TAG | domestic violence in the workplace
It doesn’t matter where you work or what you do, you probably deal with distractions on a daily basis. And these distractions are costly: A 2007 study by Basex estimated that distractions cost U.S. businesses $588 billion per year, and this high cost is likely repeated in organizations around the world.
What’s more (and depending on the complexity of our work), regaining concentration after a distraction can take quite a few minutes. If we’re distracted 10 times a day, multiply the time lost by 10, and it’s easy to see why we sometimes don’t get much quality work done.
Aside from the actual time lost to the interruptions, there is additional recovery time which negatively impacts productivity. Once interrupted, it takes 20-25 minutes to regain the level of focus we had attained prior to the disruption. In addition, close to 50% of the time, we never even get back to our original task. So a 5 minute interruption really costs you 30 minutes of time off task….and a strong possibility you’ll never get it done at all. A landmark study by Basex titled “The Cost of Not Paying Attention,” calculated that workplace interruptions cost the U.S. economy $588 billion a year. If the matter can wait until a more appropriate time, let it. http://juliemorgenstern.com/blog/?pID=7
Social networking facts:
· LinkedIn launched on May 5, 2003
· Myspace was launched in August 2003
· Facebook is a social networking service launched in February 2004
· Twitter was created in March 2006
Employees need to constantly re-connect when having to deal with:
Having to attend to issues (i.e. calls to the school, to the attorney etc.)
They may completely lose a thought which can cause a missed deadline, missed assignment, missed meeting and any number of
On average, we experience one interruption every 8 minutes or approximately 6-7 per hour. In
an 8-hour day, that totals around 50-60 interruptions in the day. The average interruption takes
approximately 5 minutes. If you are receiving 50 interruptions in the day and each takes 5
minutes, that totals 250 minutes, or just over 4 hours out of 8, or about 50% of the workday. © 2002 CubeSmart, Inc. http://www.cubedoor.com
Think of this in terms of your workplace. If you implement an ongoing program that specifically addresses domestic violence and relationship abuse, you will be the hero of the organization that saves 6 digits from the bottom line. Think what that will do for your organization, you and the morale of your workforce. Think of the potential litigation you may avoid. Your organization has everything to gain in terms of:
· Reducing turnover
· Increasing productivity
· Reducing time spent on employee issues
· Mitigating negligent retention/negligent hiring
· Improving corporate image and reputation
· Increasing safety of employees
· Strengthening legal defense & reduce legal fees
· Increasing EAP utilization
We are here to help you do just that. All it takes is one call to (480) 726-9833 to get started.
Talk to you soon!
In a program I recently did I received a comment from an attendee “That was an excellent presentation of the issues and what HR professionals should do. Now how do I get pursued my top management to institute your programs?
Wow. The million dollar question. And more commonly asked of me then you would think. The answer is…wait for it…it depends.
It depends because assuming “top management” can all be painted with the same brush and be motivated by the same things is to embark on an endless battle.
While I’m not saying it has to be a battle (though in some cases it seems to have been) you have to look at the many reasons why a top manager might be motivated to institute a program and then address that motivation.
Here below are what I have found to be the top motivators. There is no particular order to the list:
They agree with the principle that if you help the offender you help the victim – and they know the workplace is made up of both.
A couple points to note:
• At least one million women and 371,000 men are victims of stalking in the U.S. each year. Stalkers often follow the victim to the workplace.
• Up to 52% of victims of domestic abuse have lost their jobs because batterers typically engage in behavior that makes it difficult to work.
They are responsible for ensuring State and Federal Compliance.
• The EEOC has issued guidance for employer compliance.
• Occupational safety and health laws generally require employers to maintain a safe workplace, which may include a violence-free workplace.
• The Americans with Disabilities Act or state disabilities laws may require job accommodation of a victim of domestic violence who is or becomes mentally or physically disabled.
• Family and medical leave laws may require employers to grant leave to employees who are coping with serious health conditions resulting from domestic violence situations
They are concerned by and aware of the bottom line costs of domestic violence.
• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the annual cost of lost productivity due to domestic violence equals $727.8 million, with more than 7.9 million paid workdays lost each year.
• The national health care costs of domestic violence are high, with direct medical and mental health care services for victims amounting to nearly $4.1 billion.
• Human Resource Essential has developed a proprietary formula which calculates a company’s losses due to domestic violence in 11 separate functional areas of the organization. We provide this breakdown as a service to our clients.
They want to have their or their company’s name attached to something which generates public approval.
• Across the US there are small businesses, corporations, government agencies that are already addressing domestic violence, with great success.
• Some companies that have instituted programs include SCFAZ, Verizon Wireless, Blue Shield of California, and Liz Claiborne, Inc., to name a few.
They have experienced DV in their own lives and or feel deeply that as a public health and community issue it’s the right thing to do.
• Pure and simple – it is. Enlightened executives know they can no longer look the other way.
The above list could go on. I could have lengthy bullets of facts and statistics. What I’ve illustrated above is only a minimal list of the reasons we should address domestic violence in the workplace and the reasons we might motivate an executive to institute a program.
I wish I had a concrete answer for the program attendee who asked that question of me because it was a great one. Some people will never change, the will never care and they will never “stick their neck out” to address the taboo and stigma of domestic violence in order to do something about it.
You know the kind- the ones that don’t have to “buy into it” because they’re already sold.
The incident began when Frank showed up at his wife, Tracy’s workplace. The fight that everyone ignored. Can we guarantee that if someone stepped in it would have changed the course of the following events? Maybe not. But what we do know is that nothing happened. No one stepped in. No one dissuaded Tracy from going home to a man she knew wanted her dead.
What happens to Tracy then is so horrifying that your urge to set down the book, and catch your breath from domestic violence pictures and events, will be overcome by your need to read what happens next.
Tracy cuts to the chase in this true crime memoir. She’s honest and straight-forward as only a woman who has survived this kind of trauma can be.
Now Available in E-book Format for Kindle and Nook.
Together, Tracy Stombres and Stephanie Angelo have written an emotional roller-coaster,
true crime memoir and are pleased to announce its new release in e-book format available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
No stranger to family abuse from her own past life, Stephanie Angelo’s expertise is guiding business through a process to determine the financial and emotional impact on organizations and create solutions to domestic violence. Stephanie has won several awards including the Desert Sunflower Award for Allies and twice won the Best of Tempe Award. She was a 2011 finalist in the International Stevie Award for Women in Business.
Can’t Put it Down.
Reader Brandi Sanchez said, “I have to tell you that I can’t get this story out of my head. It is such a tragedy. The book is beautifully written-I can’t seem to put it down.” And according to Nana Snooki, “This is a MUST read for every young woman in a relationship or any woman who is afraid to leave the abuser for whatever reason. I couldn’t put it down and must have read it in less than one day!”
Give Back to the Community
A portion of proceeds are earmarked for domestic violence shelters. Additional proceeds are intended to benefit domestic violence services throughout Arizona. To arrange a presentation, book signing, or fund raiser,
contact Stephanie Angelo at (480) 726-9833.
This free, one hour webinar will review a series of domestic assault incidents that occurred in the workplace. The focus of the presentation will be to determine the risk factors and protective factors that can be utilized to prevent these crimes. We will investigate cases that occur in Arizona and across the nation.
This will be a discussion.
As we review these tragedies and how they can be prevented, participants will be encouraged to chat in or talk to join the conversation live.
Discussion on Domestic Violence at Work
Date: December 18, 2012
Time: 2:00-3:00 p.m. EST
Sign Up: Register here
Obesity is a growing epidemic—health care spending for obese adults is 40 percent higher than for normal weight adults and the economic cost of obesity in the United States is increasing by more than $13 billion per year; and
Six of the seven most common chronic diseases can be caused or worsened by obesity – and these six diseases cost employers $1.1 trillion annually in lost productivity.
In an interview I conducted several years ago Dr. Ellen Taliaferro stated, “Intimate partner violence and abuse usurps precious healthcare dollars. While it is true that women present to the healthcare system for treatment of their injuries, the vast majority of healthcare dollars are spent on medical visits for conditions such as pain, headaches, depression, post-traumatic stress, cardiac disease, gastrointestinal problems, etc. that result from past violence and abuse.
Unfortunately, the fact that these conditions may be caused by abuse goes unrecognized, and the patient returns time and time again for unresolved health problems. Identifying the abuse as a possible contributor can enhance successful treatment and stop the drain of healthcare dollars.”
In Stress management online Q&A for Mayo Clinic I located this information:
Edward T. Creagan, M.D. wrote: “When you’re under stress, you may find it harder to eat healthy. Also, during times of particularly high stress, you may eat in an attempt to fulfill emotional needs — sometimes called stress eating or emotional eating. And you may be especially likely to eat high-calorie foods during times of stress, even when you’re not hungry.”
It’ s no secret or surprise that stress, depression and the effects on health that Dr. Taliaferro described are all potential factors in weight gain. Which is a national epidemic. All these issues are closely intertwined and all the more reason to accept that domestic violence does affect all of us. Whether you are personally involved in a domestically violent relationship or not.
We have got to have workplaces that accept and assume an active role in eradicating domestic violence in the lives of their employees.
Most companies wait to see “obvious” signs, or experience an event in the workplace.
If it’s gotten to that point it has already been simmering under the surface, and affecting your organization. No company is immune – early intervention and prevention are the answer.
The good news is more and more leaders in high stakes positions are realizing the value of this service, particularly in this stressful time. When you are proactive, you realize that you may not personally have seen, experienced or even heard of domestic abuse in the lives of your employees. You simply realize that no one and no organization is immune.
There is a specific, yet very simple process for creating workplaces that are Safe, Supportive and Sought-after that does not have to weigh you down. Just ask us – we’ll give you the skinny on it.
Last week I had the privilege of being a Table Host at the annual Sojourner Center Hope Luncheon, the Center’s biggest fundraiser and awareness event of the year. Approximately 1,000 people attended the luncheon at the Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in Phoenix.
The Master of Ceremonies was Carl Mangold, LCSW, LISAC (also my co-founder in TheDVU) and speakers were: Connie Phillips, MSW, Executive Director of Sojourner Center, Julie Peterson, Jackie Valencia and Lorraine Bergman.
I had invited several people who are near and dear to my heart; friends and collegues whom I thought would enjoy the event and care deeply about the issue of domestic violence in our state. My guests were:
After the event, a couple guests emailed me with these comments:
“I appreciate the invite, and am very happy to support this incredibly worthwhile organization. What a great cause and very well done.”
“I had no idea that many people are being turned away when they need help – sad state of affairs”
According to an email from Sojourner Center the day following the Nov. 8, 2012 Hope Luncheon, the preliminary results are:
- 438 One time donors: $92,125
- 22 pledges: $5,125
- 60 Friends of Sojourner (those who pledge to give for multiple years): $17,960
- 31 New Sojourner Center Truth Society (pledging $1000+ annually for the next five years) Members: $203,000
- 6 Sojourner Center Truth Society Members increased pledges: $ 38,750
- Preliminary for 2012 Hope Luncheon: $358,060
I was pleased to share this exciting information. One of the guests, at my table, emailed me with this question:
“Just wondering – is that more than they need for operating expenses so they can open the other beds? Was a bit surprised that Sojourner couldn’t raise the operating expenses given the number of people and corporate sponsors. But of course I have no idea what the issue is.”
I forwarded the questions to Sojourner Center, Executive Director, Connie Phillips, who responded:
“It is not what we need to reopen but it keeps us set for this year’s operating expenses. The reality is that we still have a deficit even with the strong response. As Lorraine said, we actually have lost well over $1million since the recession began. We are simply treading water.”
Clearly Sojourner Center is still in need of on-going support. You can make that happen with your donation, including the Working Poor Tax Credit. It’s is easy and costs you nothing!
Simply make a donation to Sojourner Center by December 31, 2012, up to $200 per individual or $400 per couple, and include AZDOR Form 321 when you file your 2012 AZ state income tax.
You can make your tax credit eligible donation securely online at the Sojourner Center website by CLICKING HERE.
Help make sure that no woman or child who needs a bed at this shelter is ever turned away!
It was October and the call enter employer had an epiphany: “let’s do something for all the employees to get them engaged in a local charitable cause! I have it, let’s do domestic violence awareness training. After all this IS National Domestic Violence Awareness Month – I read it in the paper!” So awareness training they did. They called a local advocacy group which did a free training for anyone who wanted to show up to the Lunch-n-Learn. The employer sat back, satisfied that they were doing something important and the community would be blanketed in the warm-fuzzy feeling that the neighborhood corporation was ready to help by donated large sums of money to keep the local shelter doors open.
Except that’s not what happened. What happened was that a four of the people who voluntarily attended the training did so because they suspected that the trauma they lived with day in and day out actually had a label, “Domestic Violence” and they were loath to identify themselves as “victims”. But what was happening at home was wrong – they said so in the training. They wanted help. After all this was a company sponsored training for the purpose of helping people, wasn’t it?
So, one by one, they went to Human Resources. And it backfired. Big time. Each of the four people thought they would get help of some sort. It wasn’t until later when they managed to learn that individually they were not alone in this dilemma did they discover they each had the same response from HR. Something akin to a cross between “deer in the headlights” and “bear on a rampage”. HR treated these people with utter lack of concern and blatantly told them they had no idea what to do and it wasn’t up to them to find out. It was, after all “a personal problem”.
Each employee left more bewildered, confused and frightened then when they came in. Because they “cat was out of the bag’ now. Have they jeopardized their jobs? Will everyone know their most embarrassing personal issue? Will their abuser find out they talked and retaliate?
My clients understand the importance of having all managers trained to recognize the signs, even the subtle ones, of abuse – before they do employee training. In addition, they participate in skill practice exercises where we experience talking with an employee that has self-disclosed their circumstances, or ones that management has had to approach due to the recognition of the very signs they’ve learned to identify. The skill practices help managers become comfortable with what would normally be considered an off-limits conversation because managers are typically unsure of what to do and afraid of embarrassing the employee. Here though, we even laugh. Not at the issue, but at ourselves. What could be more fun than making actors of ourselves and stepping out of our usual roles for the benefit of the learning experience? You can even see some scenes from these on my website.
That’s among the benefits of the workshop It Happened at Home- It Cost Us at Work. That’s the clear benefit of a subject matter expert in domestic violence in the workplace. You have the opportunity to learn how to listen and respond with empathy and offer clear guidance and resources, as a manager, without stepping into the role of therapist. That’s how you create a workplace that is Safe, Supportive and Sought-After. Who says it has to be a personal problem?
Dear readers – This blog ran previously and continues to bring positive impact to readers. That makes me glad.
This month of awareness has assisted in bringing together those who work to bring an end to Domestic Violence, as well as move forward legislation to assist victims of domestic violence. As we move forward to October and participate in activities that support in bringing awareness and memorial to this ever present issue, we aid those who are suffering everyday to bring them one step closer to safety, and a healthier life for themselves, and their family. What might be things you can do to stop domestic abuse?
In your place of worship
1. Encourage information about domestic abuse in the congregation’s programs, youth groups, marriage preparation, study groups, etc.
2. Establish a committee to promote awareness of the problem and how the congregation can help.
3. Organize a drive to collect food, toiletries, household goods and other needed items for a local domestic violence service.
In your workplace
4. Display posters or brochures (in break rooms, restrooms, or meeting rooms) to promote awareness of domestic abuse and how to get help.
5. Organize a Brown Bag lunch or other event for co-workers and invite a speaker to talk about solutions to the problem.
6. Ask what policies your employer has developed to keep employees safe from a domestic abuser who threatens the workplace.
In schools and daycare
7. Encourage the editor of the school newspaper to have a special issue about teen dating violence and partner abuse.
8. Write a paper about domestic violence to share with your classmates.
9. Educate teachers and other staff about the connection between child abuse and partner abuse.
In civic organizations, clubs or neighborhoods
10. Invite a speaker to educate organization members about domestic violence.
11. Organize a fundraising event or food/toiletries drive to benefit a domestic violence service agency.
12. Publish information about domestic violence and available resources in the newsletter.
13. “Adopt” a family seeking independence from an abuser, to assist with practical needs.
As a Citizen
14. Ask your local library to stock books on domestic violence and to set up displays to educate the public about the issue.
15. Speak out against domestic abuse: Expressing your view that domestic violence is unacceptable has a powerful effect on changing the norms that support abuse.
16. Write letters to newspaper editors or send commentaries to TV and radio to help raise awareness about domestic violence.
17. Vote for public leaders who take a strong stand against domestic abuse.
18. Call 911 if you see or hear a crime of domestic abuse in progress. Write down license plate numbers, locations, and any other information that may be helpful to law enforcement.
19. Volunteer with a domestic violence service. Organizations need help with office activities, fundraising events, technical and professional services and assistance to clients.
20. Donate used clothing and household goods to a program that gives these vital items to families seeking independence from an abuser.
21. Participate in neighborhood crime watch programs.
Source original for this article: http://www.thepaper247.com/main.asp?SectionID=23&SubSectionID=22&ArticleID=17559&TM=9137.525
bottom line · Brown Bag lunch · business · Coaching · conflict · consulting · costs · crime victim’s rights · depression · domestic abuse · domestic violence in the workplace · domestic violence prevention · employer · lawsuit · leadership development · legal · management · offender · personal safety · relationships · risk · Speak out against domestic abuse · strategic leadership · stress in the workplace · training · victim · violence
On September 19th I attended the third annual Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence (AZCADV) Thrive awards. It was my third time attending as well. The first time I attended – the inaugural year of the awards gala, I was the recipient of the Desert Sunflower award. This award honors a group or person’s non-traditional involvement in the movement to end domestic violence..
I hope I continue to attend this event for many years to come.
I doubt if awards events are common among DV coalitions, but I don’t think AZCADV is the only coalition that has annual awards event either.
What I love about the evening (cocktail attire and gourmet dinner aside) is the chance to have a positive experience in the ongoing endeavor to rid our communities of domestic violence. There are five different awards given, each focusing on a different category. And the recipients each have a unique story to tell about their fight with and to end Domestic Violence.
This evening, recipients received awards for their work to end harassment, stalking, coercive control and power & control in all forms. They use their positions in the practice of law, volunteerism and activism to make changes in our communities a reality. They change lives.
Tears are shed, to be sure, but smiles brighten the room from every corner. Smiles from women and men of all shapes sizes, ages, faiths, races, economic backgrounds a professional status. It’s a classic example of the types of people who care enough to get out of what would be more comfortable and socially acceptable to ensure all of us don’t just survive – we thrive.
It’s an honor to be participating as a panelist at this discussion. I’ll represent employers and provide advice on measures they can take to prevent abuse, what employers can do and what policies can support their employees.
I hope you will make time next Saturday to attend this important event in recognition of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month – and all the Amy’s out there.
consulting · conversation · crime victim’s rights · domestic abuse · domestic violence at work · domestic violence awareness month · domestic violence in the workplace · domestic violence prevention · employees · family · personal safety · training · victim · victim’s rights · violence