Brandie de la Rosa and e3inspire
Nipping Violence in the Bud
|Brandie de la Rosa it an IT professional who decided to put her
expertise to good use when she created e3inspire, a violence
It does impact other employees. For example, if I come into the workplace and I am experiencing this, number one, there is the loss of productivity with my job. If
your job is dependent on my job getting done and I don’t get mine done efficiently and effectively, that impacts you as my co-worker. You may have to pick up that
slack when I call in sick or show up late or leave early.”
Or the worst case scenario may be when violence occurs in the workplace when an individual is killed in the workplace by a significant other who murders
onlookers as well.
“We have the case, for example, of Marathon Bank that happened not that long ago in Wausau,” de la Rosa said. “Unfortunately, there were employees who were
fatally wounded because the person’s ex-husband showed up at work and opened fire. That is the bigger impact to other employees, colleague or members of the
public. It impacts the public safety of the company.”
The direct and impact of violence can be very costly to employers. And that is where de la Rosa’s company steps in.
“We educate companies about what the impact of that trauma looks like to their employees and their staff and help them understand what it is costing them and how
to cut those costs as well as risk mitigation around that, what that could mean to their organization,” de la Rosa said. “We empower them with the different tools,
how to do those tools of risk mitigations such as policies, procedures, workshops and increased awareness for their employees and how to support that and
actually engaging all of their employees so that everyone is aware that their organization supports them in every facet, from the top level down. They aren’t just
referred out to an EAP program outside the company. It is something that all of the managers and supervisors are well engaged with.”
Over 75 percent of companies do not have a plan in place to prevent and deal with violence that impacts the workplace. And de la Rosa finds many of those
inadequate to the task.
“With domestic violence usually, it is one of those things like, ‘We’ll go into a room and do computer-based learning, click through, watch the sexual harassment
video real quick, sign off on compliance and then go on your way,’” de la Rosa said. “If there is an issue, call EAP on their 800 number, which is based in California
or someplace and they don’t know you. How comfortable is that? And I can tell you with domestic violence victims and sexual assault victims, you re-traumatize
them by making them watch a video about domestic violence or sexual assault. They will click through it and not pay attention to it, just to get through it and sign the
paperwork. That’s it. It’s so painful and if they live it or have lived it, they don’t want to rewatch it. How are you supporting them if that does nothing for them on a
personal level? It just makes them feel worse, like they are just a number.”
De la Rosa has developed an app that she uses as a part of her services that she provides to companies.
“It’s on your phone,” de la Rosa said about the mobile app that is given to all employees of the company. “It’s disguised and confidential. There are a lot of tips on
there on how to stay safe. There is also a quiz on there to let you know if you are in a dangerous situation because a lot of the time, people are not even aware that
they are in a dangerous situation because it hasn’t gotten physical yet — she or he hasn’t hit me yet — but there are so many levels to it. And even after they have
been physically abused, a lot of times, they still don’t realize they are in an abusive situation because they have been manipulated so much to think that it is their
fault. So this quiz walks them through it. And again, there are safety tips and resources. And they don’t feel that they have to look at their computer and the IT
department is going to look over their shoulder to see that they are looking up domestic violence or sexual assault information. It’s all on their phone and if they are
looking at it, it was supplied by their employer. They won’t be worried if a manager happens to walk by and see it. It is more discreet and it is better than giving a
pamphlet. If HR or a shelter gives them a pamphlet, they are going to throw it away. They don’t want to be seen with it.”
As a part of her service, de la Rosa also works with all members of the company, managers to line staff, to train them on how to deal with, report and prevent
violence that impacts the workplace. As a part of her services, she also assists employees of the company who are fleeing domestic violence situations to find
housing and furniture and other items they may need to make the transition. And it’s all done confidentially.
While some companies may look at violence prevention as a luxury, it only takes one incident to possibly bankrupt a company.
“Some companies might think, ‘Well, how much does it cost,’” de la Rosa said. “The fact of the matter is they are already paying for it. There is $8.3 billion a year that
is spent on this, sexual assault and domestic violence in the workplace, from the outside in because of loss productivity or someone coming in and doing some
damage, because of someone being harassed. Fifty-six percent of the people are harassed at work by that outside party, either in person, by email or phone. They
are causing issues. That doesn’t take into consideration if someone is injured or colleagues are injured — a la the Marathon Bank incident — all of the lawsuits that
come out of that. What does that look like to the public eye? And the average cost of a lawsuit is $860,000 paid out in one claim.”
A stitch in time saves nine.
For more information about e3inspire, contact Brandie de la Rosa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Jonathan Gramling
It seems that every time one takes a peek at the media — whether it is reading a
newspaper, listening to the radio, watching TV or reading something online — violence has
hit a workplace or a school, which is also work to the school personnel. And while the
news sticks with it for 1-2 weeks reporting on the immediate impact on the victims and the
motivations of the perpetrator, it rarely show the long term impact of the violence and its
repercussions on the workplace and the people who work there.
“What happens with trauma is employees lose productivity because of the person’s lack of
concentration,” said Brandie de la Rosa, founder of e3inspire, a workplace violence
advisory company. “For example, if the employee just experienced sexual assault or
domestic violence at home and now they have to show up at work at 8 a.m. on point and
bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready to go, they aren’t concentrating on the job at hand
because they are trying to deal with the violence. That could be very critical when you
think about it. With a surgeon, would you want to go under the knife with a surgeon who
has all of this stuff going on in their mind because they just left home after getting
physically assaulted? Or people are taking days off from work or leaving early or coming in
late because again they are dealing with what just happened. They might be taking the time
off because they have to go to court appearances or obtain restraining orders. Or they
might just up and quit because they are in fear for their lives and they feel that their only
choice is to up and quit because they think they are going to get fired anyway. All of that
constitutes costs or lack of productivity and the actual costs surrounding that.