During and Post—COVID there were a significant uptick in workplace violence threats across multiple client workforces. Whether exacerbated by the social and financial issues or triggered by lay-offs, or mandated vaccinations, the ETS team were required to support a range of clients to counter workplace violence threats.
On receiving intelligence that a threat was perceived the ETS intel team worked closely with client security, human resources, and legal to investigate and assess the threat. If terminations were inevitable, or issues escalated the ETS team developed strategy to support the process including providing services such as;
- Psychological and behavioral assessments
- Open-source social media Intelligence and monitoring
- Risk consultancy
- Overt and covert security during terminations
- Surveillance pre and post termination
- Static and mobile supplementary armed security
- Liaison with law enforcement
In this case study, a full time employee security manager was going to be terminated and there was significant risk that they would react negatively, and they also had control of the majority of technical systems and proprietary information. ETS were consulted and we suggested a multi-layered approach that involved law enforcement, surveillance, concurrent IT and cyber activity, and close engagement with the principal family. The individual reacted badly, as was anticipated, but the multiple layers in-place reduced damage and allowed for the family office to quickly gain positive control of all systems.
There is a fine line, especially with terminations, between having robust and risk-aligned security in-case the worst-case scenario occurs, versus being a potential catalyst to negative reaction, and a flashpoint to an otherwise innocuous interaction. If persons deem that they are being unfairly monitored, or security is improperly applied it can cause more issues than if there were none. On the flip side we have experienced a level of complacency or fear of negative optics from human resource and legal departments that has led to significant risk exposure.
It is imperative that a team consult and assess each situation and seek subject matter expert advice and support.