Protecting Your People! Empowering Your Employees!

On December 2, 2015, 14 people were killed and 22 others were seriously injured in a terrorist attack known as the San Bernardino shooting.  But did you know these 2 terrorists also attempted to bomb the facility in which they worked?

The San Bernardino facility conducted monthly active-shooter training. One might be tempted to say,… “It didn’t work!”

Are Corporate Active Shooter Drills a waste of time & money?

Instead of fear-based training, try “Empowering Your Employees” with protective awareness.

At many businesses, Active Shooter Training consists of an informative lecture to employees who truly don’t understand “Evil”.

A lot of the current Active Shooter training programs provides an informative insight into the popular practice of “preparedness training”.  The reality is the only real take-away many of these training programs provide is nothing more than a false sense of security.

Often times, the training did not work because the “Offenders” were intimately familiar with how vulnerable they were.  As in the case of the San Bernardino shooters, they took part in those training’s too!

Many corporate active shooter drills are a waste of time and money.  I should know, I have conducted hundreds of Active Shooter Training Programs to schools and businesses.  Do I think my training programs are a waste of time and money? Absolutely not!  My training programs empower the entire staff, from the CEO to the janitor.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t observed many Active Shooter Programs that have the opposite effect of what they are meant to accomplish. They weren’t making the employees safer…they were making the attackers more effective.

Your employees do not want to be burdened by fear. They want to learn practical ways to protect themselves. Empower your employees to learn how to be ‘self protecting’.  They want to be rewarded for their effort.

So what are organizations to do?

How Do You Create Awareness, Without Creating Paranoia?

Today’s safety is more about promoting social accountability and rewarding awareness than it is about “RUN-HIDE-FIGHT” (see video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VcSwejU2D0 ).

Empowering Your Employees is about understanding that everyday safety requires the participation of everyone.

If you are responsible for the safety of your organization, what you really want to accomplish are these two things:

First: Improve the everyday awareness of your employees with the knowledge they need to save themselves in an emergency. Help them to have a plan!  Teach them where to go and know how to get there.  Inform them of improvised weapons such as scissors, box cutters, hammers, screwdrivers, fire extinguishers, chairs and pens.

Think of this in terms of an Airline Safety Brief. Empower them with a course of action, but leave enough room for personal improvisation to thwart the expectations of an offender.

Second: Reward participation in your awareness and reporting program. Even if you can only get one out of ten people to go along, you’ll have increased your protective intelligence model by ten percent.


Try doing something that engages everyone.

Option 1: Make safety a game that has a near-immediate reward. 

Example: Mindfulness Mondays” 

Hide an orange envelope somewhere in your complex.

Tape it to a fire extinguisher (helps remind staff where they are) or near an emergency exit (helps with their personal planning.)

You could even “hide” it in plain sight — like the lobby — where most people don’t pay attention to their surroundings because they are operating on auto-pilot.

Send out a Monday morning email to help get the game started:

(Show a photo of the Orange Envelope)

FIND ME and win a $20.00 iTunes gift card!

Giving away a $20 iTunes gift card once a week and a “Dinner for Two” once a month will pay great dividends!  It will get your employees involved in security awareness.  For approximately $200/month ($80 in gift cards or cash and $120 in a restaurant gift card) you can dramatically increase the overall protective intelligence and safety awareness of your organization.

This will have a much more favorable impact on your organization than paying some talking head a few thousand dollars to come out and speak to your organization about stuff you’ll never incorporate because you’re employees don’t really want it in the first place.

Option 2: “Bottle Cap” safety tips you can update each week. 

Utilizing a similar template, use this to engage your employees on everyday safety insights.  Again, it bears repeating, Empowering Your Employees can help promote their own protective posture.


  • There are nine emergency exits in the building. Can you name where they are? Email us the answers for a chance to win a prize;
  • If there’s a building evacuation do you have a safe-haven identified within walking distance of work? Can you name three places nearby? Email answers for a chance to win a prize. Remember not to congregate near the building;
  • Did you know that 911 is less effective from your mobile phone than it is from the phone on your desk? If you have to dial 911, use a landline when possible so the dispatcher can trace your physical location instead of the cell phone tower relaying your call. Do you know which side of the building faces north? Email the compass direction of the main entrance for your chance to win a prize.

Unlike some active shooter drills which burden employees with fear, try promoting practices which will EMPOWER YOUR EMPLOYEES!

Empowering Them, Empowers You!

Empowering your employees with their own sense of preparedness allows them to play an active role in their own security and that of your business!  Now when they see something of real consequence, they already have the contact email in their phone. They have already demonstrated a willingness to participate, and they know what actions need to be taken.


Don’t let your company have a photo montage of it’s victims to violence.  Prepare them on a regular basis and empower them to be the first line of defense against “Evil”.

Let’s stop the fear-based training.

We are smarter today than we were yesterday.

For more information on Active Shooter Response Training, see our other blogs:  http://shaffersecuritygroup.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1271&action=edit

Contact Shaffer Security Group for your Risk & Threat Assessment and let us develop a strategic security plan utilizing security, intelligence & training solutions to prevent workplace violence.