Managers Need To Have A Plan To Deal With An Active Shooter

Nobody wants to think about it, but you do need to have a plan
Nobody wants to think about it, but you do need to have a plan
Image Credit: COD Newsroom

I really wish that we did not have to have this discussion. No matter how much manager training you’ve had or how sharp you think that your manager skills are, none of us is ready to deal with a life & death situation that having someone in our office with a gun creates. In the past this never seemed to be a problem. The office was seen as being a safe place where everyone could get along. Sure people might argue, but the worst thing that would happen is that there would be a fight in the parking lot. That has all changed. Are you ready to deal with this new world?

Preparing For The Worst

The issue of having someone with a gun in your office is clearly an issue that none of us really wants to spend any time thinking about. If this situation actually happened where you work, what would you do – outside of running from the building screaming?

The issue of having a person with a gun come into your place of work is an increasing problem. The statistics show that active shooters and workplace violence are increasing year on year. What managers need to realize is that every institution, every entity needs to be concerned with guarding against an active shooter situation. We need to understand that it can happen anywhere and it does happen anywhere. What makes all of this even worse is that it seems to happen in the most vulnerable places, places that are ‘soft targets’ and don’t have great security in place.

Managers are not going to be able to solve a complex problem like this by ourselves. We’re going to have to find outside firms that can provide us with the products that we’re going to need in order to protect our teams if an event like this was ever to happen. The ideal solution would be a key-less, fob-less access control system for businesses. What managers are going to need is some form of a lockdown solution that is designed to make your company’s safety planning less daunting.

An active shooter solution should allow a manager to limit access to their workplace in the event of a shooter. It should also enable exits in the event of a natural disaster, or deal with any scenario your company may experience. Solutions like this don’t come cheap. What a manager has to realize is that the cost will depend on the number of doors covered and the size of the organization. However, generally speaking the cost should be in the tens of dollars per door, per month

Having A Solution In Place

Managers know that they need access control. In the past we only had keys. The problem with a solution like this is that keys are difficult. It can be all too easy to make copies of key, easy to never get keys back. Managers need a solution that can allow them to change someone’s access in seconds as well as lockdown their workplace from anywhere. Your goal has to be to find a way to make your workplace a welcoming a place and a safe place.

Safety is an essential component for any company but in recent years, the worst-case scenarios have become a lot worse. The good news for managers is that there are many access control systems from companies like ADT, Honeywell, Kisi, and others that offer an array of solutions for the security concerns of their clients, What managers are going to want to get is a smart building platform that is able to integrate with third-party apps and hardware.

Managers need to realize that no single tool is the ultimate fix. We need to realize that if any of us thinks technology is a panacea or a wholesale substitute for the human element, that’s a mistake. There’s more involved here – teams still need to be trained as a part of our team building, they need to be on guard, they have to be skeptical. After a solution has been implemented, managers will have to hope that the solution will never be used.

What All Of This Means For You

Managers have a lot on our plates already. We are responsible for creating effective teams and helping them to be productive. However, it turns out that that there is something else that we have to be on the lookout for in the modern workplace – an active shooter. We have a responsibility to our team to have taken proactive actions before any such event ever occurs.

Although the possibility of someone coming into your workplace with a gun may seem a bit farfetched, the statistics show us that this is something that is happening more and more often. What is even worse is that these events seem to happen at sites that are least able to defend themselves. Managers need to create solutions that can allow them to limit access to their workplace. These same systems can provide support in the case of some form of a natural disaster. Solutions are not cheap; however, the cost is based on the size of the area that you are securing. What managers need is a form of access control. The goal is to get a smart building platform that can be integrated with other applications. Managers also have to realize that technology is not the complete solution – teams will still need to be trained on how to react in these types of situations.

It is my most sincere hope that you never find yourself in a situation where you have to deal with a person in your workplace who has a gun. Nobody should ever have to deal with a situation like this. However, as we read the newspapers and watch TV, we see that this is happening more and more often. As a manager it is your responsibility to make sure that you are prepared just in case the very worst ever happens. Take the time to create and implement a solution so that if something very bad ever happens, you’ll be ready.

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: What do you think that you need to tell your team in order to help them to prepare for an active shooter?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Managers know that technology has given us more flexibility in how we work than ever before, and for that, our mental well-being has definitely improved. They know that the human brain can only tolerate so much stimulation before reaching overload. Managers try to combat this by changing the work environment to avoid burning out, giving teams a fresh atmosphere in which to thrive. This helps them stay in the “flow,” that state of mind where employees not only do their best work, but enjoy it the most. The good news is that technology has untethered us from the static workstation. However, there’s a dark side to that bright screen when it comes to team member’s well-being.