Employee Perceptions of Federal Workplace Violence

Employee Perceptions of Federal Workplace Violence
Employee Perceptions of Federal Workplace Violence
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Employee Perceptions of Federal Workplace Violence is based on a 2010 MSPB survey of about 42,000 Federal employees regarding their experiences with violence in the workplace. Nearly 1 in 8 survey respondents indicated that they had seen physical attacks, threats of attack, harassment, intimidation, or bullying in the workplace over the past two years. Over half of the perpetrators of the violence were current or former Federal employees, and one-third were agency customers or clients. Although the majority of instances involved threats, harassment, intimidation, or bullying rather than physical injury or property damage, these behaviors demand the attention of Federal managers because they poison the work environment and may lead to more serious physical violence. Report recommendations include that agencies focus on mitigating violence perpetrated by current Federal employees through prevention programs; that agency prevention strategies take into account organizational geographic location, mission, and occupational mix; and that managers foster organizational cultures that do not tolerate violent behaviors and that take reports of such behaviors seriously.

Agency website: https://www.mspb.gov/

Table of Contents

Executive Summary i

Background i

Findings ii

Recommendations iv

Introduction 1

Why was this Study Conducted? 1

What is the Purpose of this Study? 3

How was this Study Conducted? 3

Background 7

What is Workplace Violence? 7

How Often Does Workplace Violence Occur? 8

Who Commits Workplace Violence? 9

What are the Consequences of Workplace Violence? 12

What Federal Policies Apply? 13

Observations of Federal Workplace Violence 17

Workplace Violence Across the Federal Government 17

Workplace Violence and Federal Occupations 19

Workplace Violence and Federal Agencies 23

Do Federal Employees Believe Agencies Keep Them Safe? 27

Attitudes of the Federal Workforce 27

Attitudes of Federal Employees Who Have Observed Workplace Violence 29

Consequences of Federal Workplace Violence 31

Incidence of Physical Injury and Property Damage/Loss 31

Federal Employee Engagement and Workplace Violence 35

The Role of Organizational Culture 37

Preventing Workplace Violence 39

Proper Planning 40

Mitigation of Internal Threats 43

Mitigation of External Threats 53

Workplace Violence Prevention Program Evaluation 55

Conclusions and Recommendations 59

Conclusions 59

Recommendations 60


Federal employees, their supervisors, agency management, union personnel, especially Human Capital officers and employees across the U.S. Federal Government may be interested in this report.  Additionally, members of Congress, and Federal managers within the Office of Management and Budget, and Office of Personnel Management that is responsible for policy making authority may find this guide helpful as a reference with human resources and civil service matters.  Additionally, students pursuing research for courses within these fields, especially public administration, human resources, employment law, organizational development, and industrial-organizational psychology may find this primary source document that deals with civil service issues helpful for assignments.

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