. When something is not likely to occur, but might, is where it gets tricky. In these cases, we balance the likelihood of occurrence against the possible consequences to decide if we should cover them. In the case of active shooters, the results of not being ready are devastating, therefore our decision to add it to our regular content rotation.

Start Warning your employees of workplace violence best practices

If you’re interested in knowing more about what employees think about their company’s active shooter preparation, check out our just-released national survey conducted in combination with the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania. Here’s a complimentary video that you can post in your company showing the steps to be prepared for an active shooter.

Frank Kenna III
April 9, 2018

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