How to do active shooter trainings without scaring employees?

Mary Ellis asked 2 years ago
We want to put in active shooter trainings for our employees. How can we do this without making employees uncomfortable? Are there better ways to communicate with employees? We don’t want to scare them.
1 Answer
Riia O’Donnell replied 2 years ago
Kudos to you for taking responsibility for employee safety seriously! It’s an unfortunate truth that in today’s turbulent times this type of training is needed. Uncomfortable at best – terrifying at worst – it may be a necessary evil.

Job one is to minimize panic: all communications must stress the training is for the ‘unlikely event a situation arises.’ But if you have a credible threat against your organization or employees, get the assistance of law enforcement immediately without regard for anything else.

Do you have a safety team or manager in-house? They should be on board from the idea stage to selecting professional trainers and helping with rollout.

If you don’t have a safety team, consider communicating you’re looking at implementing this type of training and ask for volunteers. You may find employees are not intimidated – but grateful and anxious to help. Again, remind employees the training is proactive – there is no known threat.

An alternative: marshaling team leaders and influencers. They can float the idea in-house, get the pulse of employees and see what the response will be.

To eliminate anticipatory panic, set up the training and send employees in blind. The program must begin with reassuring there is no threat: this training is because we value you and are doing everything possible to keep you safe in the workplace – no matter how unlikely it is this will occur. While no one wants to think this can happen at their organization, being prepared can save lives.