February 2020
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TD Magazine

Ready to Act

Friday, January 31, 2020

February 2020 TD at Work Cover


According to ABC News, there were at least 21 deadly mass shootings in the US in the first nine months of 2019. Among them were those that occurred at a Texas Walmart, a Florida bank, and a Virginia government building. It's a grim reality that employers need to be prepared for the possibility of workplace violence, including an active shooter.

In "Workplace Violence: Recognize, Prepare, Respond," Donna McEntee—Skillsoft's director for environmental, health, and safety compliance products—outlines warning signs of workplace violence and the importance of having an emergency action plan.

Practice and drills, she writes, reinforce an effective training solution for everyone in the organization. Here's further guidance:

Structure training to maximize retention. Training programs should be realistic to the organization and include the company's brand and voice. They also should depict real events or scenes from the workplace.

Change the drill mindset. Rather than conducting a drill that can cause serious—and a false—alarm, lead employees in a walk-through that covers evacuation procedures, hiding places, as well as how employees should engage the attacker, should it come to that as a last resort.


Leverage brain science. Training programs should focus on the learners and incorporate real-world scenarios that foster connections between emotion and cognition. Further, the program needs to capture learners' attention so they can remember what to do in an emergency situation.

These tips were adapted from the February 2020 issue of TD at Work. Learn more at td.org/TDatWork.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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