Since its founding, Workplace Solutions has provided innovative training to public and private sector organizations throughout the country. The uniquely effective, participative training style has been demonstrated at major health and safety conferences.

Description of Training
The training introduces strategies for reducing the risk of violence by dealing at an early stage with hostility and aggression. “Interactive crisis simulations” allow participants to perfect intervention techniques by responding to dramatization of actual incidents at their own workplace. Engaging spontaneously with characters in each simulation, participants acquire concepts and skills that can be readily put into practice and passed on to co-workers. The improvisational scenarios are combined with problem-solving, decision-making, and consensus-building exercises.

Taken as a whole, the training heightens awareness of dangerous conflict and illustrates paths to resolution. Managers and staff learn the importance of “bystander empowerment”— encouraging employees to take responsibility for the safety and tranquility of their work environment. Train-the trainer sessions ensure that the message cascades down through the workforce.

Training Agenda
Training events may last a half-day, a full day, or two days. They are custom-designed to meet the needs and circumstances of each workplace. The following is a sample of topics included in a typical event.

Fundamentals of Violence Prevention

  • Early Detection of Warning Signs
  • Reasons for Under-Reporting of Threats
  • Cultural Diversity as a Cause of Violence
  • Violence-related Disciplinary Issues

Crisis Simulation: “Dueling Deskmates”

  • Co-workers who share a work space are locked in chronic conflict.

Exercise: Problem-Solving Intervention

Crisis Simulation: “The Long Wait”

  • A hospital patient’s spouse becomes enraged by a treatment delay.

Coping with Angry Customers, Clients, and Patient Relatives

  • Maintaining Civility and Managing Aggression
  • Defusing Potentially Violent Encounters
  • Constructing Safety Nets
  • Collaborative Strategies for Prevention and Intervention

Crisis Simulation: “Hostility at Harbor City Terminal”

  • Under severe stress, a transportation worker becomes menacing.

Response Team Exercise: Participants divide into teams, engage in fact-finding, question antagonists, apply risk assessment guidelines, and develop an action plan with immediate and long-term strategies.

Large-Group Exercise: Facilitated comparison of action plans proposed by each team.

Crisis Simulation: “The Bully in the China Shop”

  • Bullying undermines morale in a ceramics plant.

Rooting Out Bullying, Coercion and Intimidation

  • Who Becomes a Bully and Why
  • The Bully's Objectives and Tactics
  • Victim Selection
  • Bullying as a Risk Factor for Violence

Crisis Simulation: “The Battering Boyfriend”

  • A stalker threatens to intrude into the workplace.

Domestic Violence Overspill

  • Employees at Risk from Intimate Partners
  • Enforcing Orders of Protection
  • Accessing Community Resources
  • Employee Privacy Concerns

Facilitated Interaction: Re-play of scenario with alternate ending.

Applying Violence Prevention Policy

  • Policy Goals and Approaches
  • Matching Policy to Work Environment
  • Consensus-Building Tools
  • Identifying Interest-Based Alternatives

Small-Group Exercise: Using consensus-building tools, participants apply policy provisions in a variety of work settings.

Training Materials
Participants receive specially produced PowerPoint slides, background articles, official reports, outlines, and excerpts from policy documents. Workplace Solutions furnishes these materials in digital form for reproduction and distribution by the program sponsors.

Copies of The Violence-Prone Workplace (Cornell University Press) will be provided to every participant as a basic reference. The volume features case studies developed by Workplace Solutions from actual incidents, and it evaluates the application of violence prevention strategies. Each presentation topic is linked to a specific section of the book, allowing participants to deepen their learning after the training session.

Organizations That Have Benefited from Workplace Solutions Training

  • Voluntary Hospitals Association of the East Coast
  • Connecticut Hospitals Association
  • US Health Care Finance Administration
  • US Internal Revenue Service
  • Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory (US Navy/Lockheed-Martin Corp.)
  • New York State Higher Education Services Corporation
  • New York State Department of Education
  • Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service

National Professional Development Seminar
National Labor-Management Conferences
FMCS Institute

  • University of California, Berkeley, Labor Occupational Health Program
  • New York State/Public Employees Federation Health and Safety Conferences
  • Teamsters Council 38 of Northern California
  • Maine Department of Labor
  • Tennessee Employment Relations Research Association
  • Dubuque, Iowa, Regional Labor Management Council
  • Kellogg Company, Cereals Manufacturing Division
  • Labor and Employment Relations Association
  • Center for Collaborative Solutions
  • Association for Conflict Resolution
  • Association of Labor Relations Agencies
  • Society for Human Resource Management
  • Civil Service Employees Association/New York State Partnership for Education and Training



Copyright © 2017 Workplace Solutions, Inc. All Right Reserved. Workplace Solutions is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization,
founded with a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.