S2 – A Smarter and Safer Workplace

It’s a pretty amazing world out there – a world full of hope – and social networking and social media marketing has helped to make it so.

Let me explain. Recently I posted some personal blog posts about stopping domestic violence and Mark posted an HRmarketer blog post titled Johnson and Johnson: Employee Health Indicators that included a "sampling of the sustainability programs of Johnson & Johnson" and includes information on J&J's impact on the environment, employee safety (e.g., fleet car accidents) and employee health (percent who use tobacco).

Then just yesterday I received a tweet from @kwells2416 (Kim Wells, Executive Director of the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence) who wrote:

J & J also asks employees about domestic violence as result of some work we are doing w/ them.

And then:

Go to http://www.caepv.org/action/S2.php and you can see the J & J presentation along w/ many others.

I was pleasantly floored. You can joke all you want about Twitter and social networking services, but folks are communicating and sharing valuable information to help better organizations and individuals alike.

Sadly the effects of domestic violence in the workplace seems to be spoken about even less frequently than when it occurs at home. According to the stats I found at CAEPV:

On September 25, 2007, CAEPV, Liz Claiborne and Safe Horizon released a groundbreaking survey on corporate executives and employee awareness of the impact of domestic violence in the workplace.

Surprisingly, the survey shows that a significant majority of corporate executives and their employees from the nation's largest companies recognize the harmful and extensive impact of domestic violence in the workplace, yet only 13% of corporate executives think their companies should address the problem.

The attitudes of executives differ dramatically from an overwhelming majority of employees (84%) who believe that corporations should be a part of the solution to addressing domestic violence.

Although nearly 2 in 3 corporate executives (63%) say that domestic violence is a major problem in our society and 55% cite its harmful impact on productivity in their companies, a majority of top executives have blinders on when it comes to seeing the reality of domestic violence victims working in their own companies.

(Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence, September 2007)

Now imagine how the economic meltdown – losing jobs and homes – has excerbated partner violence. I found an article from AOL's BlackVoices titled Domestic Violence & Economic Abuse Increase as Economy Goes South that pulled some examples and stats together on this subject. Sadly the media isn't highlighting this enough either.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline conducted a survey from November 12 to December 31 last year, asking nearly 8,000 callers about the connection between financial issues and the level of violence in their household:

"54% answered yes to the question, 'Has there been a change in your household's financial situation in the last year?'; and 64% also answered the second question affirmatively, which was, 'Do you believe the abusive behavior has increased in the past year?'," reports the survey.

Allstate Foundation Domestic Violence Program (which is affiliated with the CAEPV) says that economic abuse is a tactic used to control relationships and maintain power by preventing access to money and/or other financial resources. To combat economic abuse, the Allstate Foundation Domestic Violence Program has set up a website to provide resources, knowledge and skills to help victims.

Here are some economic abuse examples, via BlackVoices:

The good news is there are organizations like CAEPV. Companies can and should provide partner violence programs for their employees. Download Six Steps for Creating a Successful Workplace Program today.

Post by Kevin Grossman (join me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn)

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