Disciplining or terminating an employee is a difficult situation, no matter what the circumstance. However, it can also become deadly if the employee in question is unstable. Therefore, the first step is to accept that a disgruntled employee or former employee can cause harm. The second step is to protect the ones most likely targeted for retribution.
It is not usually the direct supervisor or human resource staff member, but often someone at the organization’s executive level.
Why the Executive
Logically, the supervisor and or member of HR who carries out the discipline or termination is viewed as the likely target for a disgruntled employee. However, disgruntled employees often take issue with the individual they deem has the most power – the executive.
Makes Final Decisions
In a recent disgruntled employee shooting incident in Las Vegas, a casino employee murdered a vice president and executive director at a company picnic. Why did the employee target such high-level individuals? Because he blamed “management” for his unsatisfactory working conditions. In a workplace violence situation like this, the employee views the executive as the ultimate responsible party since all actions carried out by supervisors or human resource staff are at minimum approved at “the top.”
More Info Available Online
However, our technological world presents the most obvious reason that executives are targeted. Due to the public-facing role they play for the organization, it is easier to obtain information online. For example, when trying to get an executive to take a threat seriously, security staff often demonstrates the threat by showing the results when the individual’s name is entered on a Google search.
The amount of information that anyone can obtain is shocking. A simple online search often shows how easy it is to find out where someone lives, who their family members are, where their children go to school, where and when they last went on vacation. To a disgruntled employee, the executive’s life may look charmed, furthering their frustration and resentment and spurring on the need to strike out to feel better.
Easier to Target, a Stranger
Another reason why disgruntled employees often target executives is psychological. It is easier to attack someone unknown to them than someone they directly contact throughout the workday. The subconscious mind minimizes the guilt when harm is done to an “unknown” person.
No matter the reason, when it comes to disgruntled employees, the threat to executives is real. The American attitude of “it can’t happen to me” needs to be changed to “when this happens to me,”
Please Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Inc.’s investigative and security services provide companies with any threatening situation, including employee termination, company breaches or break-ins, inability to secure the premises building, and threats made against management or other personnel. Contact or call 330-255-1101 to speak with one of our specialists today.