Understanding small business engagement in workplace violence prevention programs
Worksite wellness, safety, and violence prevention programs have low penetration among small, independent businesses. This study examined barriers and strategies influencing small business participation in workplace violence prevention programs (WVPPs).
A semistructured interview guide was used in 32 telephone interviews.
The study took place at the University of North Carolina Injury Prevention Research Center.
Participating were a purposive sample of 32 representatives of small business-serving organizations (e.g., business membership organizations, regulatory agencies, and economic development organizations) selected for their experience with small businesses.
This study was designed to inform improved dissemination of Crime Free Business (CFB), a WVPP for small, independent retail businesses.
Thematic qualitative data analysis was used to identify key barriers and strategies for promoting programs and services to small businesses.
Three key factors that influence small business engagement emerged from the analysis: (1) small businesses' limited time and resources, (2) low salience of workplace violence, (3) influence of informal networks and source credibility. Identified strategies include designing low-cost and convenient programs, crafting effective messages, partnering with influential organizations and individuals, and conducting outreach through informal networks.
Workplace violence prevention and public health practitioners may increase small business participation in programs by reducing time and resource demands, addressing small business concerns, enlisting support from influential individuals and groups, and emphasizing business benefits of participating in the program.