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Nater Associates, Ltd.

 

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Felix P. Nater
President and Owner

Nater Associates, Ltd.

Felix P. Nater, Nater Associates, Ltd.Felix P. Nater, President and Owner of Nater Associates, Ltd. a human resource security management consulting practice focusing on workplace violence prevention consulting, workplace security consulting and security awareness helps manufacturing, processing, production, and utility firms implement and manage workplace security and violence prevention strategy.

Mr. Nater is a nationally recognized highly skilled Workplace Violence Prevention Advisor & Consultant retired from federal law enforcement with more than 30 years of investigative, law enforcement, program management and security experiences and 20 years working with private, public and government clients..

Read Felix’s Full Bio

Contact Felix today  to have your business problems needs properly addressed.

UPDATED APRIL 12, 2022

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Thank you for joining us again today Felix. Another workplace violence incident recently made headlines… ”Man shot, killed his boss and shot accountant before taking his own life at Burr Ridge office complex”. What is your perspective Felix regarding background-screening and “best practices” regarding the hiring of new employees that employers should be following at this time.

Felix Nater: I start my answer by emphasizing that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Employers will always take the route of least resistance in managing their expenditures. Employers tend to balk at the costs of background-screening and the time factor involved, weighed against meeting their budgets and operational needs. While it is impossible to predict that 100 percent of the persons selected today will stay violent free, Employers should take reasonable measures to conduct background-screening, often referred to as background investigations in order to reduce the risk of hiring individuals with a history of violent behavior or predisposition for violence. Conducting background-screening represents an Employer’s due diligence in providing for a safe and secure workplace.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: What makes this situation problematic?

Felix Nater: What makes this situation problematic is that the violence-prone individual who is hired without any concern, does his work satisfactorily or better, hides his predisposition towards violence until things do not go his way. In this situation, the shooter was probably known in the business park where he worked as a truck driver for two other trucking firms. Giving the Employers the benefit of the doubt, let’s assume they were due diligent and began a background-screening that resulted in a concerning report that might have prompted the separation discussions around poor performance. Or, the Employer might have discovered a concerning confrontational demeanor that arose to a level of unacceptable behavior and was in the process of separating Spicer. There’s enough speculation in this unfortunate situation to draw several conclusions.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: What makes this situation unfortunate?

Felix Nater: Not only was this situation unfortunate, but it was also preventable. We know from the News reports and my Armchair Analysis that after leaving the murder scene, Spicer approached his two former Employers shooting the accountant and missing the Boss at the other Employer’s place of business. An inexpensive background-screening request could have provided some preliminary insight.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Given Spicer’s employment history it seems quite likely that if a proper background screening was performed, red flags could have been raised before this person was hired.

Felix Nater: I think you raise valid points. However, I return to the theory that Employers who are focused on budgets and operational needs find themselves cutting corners to meet their needs. I would rather have a completed background-screening report on file than nothing at all. I have spoken at functions on the topic of pre-screening and background screening where attendees applauded the presentation and publicly appreciated my comments, but admitted that time and immediate business concerns placed them between a rock and a hard place. Meeting business and serving customer needs weighs heavily in the hearts and minds of many small business. Employers who cut corners on the background-screening is a risk that interferes with their due diligence. Some say, it they could only get the results much sooner.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: So, what can Employers do better?

Felix Nater: I am not asking employers to break any laws but just to be due diligent in the hiring and firing process. Frequently, predisposed to violence employees who have been “terminated” from their jobs become perpetrators as they see their incomes terminated. “Terminations” can be extremely stressful events not only for those being discharged but also for those who must conduct the dismissals and for those left behind. So, have protocols in place that guide both the “hiring and firing” processes. Put everybody on notice on the protocols. I marvel how many managers are so focused on numerical outcomes without recognizing that meeting metrics, and risk management principles without a focus on workplace environment is of paramount importance.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Thank you again for joining us today Felix - is there anything else you would like to add?

Felix Nater: Stop being a penny wise and a pound foolish when it comes to workplace security and workforce protection. Juries frown on excuses.

UPDATED FEBRUARY 14, 2022

The recent preventable death of furniture employee Brianna Kupfer in January this year, while working alone reminds me of the importance of not taking workforce security for granted. 

The assumption that such an event would not occur in a “nice” neighborhood is an assumption that attracted the criminal in this case to take advantage of it.  

This tragedy underscores the importance of having the right mindset as an organizational philosophy and the importance of having this key security fundamental in place;  never leave one employee alone at any establishment where money, jewelry, or narcotics are an appealing attraction. 

Every company’s security approach will vary, depending upon industry, size, and culture of the business. 

The violence interdiction process I promote will help diagnose the needs of your company, design new approaches or reinforce existing policies, plans and procedures. In the end, workplace violence prevention is identifying causation, risk mitigation, prevention and training that promotes a mindset that provides for a secure workplace for the workforce, visitors, vendors, and others in your workplaces. Don’t wait for the surprise, anticipate it.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Thank you for joining us today, Felix. It’s an honor to speak with a security professional with 30+ years of experience in federal law enforcement and specific experience-centered and expertise-based projects acquired working with Clients over the past 20 years. Before drilling down into the Security Consulting Services  you provide, we understand that you are celebrating your 20th year as Nater Associates, Ltd. please tell us about that and your background and experience.

Felix P. Nater: This year I celebrate my 20th Year Anniversary as president and owner of Nater Associates, Ltd. It wasn’t easy but I overcame hurdles and obstacles to meet the challenges. When I first started the business in 2002, I had just completed a sole-source critical vulnerability assessment for the U.S. Postal Service on Long Island. Today, I have a national footprint as a solo security management consulting practice. I get invitations to attend national conferences, invitations to submit articles by national security and business magazines and was interviewed throughout the years as well as appeared on local and national news networks. It has been an exciting run working with incredible business leaders and organizations showing them how to demystify the threat of workplace violence. Showing them how to stand up and manage their own workplace violence prevention initiative as part of a human-resource security strategy. The relationships built enhanced my consulting skillset and expertise. Working with great organizations have allowed me to dispel the notion that independent security consultants specializing in workplace violence prevention could not attract Fortune 500 firms or that solo practitioners were not viewed upon as dependable. Over these exciting 20 years, the projects ran the gamut, helping organizations from the top down assess and evaluate their workplace violence prevention posture to include policy, plans, procedures, developed and presented workplace violence and active shooter onsite training as well as webinars, and delivery of customized training packages for manufacturing, processing, production, warehouse, pharmaceutical, utility firms, and city and state organizations in NY, NJ, NC, SC, Virginia, and TN. In short, I worked with organizations who truly wanted change and invested in Nater Associates as their partner.   

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com:  Workplace violence is a major problem and, unfortunately, it’s on the rise. “Every year, 2 million people experience some form of workplace violence.” Please tell us about the Nater Associates Strategies to Prevent Workplace Violence.

Felix P. Nater: Nater Associates, Ltd.’s strategy is focused on 4 important concepts; worksite specific assessments and risk mitigation, causation, and violence prevention strategy which includes training and involves the client in the process.  My matured violence interdiction methodology, a 7-step process that includes the client’s resources, and an Organizational Support Model consulting process that integrates the client organization as partners during the executive level information briefing. The objective of the executive briefing is to agree on their understanding of the outcome. Workplace violence prevention is presented as an organizational strategy, a holistic initiative focused on a comprehensive mindset. All myths are dispelled. The cookie-cutter mentality is tossed as expedient and not tied to superior performance and cultural alignment. Discussions are focused with leaving the organization with solutions they claim as their own. Differentiation is key in making the distinction for the investment.  The violence interdiction model is presented as the model for organizations that do not have dedicated resources to the prevention initiative. Building trust and confidence in the relationship is emphasized by my warranty. My thinking is to leave the client in a better position to protect the workforce, the workplace and their bottom-line from the threat of violence and civil liability allegations of negligence in management, security, or training.

Watch the video here
with Felix Nater about
WORKPLACE VIOLENCE.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com:  The testimonials about your services, Felix, are quite impressive and speak volumes about your capabilities and the services you provide. Care to talk about any recent engagements or success stories?

Felix P. Nater: I had the pleasure of working with a nationally recognized rent to own furniture company to deliver an eLearning turnkey training solution. The VP of Facilities and Security Operations and security director made it clear that they did not want anything that looked off the shelf or that contained general content, it had to be worksite specific to their work environments.  They wanted a solution that the organization could call their own by branding, appearance and worksite familiarity and supported their workplace security and workplace violence prevention policy. In the end the project was successful because they were open to the innovative thinking and suggestions. We successfully collaborated to deliver a 7-module online training video program that integrated with the Client’s online learning platform.

Success Story: After completing the project the security director was so impressed that he authorized my firm to market the eLearning concept as a product designed by Nater Associates, Ltd. As a result, my eLearning partner now offers customized eLearning training for consultants and trainers.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Can we talk about COVID for a moment? There are lots of concerns about returning to work in the post-covid office….what are your thoughts, Felix, about best practices for management as they deal with this challenge.

Felix P. Nater: My research suggest that stress and mental health will shape the leadership challenges that will face employers for some time. COVID-19 will leave behind a complicated form of grief that will linger — potentially for many years causing differing amounts of emotions – disbelief, fear and even anger – among workers, much like after a disaster. In as much as Employers have a duty and responsibility to provide for a safe and secure workplace, they cannot possibly discipline and “terminate” an entire workforce. Managing such matters can be headed off through innovative, flexible, empathetic leadership. I am not suggesting dispensing with discipline but to manage the escalation component of confrontations with tough, caring leadership. In terms of best practices, I recommend empathy, thoughtfulness, and effective leadership, alternatives to immediate disciplinary action, adjudication of minor acts of defiance immediately, allow supervisors to de-escalate potentially volatile situations on the spot, hold supervisors responsible for swift intervention, apply a mindset that conveys tough, caring leadership. The right mindset is not to assume the negative by being reactionary.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: The security headlines keep coming, day after day, and they are unfortunately, not good ones….Colonial Pipeline, “shots fired”, vehicle ramming, smash & grab, insider threats, civil unrest …our daily lives, our infrastructure sometimes feels more vulnerable than ever before…and the bad guy might be a foreign government, terrorist group, sophisticated hacker group, home-grown terrorist, and, unfortunately, sometimes from within, from a disgruntled employee. Most recently, January 14, 2022, the US Department of Labor,  OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the Montefiore Medical Center. What is your message Felix about program management, training, education, and situational awareness to mitigate risks in this constant threat environment?   

Felix P. Nater: The incidents you cited all reflect conditions and situations that fall under what OSHA covers under the 4 Categories of Workplace Violence in helping to identify potential worksite specific risks. Sometimes this can mean what to do when shots are fired. What to do and not to do when confronted with a threat of violence. What not to do when your car is rammed. How to react to a smash and grab incident by a mob. What not to do when confronted by an armed robber. How to respond during a terrorist threat. All these examples may never happen at your workplace but should be addressed depending on the worksite nature of your workplace setting. 

The Montefiore Medical Center citation is an example of all the above. While I am not privy to the circumstances of this January 14, 2022, OSHA, (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) citation it is huge. Their workplace violence program was cited for Inadequate Workplace Violence Prevention Safeguards. It is impactful because OSHA found the program lacked effective engineering and administrative controls and employee training to protect workers against the recurring hazard of workplace violence. Can your organizations honestly say you can pass an unannounced OSHA Inspection?

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com In considering the above response can you help us understand why these conditions and/or situations appear to go unaddressed or misunderstood and why. We certainly agree that looking backwards they appear glaringly obvious.

Felix P. Nater: Looking backwards and connecting the dots is always easy. The example incidents provided represent a clear understanding of what workplace violence prevention means, clarification of assumptions, resolution of myths, and how uncoordinated business decisions unintentionally contributes to unintentional consequences. The incidents cited all reflect conditions and situations that falls under a holistic workplace violence prevention training initiative in addressing adequate risk mitigation measures and workforce security. While I certainly lack insight as to the circumstances behind the Montefiore Medical Center OSHA Workplace Violence citations on January 14, 2022, it offers a glimpse of the problem. It’s a good time to value the importance of assessments that are both workforce and worksite specific.

In the context of workplace violence prevention, comprehensive and a holistic mindset, the recent Brianna Kupfer’s killing on Thursday, January 13, 2022, while working alone at the Croft House furniture store in Los Angeles, CA is a prime example of how organizations are not informed about workplace violence prevention and risk mitigation. Management seems more influenced by management decisions and allocation of resources. Something as simple as having two employees in the store at the time might have discouraged the attack. I marvel how many managers are so focused on numerical outcomes without recognizing that meeting metrics without a focus on workplace environment is of paramount importance. Myths, confusion, misunderstanding, and assumptions are risk mitigation inhibitors that contribute to poor decisions. 

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: You have been quoted in articles and interviews referring to workplace violence prevention as a holistic, ongoing process involving multiple intervention strategies what exactly does that mean and how will it help organizations deal with causation, prevention, and risk mitigation?

Felix P. Nater: A holistic ongoing process involving multiple interventions strategies looks at the OSHA 4 Categories of workplace violence as an ongoing process that integrates resources and coordinates the prevention and response effort before and following an incident. As such, it promotes recognition of the cause in preventing recurrence, encourages reporting based on employee perception of fairness and swift efficient action towards resolution. It empowers organizations regardless of the size to work with agility within their limited or available resources proactively to resolve problems early on by offering alternative resolutions. By efficiently, I mean working seamlessly behind the scenes with or without a mature security or human resource department to deal with problematic individuals and situations by acting in a robust, agile, and proactive way to address behavior and/or manage the threat or risk. Those organizations who employ the robust, agile, and proactive (RAP) strategy as an organizational response will anticipate action and be better prepared to take corrective actions as a comprehensive workplace violence prevention initiative.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Please tell us about your Webinars and the interest generated?

Felix P. Nater:  Webinars have allowed me to adapt and scale my consulting practice during the Covid-19 Pandemic. The webinar industry and I collaborated to design and deliver to their audiences giving my practice an opportunity to market and showcase my content to a variety of interested audiences. The benefits were that I was in control of my travel, the content shaped the discussion around my strategy and brand, without any marketing expenditures other than time. I found there was interest in the following webinars: Managing the Threat of Workplace Violence: How to Achieve an Agile and Proactive Mindset in Managing Risks, Active Shooter Mindset and Workplace Violence Mitigation Measures, and Covid-19 Return to the Workplace Threats, Risks, Mitigation, Challenges and Opportunities.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Thanks again for joining us today, Felix, are there any other subjects you would like to discuss?

Felix P. Nater: Seize the moment during this transitional Covid-19 period to value the assessment process in assessing and evaluating workplaces as a way of identifying new approaches to enhancing the strategic value of workplace violence and workplace violence prevention. Now may be an opportune time to improve, modify, or scale the prevention approach to meet the OSHA expectations. The idea is to ensure the effort conforms to workplace specific risks whether at remote locations or traditional workplace settings. In that way the assessment process identifies vulnerabilities or validates existing measures. In short it helps organizations become proactive and more efficient at anticipating problems in line with the OSHA and pass an unannounced OSHA Inspection. There are a lot of employees out there who do not know they are victims of workplace violence and who might assume because they do not know, do not report it. This reflects poorly on the organization’s proactivity.


 

Nater Associates, Ltd.