Employers Ignore Smoldering Workplace Issues at Their Own Peril

We’ve been riding a wave of senseless attacks recently, but the latest workplace shooting near Orlando, FL had indicators that had they been heeded, might have prevented tragedy.

Yesterday a former employee of Fiamma Inc. killed himself and five former colleagues. I’ve written extensively about the smoldering powder keg that is the emotionally compromised employee in my book, From Bully to Bull’s-Eye: Move Your Organization Out of the Line of Fire. Employees who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder due to bullying at work can be emotionally fragile and dangerous to themselves and/or others if they don’t have an opportunity to receive mental health care and address workplace issues. There certainly were indicators that something was wrong with this individual given that he was arrested in 2014 for workplace violence, even though no charges were filed.  Former colleagues reported other incidents of violence as well, which led to his being fired.

Whether the shooter was motivated by unresolved issues of workplace bullying or had other problems, it was the responsibility of the company to help him find help in order to protect all of its employees. No amount of cost saving or shareholder appeasing should come before the very lives of those who make the company run.

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