Preventing and Dealing with Violence in the Workplace

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Preventing and Dealing with Violence in the Workplace

Workplace violence and safety HR policy book

According to Statistics, 1 out of 7 people don’t feel safe at work

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has recently reported that 1 out of 7 people don’t feel safe at work. This isn’t surprising given the increasing number of violent work incidents over the past couple of years. Unfortunately just last month, locally here in the Atlanta area 2 employees were detained during an active shooter scare, to which the Alpharetta business was evacuated for further police investigations.


HR professionals are witnessing more problematic behavioral types and changing attitudes towards workplace behavior, to which some blame the rise of the #MeToo movement. Organizations have been more focused on inclusivity; however, this could absolutely be indicative of future workplace violent acts.

According to The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), workplace violence is “any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site. It ranges from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide.” OSHA also states that there are about 2 million reported cases of workplace violence every year.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) breaks workplace violence into the following four categories:

  1. Criminal Intent 

    The incident occurs on the company’s property, but the perpetrator has no connection to the company

  2. Customer/Client 

    The perpetrator has a business reason for having contact with employees and becomes violent during or after that business contact

  3. Worker-on-Worker 

    A current or former employee perpetrates violence against coworkers

  4. Personal Relationship 

    The perpetrator has a relationship with the employee outside of work but has no connection to the business

It’s crucial for companies to make their employees feel safe on the job. This starts with the responsibilities of HR to identify their staff starting with the proper candidate screenings, including background checks, and getting to know workers on a more personal level to see the warning signs. It’s then necessary to train first level managers to spot concerning employees and bring those concerns to HR or senior management. Establishing a zero-tolerance policy is the first step in outlining a workplace violence protection program. The Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014 — more popularly called the “Guns Everywhere Bill” — clarified the rights of employers to ban guns on their property. Under the law, employers can prohibit the possession of firearms in company buildings and company-owned parking lots “as long as the employer is the property owner or has legal control of the property.” If owners want protection inside their facilities it’s highly recommended that a written policy authorizing an employee to carry a weapon be added upon the advanced written approval of the CEO or Owner.

Whether these rules are composed as a part of the company handbook or as its own separate policy, creating a prevention plan, identifying and defining workplace violence, recognizing warning signs, establishing an emergency response plan, and implementing a response team must be documented. Thinking outside the box, such as keeping a simple doorstop near the front door, can readily be put in place to stop intruders from entering your workplace. These actions, communication and education must start from the top down, where management provides hands-on training and safety instruction to ensure all employees know the proper protocol given a dangerous emergency situation.


5 ways essential elements of HR affect employee retention and job satisfaction

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5 ways essential elements of HR affect employee retention and job satisfaction

Hire, train, reward, retain employee job satisfaction and employee retention servicesEmployee retention and job satisfaction begins with the organization’s employee acquisition and assimilation process. Hiring the right qualified employees for open positions is an essential first step towards employee retention and job satisfaction. However, once new employees are effectively on-boarded, the factors impacting whether they stay and how content and committed they are become largely about the company culture and internal work environment.


There are 5 key core factors that need to be actively managed to build a highly productive and committed work force.

1. The Work Environment:

Generally, employees self-select into the work, or job they perform. Though, occasionally, a worker is forced by circumstances to take a job they do not want, for which they have no talent, or that is in an incompatible culture. When this happens there is a high chance of turnover. 74% of employees say workplace culture is important to them, according to Speakap, and more than half of employees were willing to go to a competing firm in search of a better culture. Vulnerabilities in this element occur primarily during 1) consolidation following an acquisition, 2) other reorganization and downsizing events, and 3) to a lesser degree during “employee development programs”. Whenever these occur, the organization becomes vulnerable to significant employee attrition and sagging morale. The best defense against these outcomes is to recognize the potential weaknesses and engage experts to help plan, execute and monitor the situation. HR professionals can take the form of seasoned line executives, and Human Resources/Organization Development staff experts who have a track record of success under similar circumstances. During these susceptible events, leadership is at a premium. Industry expertise is a plus, but change management experience in comparable situations is crucial. Most acquisitions and mergers fail to meet financial expectations with the root cause resulting in failure to recognize, and professionally manage the people aspects of the change.

2. The Supervisor:

Employees don’t leave companies so much as they leave supervisors. Employees said managerial support was the most important aspect of company culture and 71% would quit if another employer offered them flexible scheduling in a new job, according to ExecuSearch. Following the work environment, the supervisor is the most important constituent of employee retention and job satisfaction. Supervisory selection is critical to achieving a stable and productive workforce. Successful supervisors achieve productive synergies within the work group and across the greater organization. Some supervisory skills come naturally, while others must be developed. To capitalize on the benefits of great superiors, organizations must identify supervisory talent early, select based primarily on their people skills, continuously invest in emerging supervisory and managerial skills, and purposely reward outstanding leadership behavior.

3. The Work Group:

The day-to-day work group is the next most important element of employee retention and job satisfaction, behind the supervisor. Ideally, employees are motivated to come to work and contribute to support their teammates. Work groups that enjoy and support each other (creating a felling of community and even family) are considerably more productive than work groups in conflict. One of the most imperative roles of the supervisor is to foster a dynamic and congenial staff. Company leadership will benefit by periodically conducting employee satisfaction surveys that include feedback filtering down to the individual supervisor, and by making, selecting and developing great supervisors as a high priority.

4. The Organization’s Mission:

Employees, who feel they are part of a company mission greater than themselves, are more likely to stay employed and be productive. Again, employee engagement surveys can help identify key determining factors. However, the quick and immediate solution is to talk to employees and ask them, “why is what we do important?” and “where are we heading as an organization?” In a strong culture with a clear mission, there will be significant similarities in the answers provided. Organizations who want to bolster their mission transparency can do so. Clarity starts with the top executives documenting their goals and objectives, and then consciously communicating the direction and desired destination in word and deed.

5. Pay and Benefits:

Pay and benefits are the final key factors in attracting and retaining employees. Unless additional factors are at play, workers typically will not voluntarily move from one employer to the next without significant financial incentive. Pay is much more significant here than benefits. Employees typically do not consider changing jobs without at least a 10% increase in cash compensation. On the other hand, most employees will consider and even seek out a new job that pays 20% or more. Benefits must be competitive. SunTrust states that “45% of employers have raised pay rates and 43% of employers increased benefits in order to stay competitive attracting and retaining talent.” Therefore, working with HR benefits specialists is crucial. When benefits are significantly less than other comparable employers; benefits become a source of dissatisfaction and turnover. Finally, things change. Over time what works brilliantly today is constantly fluctuating given the circumstances. Building and maintaining a great work environment with highly productive and committed employees takes an on-going conscious effort. The only remedy that supports long-term success is to purposely monitor and measure your organization’s effectiveness in each of the top 5 essential elements of HR employee retention and job satisfaction, and to take corrective actions as needed.

Philip A. Davis Senior Vice President Flex HR, Inc.

Flex HR, Inc. – Among the Top Outsourcing and Consulting Firms in Atlanta, Georgia

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Flex HR, Inc. – Among the Top Outsourcing and Consulting Firms in Atlanta, Georgia

Skyline of Downtown Atlanta at SunsetFlex HR is your one-stop human resource services firm catering to small and mid-sized companies, especially but not limited to, the greater Atlanta area. The Atlanta market is unique. We support all your HR functions; from executive leadership and employment law compliance, as well as the day-to-day HR issues, administration, payroll, benefits management and talent acquisition. We work with your HR staff or become your HR department, short or long-term.

Increasingly, HR departments have been demanding more and more human resources capabilities, thus we expanded our services to offset the load and allow companies to concentrate on their core business instead of the overwhelming human resources tasks. It’s crucial that your HR firm is an expert in navigating each HR function, in addition to local HR regulations, to keep you compliant with today’s labor laws.

According to The Fiscal Times, nearly 85% of organizations outsource at least some of their HR tasks, which is why we pride ourselves on our flexibility, reliability and affordability. Businesses outsource their HR to save money and improve efficiencies, and that’s just what we do. We customize and streamline HR solution plans for each company letting you choose which services you need as your business success evolves.

Here in Atlanta, we service almost every industry and continually work with organizations of all sizes. Georgia compliance rules and regulations are complicated and constantly changing. Flex HR is your experienced Atlanta HR provider, ensuring your business stays up-to-date and remains compliant with these laws so you can concentrate on your principal business. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution named Flex HR as one of the AJC’s “best of Atlanta business profiles.”

Providing a more effective way to handle HR is just one reason Flex HR is among Inc. Magazine’s fastest growing private companies. Local Atlanta businesses choose Flex HR because we tailor services to their specific needs, safeguarding their compliance with today’s complex employment laws. We help them handle virtually any HR challenge or opportunity they face. Outsourcing Gazette magazine listed Flex HR as the “Top Most Promising HR & Staffing Service Vendors.”

To receive a one-hour complimentary HR consultation, contact Jill Purdy, Customer Success Manager, at 678.763.7945 or

Flex HR sponsors the Duluth Fall Festival once again

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Flex HR sponsors the Duluth Fall Festival once again

Flex HR is proud to be sponsoring the Duluth Fall Festival once again this year. It’s our 13th year running with this award-winning festival. This year we are a Gold level sponsor.

WHEN: September 29 + 30 2018
WHERE: City of Duluth, Georgia – City Hall, 3167 Main St, Duluth, Georgia 30096

The festival is run by well over 400 volunteers and raises money to support the local community. We thank all the volunteers for their efforts throughout the year to make this great festival better each year. In a world where many people don’t know their own neighbors and seek community roots, we are proud to offer a pathway for people to connect through local community relationships.

For more information go to:

Human Resources Bootcamps covering HR trends and workplace best practices

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Human Resources Bootcamps covering HR trends and workplace best practices

Flex HR’s CEO, Jim Cichanski, along with Senior VP Dr. Cascone are excited about conducting the third annual HR Bootcamp for owners and Practice Managers for Veterinary Practices. HR Bootcamps are 3 day sessions covering HR hot topics including HR trends, Employee Handbooks, On-Boarding, HR Audits, employee retention, performance management, Generation Gap and Compliance. The audience is targeted towards business owners wanting to understand the key factors in managing their Human Capital.

To Learn More about our HR Bootcamps please contact us.

See below for an example from our Bootcamp regarding Human Resources Generational Divide that has become a hot topic due to 4 generations that are in the workplace all at the same time

Flex HR named one of AJC’s “Best of Atlanta 2017” business profiles

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Best-Atlanta-2017Flex HR named one of AJC’s “Best of Atlanta 2017” business profiles

Flex HR’s CEO, Jim Cichanski will be speaking on the Atlanta Business Radio X on Monday, Oct 16th at 10:00 AM talking about how Flex HR, now in its 17th year, has provided HR support solutions to their hundreds of Clients in small to mid-size organizations.

FLEX HR™, Inc. has been awarded one of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s “Best Of Atlanta” Business Profiles for their outstanding consultant practice covering every area of human resources management. It includes fractional HR leadership, human resource policy & practice, workplace investigations, personnel policies, job descriptions & wage studies, safety & training, management development, affirmative action programs, training, screening & staffing services, career development, payroll & benefits management, compliance & organization development.

Flex HR serves companies throughout the country in many different industries. They are committed to providing customized services that provide real solutions and make a difference for the organization. Their primary objective is to establish a strong working relationship with each client and become their human resources advocate. Flex HR’s client’s come from the private, public & non-profit sectors. Their services manage all aspects of human resources without leasing your employees or entering into co-employment, basically outsourcing HR and becoming your remote HR department. Their leading-edge technology platform EmployeeUniverse™ is uniquely designed for your company and dedicated to effectively managing HR administration responsively and effectively.

Look for our printed ad in the AJC’s GO GUIDE on November 17, 2017 or our online profile at

Flex HR on Buckhead Business Radio Show – Phil Davis

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Phil Davis Senior Consultant at Flex HR, alongside Wayne Surman of Milton Park Partners, spoke on the Buckhead Business Association Radio Show about supporting companies of all sizes that need HR. Listen how Phil and Wayne explain how they give clients of all sizes the best value and the right Human Resources help they need to succeed and grow their business.


Employment Risks Are Growing

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Employment Risks Are Growing

Whether you realize it or not, your hard earn money is a greater risk today more than ever before.

With growing government intervention and regulation, it is increasingly difficult to stay up-to-date and compliant on employment matters. Every day employers just like you find themselves in trouble leading to big fines, penalties, and employee payments. Usually, employers just do not see trouble coming and fail to take simple preventive measures that could keep them safe.

It’s a complex work environment, and employers need to be pro-active in identifying and managing employment risks.

To this end, we have arranged for a free employment risk seminar to provide guidance on the essentials of creating a legally safe and productive work environment for your business. If you know what to do, you can reduce your risks and keep more of your hard earned money.

  1. Why HR Matters
  2. What Can Go Wrong
  3. Top Employment Risks
  4. Escalating costs
  5. Performance Management
  6. Top Employment Risks
  7. Outside contractors
  8. Immigration
  9. Offer Letters
  10. Harassment
  11. Fair Labor Standards Act
  12. Policies and procedures

Phil Davis, Senior Vice President with Flex HR, Inc. (a prominent Human Resources Consulting and Outsourcing firm in the Greater Atlanta area) will present and lead the discussion. Phil has over 20 years of senior HR experience with GE, Pitney Bowes, Kimberly Clark and other national concerns.

HR Risks Every Business Owner Should Know

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HR Risks Every Business Owner Should Know

Phil Davis is the Senior Vice President of Flex HR, Inc., the leading HR Consulting and HR Outsourcing Company in the Southeast. He will be speaking at the Espey Financial Group on Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 8:00 am to present an executive summary of the “

WHEN: Tuesday May 10, 2011 at 8:00 am
WHERE: Espey Financial Group, 11300 Johns Creek Parkway, Suite 200 in Johns Creek, GA 30097

Phil Davis is the Senior Vice President of Flex HR, Inc., the leading HR Consulting and HR Outsourcing Company in the Southeast. He will be speaking at the Espey Financial Group on Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 8:00 am to present an executive summary of the “HR risks every business owner should know,” and what executives needs and why HR matters. All Financial Professionals in Accounting, Banking, Legal, Mortgage Brokers, Business Brokers, Business Valuation, Insurance, CFP’s, Wealth Managers, etc. are welcome to come listen and network at this event.

Phil Davis has a broad background in human resources and organization development, including senior level experience with companies broadly recognized for their progressive human resources practices such as General Electric, Frito-Lay, and Pitney Bowes. His industry experience includes manufacturing, foods, IT consulting and national and international sales/marketing organizations. Phil’s Human Resources consulting experience includes many high tech and services related industries. He specializes in quickly assessing business issues and opportunities, and in helping management cost effectively achieve business goals and develop their human capital assets.

Espey Financial Group will offer 2 hours of CPE credit for CPA’s, & CFP’s: Qualified Plans for Small Business Owners. Attendance is limited for the CPE Credit. Reserve your seat now. CPE will start at 10 a.m. and lunch will be provided.

Espey Financial Group is located at 11300 Johns Creek Parkway, Suite 200 in Johns Creek, GA 30097. Please RSVP as soon as possible to Donald Kemp at: or 678.225.6800.

Flex HR manages the Head of HR function in an outsourced design for over 100 companies and helps grow value, and reduce risks for clients with an exit or growth strategy. Inc. Magazine recognized Flex HR as one of the top 5000 “Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies in America,” and in 2008 Jim was recognized by the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce as the “Small Business Person of the Year.” Recently, Catalyst Magazine recognized Flex HR as 1 of 18 Companies CEO’s in Atlanta would like to own.