• The role of Employee Assistant Programme in managing workplace violence: The experience of South African Police Service members in the greater Tzaneen municipality

      Mabunda, Rivalani Valentia; Terblanche, Lourie S. (2019-04)
      The purpose of this study was mainly, to explore the role of Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) in managing workplace violence, through looking at the experiences of SAPS members in the Greater Tzaneen Municipality. Workplace violence is both an academic and scientific concept which is receiving increased attention. Even though every employee should experience the workplace as a violence-free and safe environment, where he or she is able to perform his/her duties without fear of harm, this is unfortunately not the reality in most cases. Workplace violence is a reality in the present world and requires the attention of all stakeholders in the work organisation, employees, the employer as well as EAP professionals. The literature has highlighted that workplace violence can take different forms such as physical and psychological, with experiences ranging from bullying, verbal insults, physical assaults, harassment, and intimidation, to abuse and murder (Schiff, 2010:20). Police officers are not exempted from these experiences of workplace violence. Most of the police officers’ experiences of workplace violence which have been reported in the media platforms suggest that these experiences emanate from the general public, or people who are not members of the South African Police Services (SAPS). The qualitative research approach was utilized in this study, to conceptualise and describe the experiences of workplace violence by SAPS members; exploring the effects of workplace violence in the psycho social functioning and work performance and ; exploring the role of EAP in the managing workplace violence. The researcher used semi structured interview Schedule whereby, 15 interviews were conducted with 15 police officers. A collective case study design which focuses on different experiences of workplace violence by police officers was utilised. The findings indicated that workplace violence is well conceptualized and understood by police officers in Greater Tzaneen Municipality. The study also found that police officers experience workplace violence while conducting their daily duties such as attending complaints, doing cell inspections and apprehending alleged perpetrators of crime. Furthermore the respondent indicated that although EAP is available in the Tzaneen ix cluster office, it is not effective in managing workplace violence. Various recommendations were made from the above findings. The recommendations can assist in managing workplace violence through EAP.