The McKenzie Mailer

September, 2003

Volume 3, Number 9




Human Resources Certification Study Group



Starting Tuesday, September 9, 2003


FCCJ is holding classes for individuals to prepare for the PHR and SPHR certification.  There will be 12 classes held every Tuesday evening from 6 to 9 p.m.  So far, 92% of the participants passed the test.  Sign up now!


Call Phyllis Gardner at 633-5968 for more details. 



WBO Luncheon


 “Achieving A High Performance Culture”


Tuesday, September 30

Call Terry Rainey at     396-0447 for more information



McKenzie & Company

Your Solution to Employee Issues


Bob McKenzie, President

(904) 273-8637 – Office

(904) 655-2120 – Cell





Last week six people were killed by a disgruntled former employee in a Chicago warehouse.  This marks the third time this summer that someone opened fire on co-workers resulting in 15 deaths.  An additional 11 were wounded in these assaults.  These attacks have occurred at large corporations such as a Lockheed Martin as well as smaller companies such as Windy City Core Supply, the site of last week’s rampage.  No one is immune to this type of violence.


The world is getting more stressful.  However, there are a number of steps you can take to greatly minimize the risk of violence in your workplace.  The first is to conduct a thorough background check on all prospective employees.  Aside from the obvious of ensuring all applicants complete an application form, it is imperative that candidates are asked tough questions during the interview process.  Find out what frustrates them or how they deal with stressful situations. Before making a job offer, check their background and conduct drug testing, call references and check for criminal history of the final candidates.  Salvador Tapia, the person who killed the six in Chicago had a long criminal history of violence.  Don Dymer, President of SingleSource Services, a Jacksonville Beach based company that conducts background screening and has a web based applicant management system, sites five cases in Jacksonville in the last two years in which the deaths of customers and co-workers could have been avoided if the company had conducted criminal background checks.


Institute a broad zero-tolerance policy for any acts or threats of violence in the workplace.  In this policy include a mechanism for employees to safely report potentially violent behavior.  Things to look for are instances of elevated anger, bizarre conduct, unusually high interest in weapons, threats of violence or revenge and continually blaming others for their own shortfalls. 


Implement security measures including lighting, surveillance systems and limited access to your building if possible.  If your business is a bank or a retail establishment that is open to the general public, have an emergency plan in place. Employees must know what to do in the event of aggressive or potentially violent behavior on the part of a customer. 


Watch for signs of domestic violence and encourage employees to inform you of any restraining orders they may have against a former spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend. Most importantly, treat all employees, customers, vendors and former employees with respect and dignity even when terminating their employment. 


Keep you and your employees safe.