Carlisle Homes, an employer in the construction industry, has introduced a 'Zero Harm' education program to prevent psychological harm resulting from escalating customer aggression.
The company implemented their program six months ago as a proactive strategy to address increasing instances of emotionally charged and threatening interactions involving customers.
These clients have been frustrated by supply delays and cost issues that have plagued the construction industry since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 'Zero Harm' program incorporates a requirement for clients to commit to a code of conduct, setting clear expectations for how they will collaborate with the company from the very beginning. It encompasses training for all people-leaders in emotional awareness, mental health first aid, and positive psychology.
Customer-facing team members receive additional training in dispute escalation management and cultural sensitivity.
The primary objective of this initiative is to establish a mutually respectful relationship between workers and clients, thereby reducing conflicts arising from differing expectations. It focuses on emotional safety alongside physical safety, with the company's aim to integrate the program seamlessly into its workplace culture.
The company says it is too soon to obtain any measurable results from the Zero Harm program, but noted that since implementing the program, there’ve been no incidents of customer aggression.
Source: OHS Alert, 06 October