Knowing Your Audience
My company is AirTight Security Systems, a company that trains and outsources security officers to various companies.
On 11/18/2013 there was an incident involving an employee that had been terminated the previous day. This employee came into the building, armed, with the intent to do physical harm to others. There were shots fired but there were no injuries and the individual was immediately detained. I was a witness to this event.
As the on-site manager for this company it is my responsibility to diffuse the situation and instill a sense of peace in my employees to the best of my ability, and also to instill confidence in the company as well. At the most opportune time I would hold a meeting to address the situation and outline the plan we have put into place going forward. Here is what I have come up with:
Before the initial communication I must come up with a clear idea of the facts and what initially took place. This is important so that I may show that I am knowledgeable when I am relaying the information to my company as well as the public. Another important issue is to state the facts. Give as much information as necessary so that everyone will understand what has happened and how we should proceed. My target audience will consist of all employees in the company. This will include the security guards, receptionist, as well middle and upper management.
Given that this was a situation that created immediate anxiety and panic, the need for the employees to feel secure is the most evident one. By relating to their thoughts and feelings I can show empathy and stress that I do understand what they may be going through at the time. The incident that occurred happened because of a lapse in the company’s security. By acknowledging this I can outline a more effective plan for security that has been put into place to ensure that this type of instance does not occur again. Examples of this could be setting up new policies for entrance and exit into the building. Thoroughly explaining how the newer method, although more time consuming and involved, will provide extra security benefits and enable the employees to feel safer in the workplace. Another idea is to create better communication channels to communicate to the staff so that they would know when someone should not be allowed into the building because they were terminated. Another issue comes from the interview and hiring practice of the company. As it was determined that the disgruntled employee did have a background which determined that he was mentally unstable. Going forward I would like to suggest that stricter hiring practices be employed. Suggestions of this would be a background check that goes back further than three years, as well as random drug testing for all potential and current employees. This is sure to be met with some opposition by those who would see it as an invasion of privacy, or that they were being penalized for something that was not their fault. I have to stress that another incident like this one could bring about far more damage and cost to the company that has already been done.
The potential need for the public to receive information directly from my company about this incident is great as the company deals heavily with outside organizations whose primary service is security. These organizations will also be apprehensive about employing services due to the recent events that just occurred. Taking responsibility for what actually happened is also important. Also I would only provide information that is necessary for the public. I would not be as detailed as I would in speaking directly to the company. I would not want to create a panic in potential clients. I do feel though that it is important to recognize where the company should have done better and illustrate the steps that the company, as a whole is taking to rectify the