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https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Book-Review---Disasters-and-Public-Health.aspxBook Review: Disasters and Public HealthGP0|#21788f65-8908-49e8-9957-45375db8bd4f;L0|#021788f65-8908-49e8-9957-45375db8bd4f|National Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a43444652017-04-10T04:00:00ZBruce W. Clements and Julie Ann P. Casani; Reviewed by Dr. Deena Disraelly <p>This book represents the rare case where the sequel is better than the original. The second edition of<em> Disasters and Public Health: Planning and Response </em>is a good primer for public health, emergency management, and security professionals. In particular, security officers also responsible for safety may find this book helpful in understanding common threats and hazards, applicable alert and warning conditions, and rudimentary mitigation, preparedness, and immediate actions. </p><p>Like a textbook, the book organizes each chapter into the same structure: a brief case study to introduce the topic, learning objectives, an explanation of the threat or hazards discussed in the chapter, definitions, health considerations, and preparedness and immediate response and recovery actions. The consistent format makes the book easy to use as a reference. Where applicable, the authors insert additional sections. For example, they include a discussion of medical countermeasures for nuclear and radiological hazards, a discussion of labeling systems for chemical hazards, and recommended warning messages for different groups during winter weather hazards. </p><p>The second edition adds several new chapters on threats and hazards not addressed in the earlier edition, including chapters on emerging infectious diseases and foodborne illnesses. Several original chapters have been updated, and many examples have been updated to reflect recent historical events. There are also new chapters reflective of recent concerns for public health and emergency managers, considering topics such as resilience, at-risk populations, and disaster behavioral health. </p><p>While many of the discussions related to public health are United States–centric, the recommendations and messages may be applied globally. The chapter on community disaster resilience introduces a number of international sources to support the development of resilience strategies, and the examples, likewise, are broader, discussing Chernobyl, the early 2000s European heat waves, and the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, among others.  </p><p>The case studies that open each chapter, while illustrative and applicable, are not intended as in-depth analyses, often providing only short summaries of the responses. Preparedness and response, however, are thoroughly addressed in the detailed explanations of the hazards and threats themselves, and more detailed cases are often included in the chapters. </p><p>The material is informative, simple, and easy to understand for the non-expert. For example, the chapter on at-risk populations provides simple examples of populations that might be at risk and why. The list is comprehensive, if not complete, and while much of the information is common sense, it is an extremely useful list to have on hand as a reminder of who might be affected, by what, and why. Similarly, most chapters provide a list of hazard-related definitions to help the reader understand, for example, the differences between corrosive and oxidizing chemical agents.</p><p><em>Disasters and Public Health: Planning and Response </em>purports to detail lessons learned. Lessons are there, but the reader will have to look for them because they are often buried in the text. The lessons are geared towards preparedness and response and include both general public guidance and information for the response communities. For example, lessons learned in the chapter on Tornadoes and Thunderstorms are provided as messages for the community, including “Do not try to outrun a tornado in a car.” Similarly, lessons from previous foodborne outbreaks are listed as food safety measures. All in all, this text provides both useful threat and hazard introductions and lessons and actions that even seasoned security professionals can benefit from.</p><p><em><strong>Reviewer: Dr. Deena Disraelly</strong> is a research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses and an adjunct professor at The George Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Science. She has more than 20 years of experience in emergency management and serves as the chair of the ASIS Global Terrorism, Political Instability, and International Crime Council.</em></p>

 

 

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https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/A-Defensive-Stance.aspxA Defensive Stance<p>​<span style="line-height:1.5em;">The horrifying terrorist attacks in Paris on the night of November 13—which stretched out for four tense hours, ended the lives of 130 people, and plunged the city into a state of turmoil—all started at a sports stadium. </span></p><p>About 20 minutes after the start of a soccer match, which had drawn 80,000 spectators including French President Francois Hollande, a man with a ticket to the game attempted to enter the Stade de France. However, a security guard discovered during a patdown that the man was wearing a suicide vest. The man fled the stadium and detonated the vest, killing himself and a bystander. Two other bombs went off near the stadium shortly afterwards. Officials inside the stadium decided to keep attendees inside the stadium rather than evacuate.</p><p>The actions of the security guard and stadium security officials likely saved many lives that night. Authorities later revealed that the man who had been stopped from entering the stadium had planned to detonate the vest inside the stadium to kill and injure as many people as possible, as well as trigger panic and cause an evacuation. The bomber’s two accomplices were lying in wait outside of the arena in hopes of detonating their vests among the evacuating crowd. </p><p>The situation brought to life concerns about hard targets with soft security and has spectators and sports officials wondering whether sporting venues will continue to be a target for terrorists. But sports security experts say that stadiums have always been a challenge to protect, although few stakeholders understand this.</p><p>“Unfortunately, tragic things have to happen” for stadium security to be a priority, says sports security consultant James A. DeMeo. “My frustration as a security leader is trying to get the folks that are spending the money, the marketers and ownership groups, to understand that security cannot be viewed in a reactionary manner anymore,” he tells Security Management. </p><p>After working with the Nassau County Police Department in New York for 21 years, DeMeo pursued postgraduate education in sports management, where he learned more about what he calls the “specialized niche market” of sports security. Keeping sporting venues safe is a unique challenge because preserving the fan experience is paramount, he explains. </p><p>“It’s incumbent on us as leaders to share knowledge and…align ourselves with all branches of government, whether that be Department of Homeland Security (DHS), FBI, local law enforcement, the contract security that works within stadiums and venues, and venue staff directors, to continue the education and make sure that we keep folks safe during the two to three hours that they are at the sporting event,” DeMeo says. </p><p>Fred Roberts, a Rutgers University professor and director of the Command, Control, and Interoperability Center for Advanced Data Analysis (CCICADA), notes that there is an inherent tradeoff between security and the fan experience. “If you wanted to have much more rigorous security as they do in access to prisons or airplane flights, you would have to keep fans waiting longer than they would like and management would not be happy,” Roberts explains. “We also have issues with the very things we do to control access to a stadium creating their own vulnerabilities by causing long lines outside.”</p><p>Sports marketers, who focus on creating customer satisfaction and drawing fans to sporting events, are increasingly focusing their efforts—and finances—on fostering a safe atmosphere at sporting venues. In turn, safety has become an important part of the fan experience. DeMeo says that sports marketers have not always done a good job of keeping security at the forefront of their operational discussions. That’s changing, however, due to a number of recent high-profile cases in which a stadium has been sued following accidents caused by poor safety or security measures.</p><p>There are no nationwide standard operating procedures for sports venue security, although each of the five major U.S. sports organizations—the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the National Hockey League, and the National Basketball Association—has best practices, DeMeo says.</p><p>However, the SAFETY Act, which provides legal liability protection for sporting and entertainment venues that use designated counterterrorism technology, gives stadiums an incentive to step up their security game, Roberts tells Security Management. CCICADA, a DHS Center of Excellence at Rutgers, uses data to help policymakers and homeland security officials better address national security issues. In cooperation with DHS, CCICADA has developed a best practices guide that helps stadiums become eligible for protection under the SAFETY Act. Currently, fewer than a dozen U.S. stadiums are SAFETY Act certified. This number should be higher, according to Roberts.</p><p>“To be certified, you have to have a safety plan that covers all aspects of stadium security from loading dock to HVAC system to credentialing of employees to food security to cybersecurity,” Roberts explains. “This is not a mandate, it is an opportunity for venues to apply for liability protection if they develop a really effective counterterrorism plan. There are some common elements to these plans that all stadiums need to have, such as a risk assessment, inspection of patrons, credentialing employees, training and testing of training, and other things that vary from venue to venue.”</p><p>But ultimately, it’s up to each location to develop its own security protocols. Physical security measures, such as access control and CCTV, are an important aspect of sports venue security, DeMeo explains, but should not be the primary focus. Instead, sports venues should pursue a hybrid model that includes guest services, law enforcement, and technology that is used to its fullest potential. “I always say that the technology is only as good as the folks who have that level of training to operate the controls inside various command centers,” DeMeo notes. </p><p>But, especially with the rise in sophistication by ISIS and other malicious actors, strategic planning should be paramount in a stadium’s security approach. Everyone from contract security to food vendors should be vetted, and security managers must develop relationships with law enforcement and other venue managers, DeMeo recommends. Training employees to wear multiple hats during a crisis can also be beneficial, and DeMeo promotes training of both security officers and guest services on how to respond to the latest threats.</p><p>Stadiums are also increasingly involving fans in securing their surroundings. DeMeo says it’s important that venues be clear about what fans can expect when they arrive at an event—as well as what’s prohibited—so they can identify suspicious behavior more easily. Some stadiums have developed apps allowing patrons to report security concerns as well.</p><p>“We need to make sure we do everything we can to let fans know up front the types of behaviors that are tolerated within that confined space,” DeMeo notes.</p><p>It’s also important to stay aware of current events in the community and any special concerns surrounding the sporting event itself, he explains. Stadium security officials are also turning to social media prior to big games to monitor the potential for trouble. </p><p>“One scenario we’ve seen is the reaction to police shootings around the country and monitoring social media for any civil unrest outside the venues,” DeMeo explains. “You need to be conscious of what’s going on within your city, watching what the media is putting out, looking at who’s posting on these sites, and do your homework—talk about best practices, and educate your staff before a particular performer takes the stage in your venue.”</p><p>Both DeMeo and Roberts emphasize the importance of staying up-to-date with industry research. CCICADA conducts a number of data-based studies that strengthen stadium security, including simulating stadium evacuations and developing tools that allow individual stadiums to develop the least costly yet still efficient plans for investment in security screening devices and best practices, Roberts explains. For example, CCICADA developed a tool to evaluate the effectiveness of metal-detecting wands that the NFL asked its stadiums to use. The analysis revealed that wanding slowed down the flow of fans into the stadium too much, so the NFL switched to using walkthrough metal detectors.</p><p>This type of research is twofold: it measures the effectiveness of security measures as well as the fan experience. The two often go hand-in-hand, Roberts points out—for example, if screening is slow or concession lines are long, it damages the fan experience and also potentially creates a more hazardous environment if a crisis were to occur. </p><p>“We use the data to suggest the number of machines and employees needed,” Roberts explains. “But we also use the numbers to feed into our models. We also provide guidance about what kinds of data venue operators might wish to gather in order to measure the quality of their safety plan.”</p><p>DeMeo notes that protecting sports stadiums from malicious attackers is just one of many challenges—there are a variety of security issues that need to be addressed, including severe weather, workplace or domestic violence, and controlling inebriated patrons. Protecting open-air venues such as marathon courses, racetracks, and stadium parking lots is also a significant challenge.</p><p>“What makes us so great as a country is that we’re so free and open, but we also have many soft targets that we’ve got to protect,” DeMeo says. “The days of the quick huddles of the yellow-jacket-clad security officers, five minutes before tipoff, are not going to cut it anymore.”    ​</p>GP0|#21788f65-8908-49e8-9957-45375db8bd4f;L0|#021788f65-8908-49e8-9957-45375db8bd4f|National Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Terrorism-Trends.aspxTerrorism Trends<p>​<span style="line-height:1.5em;">On June 9, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) newly-created Countering Violent Extremism Subcommittee of the Homeland Security Advisory Council quietly released a report detailing the spread of violent extremist ideology in the United States and urging DHS to take significant action. Two days later, 29-year-old Omar Mateen, a U.S. citizen, walked into a nightclub in Orlando and killed 49 people, committing the nation’s worst terrorist attack since 9/11. During the hours-long attack on the nightclub, Mateen called police and pledged allegiance to ISIS, and subsequent investigations revealed he was self-radicalized. The horrific massacre on the night of June 11 reminded government leaders around the world that the real threat often comes from within the country’s borders. Within two days of its publication, the 38-page subcommittee report became exponentially more relevant.</span></p><p>The spread of violent extremism has been more palpable in Europe and the Middle East, where dozens of recent headline-grabbing attacks have occurred from Britain to Turkey. Shiite Muslims were targeted across the world by ISIS during the holy month of Ramadan: 45 people were killed in a suicide bombing at Istanbul’s main airport, a hostage situation in Dhaka resulted in the deaths of 23, and a truck bomb killed at least 250 people in Baghdad. France and Belgium are still reeling from separate coordinated soft target attacks that killed hundreds over the past year. </p><p>Not all extremist attacks are ISIS-inspired, either. A domestic terrorist who supported a far-right political party stabbed and killed Britain’s Labour MP Jo Cox in June.</p><p>An inquiry was released in July by a French parliamentary committee calling for more coordinated counterterrorism efforts, much like the DHS subcommittee report. The inquiry, which examined terrorist attacks in France last year, made 40 proposals to strengthen national security agencies. The nonpartisan committee encouraged the government to create a new national agency similar to the National Counterterrorism Center in the United States. Both European and American national security leaders are focusing on information sharing and addressing radicalization at its source.</p><p>“We are very concerned about violent extremists, lone offenders, and copycats, given how we understand that [ISIS] uses its propaganda, how it recruits, how it trains,” says Scott Breor, director of DHS’s Protective Security Coordination Division. “At the end of the day, while we may not have operatives per se here in the United States, we do know that [ISIS] is using the Internet and social media to recruit and train people who may have grievances against Western interests. They help them understand how to make devices that could be used in these attacks, and have been clear that they don’t need to travel overseas to be part of the [ISIS] machine, that the battlefield can be here in the United States.”</p><p>The subcommittee report does not shy away from detailing the significant, immediate threat violent extremism has on the United States, nor from calling on government officials, the technology and philanthropic sectors, and individual Americans to “conquer the challenge of violent extremism.” The subcommittee makes it clear that violent extremism is not just a problem for DHS.</p><p>“DHS itself is not equipped to counter violent extremism,” the report notes. DHS is significantly under-resourced to address online and offline radicalization and recruitment, and beyond recommending a budget increase of up to $100 million, the subcommittee emphasizes leveraging private sector support—and finances. The current budget “is insufficient to effectively counter the spread of violent extremist ideology in the United States, and does not in itself offer the chance to level—much less gain advantage against—increasingly aggressive efforts to recruit and radicalize our youth by violent extremist organizations,” according to the report.</p><p>The subcommittee is looking to the private sector for more than just money. Private sector talent and expertise should be used to create targeted online content to combat “a constant feed of reinforcing ideologies that are spread both on and offline.” The U.S. government must also work to extend counterterrorism efforts to the state and local levels, which have more direct impact on at-risk communities, the report notes. DHS leaders agree.</p><p>“Building bridges to the Muslim communities in this country and encouraging and helping American Muslim leaders to amplify the counter message to the Islamic state’s message and support these communities” is key to outreach at the local level, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson tells Security Management. “I see it as a three-step mission: building bridges, counter message, and supporting these communities directly. I’ve been to a lot of them across the country. Everyone is different, but they are receptive to the message, and they’re almost always extraordinarily patriotic, too.”</p><p>Both Breor and DHS Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection Caitlin Durkovich point to DHS’s Office for Bombing Prevention (OBP) as a way to empower local communities in preparing for a potential attack. The OBP enhances the nation’s ability to prepare for and respond to the use of explosives against critical infrastructure and local communities alike. The program’s resources and training are constantly evolving to stay a step ahead of terror trends, Durkovich tells Security Management. </p><p>“I think our adversaries are growing increasingly sophisticated and getting increasingly smarter in regards to how we do security,” Durkovich says. “I do think they have realized it’s a lot harder to attack a military installation or government building, and even some of these large public gatherings, because security is pretty robust. I think they have made a calculation that it is easier to target the smaller public gathering places and whether that is a crowded street of restaurants, a concert hall, or where people are gathering to get through security, you don’t have as much security in place. I think it is safe to say that these smaller and medium sized venues that don’t have in-depth security are becoming the targets because, candidly, it’s just easier to carry out an attack.”</p><p>One of the most important roles of the OBP is to bring together multiple jurisdictions in a community to raise awareness about the latest threats, Durkovich explains. “We talk about how they can plan both around special events and large gatherings to reduce the vulnerabilities of improvised explosive devices (IED), but equally important, if there is some sort of explosion or detonation, what the capabilities of each jurisdiction are, how they would respond, and who has the lead.” OBP training programs conducted around the country have already paid dividends, she says.</p><p>Breor notes that one of the most difficult—and important—aspects of the OBP is staying abreast of the latest bombing trends. “If you’ve ever picked up one of those books on how to do home improvements, how detailed they are with respect to pictures and the language they use, that’s the type of documentation that we see in these magazines that are out there in social media,” he says. “It is a great concern.” </p><p>Also of concern is the age of those most targeted by violent extremist efforts. The subcommittee report notes that millennials are by far the most susceptible to recruitment. “Our nation’s youth are at risk of online radicalization and recruitment like never before. They are by far the largest demographic being targeted by extremists, especially online. It is therefore our duty to protect them.”</p><p>ISIS supporters use approximately 46,000 Twitter accounts worldwide, and last year the Internet contributed to the radicalization of 83 percent of aspirants who attempted to travel to Iraq or Syria. On top of that, approximately half of successful travelers maintained an active presence on social media to encourage others to travel, document experiences, and share tips for evading law enforcement detection, the report notes.</p><p>Reaching millennials through constructive, positive, and identity-building approaches will encourage belonging with their American community, the subcommittee found. An emphasis on alternative narratives, from both the government and community influencers, is needed to reach millennials. “The private, non-governmental sector—including the full range of civil society across all communities, working hand-in-hand with leaders in science, faith, and technology—and with the full endorse-ment of our elected leaders at all levels offers the best chance to counter the threat of violent extremism for future generations,” the report states.</p><p>Another group targeted by ISIS and other extremist organizations is women of all ages. Professor and author Mia Bloom tells Security Management that ISIS targets Western and Arab women in two different ways: they give Western women the idea that they will have a very active, front-line role in ISIS, and tell Arab women that they will still be subservient, but will have more rights.</p><p>“Both of the underlying themes are about empowerment, but highly constrained empowerment, versus this false notion that they’re going to be some sort of superfighter,” Bloom says. ISIS also targets women based on their age and status—young women and students are recruited with positive messages of altruism, while older women with questionable pasts are offered a chance at reinvention. </p><p>ISIS is also using women to recruit other women because recruiters need to be able to relate to potential fighters, Bloom explains. “If you’re a 14-year-old girl, you’ve probably been warned to be careful of some dude on the Internet, but you may not have been warned about the cool 19-year-old Scottish girl.”</p><p>Women are rarely used on the front lines or as suicide bombers, Bloom notes: “If there’s a woman suicide bomber, it’s a one-off. It’s an exception to the rule,” she says. The primary contribution of women tends to be giving birth to fighters and raising them in a revolutionary environment. “Women in many ways are just like a commodity for ISIS, and although they are selling this message of empowerment, it’s actually the opposite,” Bloom explains.</p><p>Despite this, there has been a rise in non-Syrian or Iraqi women joining ISIS: the percentage of female extremists has risen from 10 percent a few years ago to 15 or even 20 percent today. And Bloom says that based on historical patterns, that number will continue to rise.</p><p>“They’re losing territory, they’re losing recruits, the men aren’t joining nearly as much, and they’re executing their own people who are leaving. That’s not a sign of strength,” Bloom explains. “When women join, it allows ISIS to goad men, it’s basically saying, ‘You aren’t especially manly because you’re letting women do your job.’”</p><p>It is possible that the role of women in ISIS would shift towards a more active one due to evolving tactics. “Women tend to be used in particular circumstances when groups shift from hard targets to soft targets and civilians,” Bloom explains. “When instead of trying to attack a tank, you’re going after a mosque of Shia parishioners, that’s where a woman comes into play. There are so many assumptions about the inherent peacefulness of a woman, and it’s popular to put an IED around a woman’s midsection and it looks like a late-term pregnancy.”</p><p>The subcommittee findings have been submitted to the DHS Homeland Security Advisory Council, and, if approved, will be sent to DHS Secretary Johnson for acceptance. In the meantime, agencies like the OBP are working to empower communities to prepare for and respond to attacks, and DHS leaders continue to encourage the public to embrace the See Something, Say Something mantra. “It’s not just a slogan, it’s really a shared responsibility in today’s environment,” Breor says.  </p>GP0|#21788f65-8908-49e8-9957-45375db8bd4f;L0|#021788f65-8908-49e8-9957-45375db8bd4f|National Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Running-on-Empty.aspxRunning on Empty<p>​In this age of overload, with organizations trying to do more with less, employees buried in information, and devices that call for round-the-clock urgency, burnout is a malady ripe for our times. Burnout can strike even the most productive workers and the most consistent performers, as well as those who seem to have the greatest capacity for hard work, experts say. </p><p>One reason burnout is such a pernicious problem is that it does not have to be total for its effects to be devastating.</p><p>“Burnout tends to plateau rather than peak,” says Paula Davis-Laack, specialist in burnout prevention programs, founder and CEO of the Stress and Resilience Institute, and author of Addicted To Busy: Your Blueprint for Burnout Prevention. “Burnout exists on a continuum. You don’t have to be completely mentally broken down and barely able to get out of bed to feel major effects.”</p><p>In other words, employees suffering mid-level burnout may still be able to power through and complete an adequate amount of work by sheer force of will, but their partially depleted state greatly hinders their performance and productivity, and it keeps them from realizing their full potential. </p><p>“That can go on for months, or even years, depending on the person’s work ethic,” says management expert Brady Wilson, cofounder of Juice Inc. and author of Beyond Engagement and other business performance books. </p><p>In a field like security, workers can be especially vulnerable to burnout, given the continual pressure and stress that go into protecting people and assets, and the high stakes involved if a breach does occur. </p><p>“Constant job pressure, especially when some of the factors are out of your control like they are with security, is definitely one of the causes of burnout in employees,” says Carlos Morales, vice president of global sales, engineering, and operations at Arbor Networks, which specializes in network security. </p><p>The consequences of burnout are varied; in some cases, they involve serious health issues. Davis-Laack, who became a specialist in the field after burning out as a practicing attorney, says she experienced weekly panic attacks and a few stomachaches that were so painful they sent her to the emergency room. Coronary disease, depression, and alcohol abuse are other possible consequences. </p><p>For the employer, burnout can significantly compromise workplace quality, causing more absenteeism, turnover, accident risk, and cynicism, while lowering morale and commitment and reducing willingness among workers to help others.</p><p>Fortunately, in many cases burnout can either be avoided, with deft management and a supportive organization, or significantly alleviated using various strategic methods. But like most maladies, it must be understood before it can be properly addressed. ​</p><h4>Symptoms and Conditions</h4><p>Burnout occurs when the demands people face on the job outstrip the resources they possess to meet them. Psychologists who study burnout as a condition divide it into it three dimensions: exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment.</p><p>When the first aspect—exhaustion—hits, the employee may feel emotionally, physically, and cognitively depleted. This often spurs feelings of diminished powers; challenges that were formerly manageable can seem insurmountable. As Davis-Laack describes her own experience of this condition: “Every curveball seems like a crisis.”</p><p>When depersonalization occurs, an employee may start to feel alienated from his or her own job, and more cynical and resentful toward the organization. Work and its mission lose meaning; feelings of going-through-the-motions increase. Detached and numb, the employee tries to plow ahead. </p><p>Exhaustion and depersonalization often combine to produce the third component of reduced personal accomplishment. As Wilson explains, the depleted employee possesses considerably less “executive function,” or the ability to focus, self-regulate, connect the dots between ideas, strategize, analyze, execute smoothly, and follow through—all of which can be thought of as “the power tools of innovation.” </p><p>“Nuanced thinking and value-added thinking are the first to go when employees are exhausted,” he says. “Instead, they rely on duct-tape fixes, reactivity, firefighting. They don’t get to the root causes of problems and issues.” </p><p>The state of mind that burnout can elicit sometimes leads to self-blame, where the employee feels that he or she is professionally inadequate. But that is unfair, says Davis-Laack: “I don’t want individual workers to feel that it’s all their fault.” </p><p>The root causes of burnout, she explains, are usually a product of what employees bring to the table—work ethic, how closely they tie work to self-worth, their level of perfectionism—and how the organization itself functions, which can be an important factor. </p><p>Understanding key organizational conditions, experts say, will help managers maintain a culture that protects employees from burning out. One of these conditions involves what the organization chooses to reward. </p><p>Wilson explains this as follows. For many years, many organizations stressed the importance of keeping employees engaged. But the definition of engagement has shifted, so that many firms now define engaged workers as those with clear dedication and commitment, who come to work early and stay late. “What’s missing from this definition is passion, enthusiasm, verve, and spirit,” he says. </p><p>When engagement is so defined, increased effort, such as working more hours and taking on more projects, is rewarded. But simply increasing hours at the office does not produce high performance, Wilson says. </p><p>“We get our epiphanies in the shower—we don’t get them when we are determined and gritting our teeth around a board room table. It’s not effort that produces brilliance, it’s energy,” he explains. But sometimes, the more-rewards-for-more-work philosophy can function as an unintentional incentive to burn out.</p><p>The organization’s day-to-day working conditions are also a crucial here. Research has found that two factors can be deadly in sapping an employee’s resources, according to Davis-Laack. </p><p>One is role conflict and ambiguity, which can occur when employees are never clear on exactly what is expected of them, and on what part they should be playing in active projects. “That’s very wearing on people,” she says. </p><p>Another is unfairness, which is often related to office politics. This can include favoritism, failure to recognize contributions, being undermined, or dealing with the demands of never-satisfied supervisors.</p><p>Such stressful conditions push some employees into “gas guzzling” energy mode, because they require so much emotional effort just to cope with them, Wilson says. </p><p>“Substances generated by stress, such as cortisol and adrenaline, have a beautiful utilitarian use—to get us out of trouble, to keep us safe,” he explains. “But we are not as productive when we have a brain that is bathed in those things day in and day out.”  ​</p><h4>Detection</h4><p>Although it is vital for managers to strive to maintain a positive office culture, it’s also important to recognize that burnout can happen even in the healthiest of environments. Given this, Morales encourages attempts at early detection.  </p><p>“As a manager or executive, it is important to first note the factors that tend to cause burnout even before employees begin to show signs,” he says. “This gives you the opportunity to address issues proactively with employees.” </p><p>These factors, he explains, include a very travel-heavy schedule (50 percent or more of total work time); consistently logging work weeks of 60-plus hours; unrelenting expectations of working off-hours and on weekends; and constant deadline time pressure. </p><p>But since early detection is not always successful or even possible in some cases, managers should also be looking for common signs of burnout that their employees might be exhibiting. Morales advises security managers to look for combinations of the following characteristics that are different from usual behaviors:</p><ul><li><p> General lack of energy and enthusiasm around job functions and projects.<br></p></li><li><p> Extreme sensitivity and irritability towards coworkers, management, and work situations.<br></p></li><li><p> Constant signs of stress and anxiety.<br></p></li><li><p>Significant changes in social patterns with coworkers.<br></p></li><li><p>Sharp drop in quantity and timeliness of output.​<br></p></li></ul><p>When looking for signs of burnout, it’s important for a manager to have a high degree of familiarity with the employee in question, a familiarity which is a byproduct of a strong manager-staff relationship. </p><p>“You’ve got to know your people,” Davis-Laack says. “When someone seems more checked out and disengaged than usual, if you know your people well enough, you can spot it.” ​</p><h4>Treatment</h4><p>When it becomes clear that an employee is suffering from burnout, managers have several options for treatment and alleviation, experts say. Morales says he believes that managers must first come to an understanding of the underlying factors, so that they can be addressed.   </p><p>“If there is a workload issue, a manager may be able to spread out the workload with other workers to alleviate the issue,” he says. “It’s important to let the employees know that this is being done to gain more scale, and to reinforce that they are doing a good job.”</p><p>Indeed, crushing workloads are now common in many workplaces, experts say, as many companies are actively cost cutting while attempting to raise productivity and output. And for employees who work with data, such as security employees who use analytics, benchmarks, or some form of metrics, the information explosion is requiring more and more staff hours to keep up with the processing and analysis. Managers must be cognizant of this, Davis-Laack says. </p><p>“If you do nothing but pile work on people—well, people are not robots and they are not computers. They are going to wear out,” she explains.</p><p>To combat this, managers should employ a strategic and honest operations analysis, she advises. The department may be generating more output with increasing workloads, but burnout and turnover risk is also increasing, as is the likelihood of costly mistakes. Is it worth the risk? Hiring additional help or outsourcing some tasks may be cheaper in the long run than the costs due to turnover and errors. </p><p>When a department conducts a strategic review of operations, the focus is often on fixing glitches in process, experts say. A focus on reducing workload is less common, but when it is adopted, it often reveals that certain time-consuming tasks are unnecessary.</p><p>If the burnout is caused by a stressful job function, such as a security position in which the worker is protecting assets of great value, the manager can discuss the situation with the employee and ensure that support is available, Morales says. “This may help them feel less alone or helpless in situations,” he says.   </p><p>Another key strategy for managers is to add extra focus and energy to the resources part of the puzzle, Davis-Laack says. “Help them to build up their energy bank account, so they are not always feeling depleted.” </p><p>She offers five ways for managers to do so:  </p><ul><li><p> Maintain and ensure high-quality relationships between managers and staff members, and between team members themselves. This fosters a healthy and safe environment where problems can be discussed and addressed.  <br></p></li><li><p> Whenever possible, give team members some decision authority. This gives them a sense of autonomy and strength when dealing with issues, and helps avoid feelings of powerlessness. <br></p></li><li><p> Follow the FAST system of respectful feedback—give frequent, accurate, specific, and timely feedback. This helps employees make tweaks and adjustments, and lets them know they are on the right course.  <br></p></li><li><p> Demonstrate that you have the employees’ backs, and always be willing to go to bat for them. Don’t point fingers or complain to higher ups when mistakes are made. This is crucial in building trust.  <br></p></li><li><p> Identify and encourage skills that will help your team members build resilience. These will vary depending on the specific job and situation, but include any skill or resource that can be used when challenges arise, as well as those that help manage stress.  ​<br></p></li></ul><p>In working toward the previous point, managers may want to brainstorm with staff to find ways to make everyone more resourceful. For instance, managers could periodically check in with staff members to determine the team’s overall level of resources, so they can replenish them when they’re low.</p><p>Indeed, soliciting solutions from staff is an excellent practice for managers, because it shows they are partnering with employees, not parenting them, Wilson says. The parenting style of management assumes that the manager has knowledge that the worker will never have, and it sets up the employee for helplessness. The partnering style cultivates the employees’ decision-making skills, so they can skillfully meet their own needs. ​</p><h4>Touchy Subject</h4><p>Burnout can be a sensitive subject. Some workers attach great self-worth to their productivity and performance, and do not like to concede that they are struggling. </p><p>“It is very difficult for some high performers to admit that their engagement is lacking. There’s a sense of judgment associated with that,” Wilson says. </p><p>Some of these workers truly are burned out despite their failure to admit it, and they may be in a precarious state. “I have seen cases where the hardest and most productive workers will not admit to burnout,” Morales says. “In these situations, burnout occurs quite suddenly, without many of the behavioral warning signs.”</p><p>Other employees fear that admitting burnout is disclosing a weakness, one that could prevent them from future promotions or ultimately cost them their job. “They like their work and they don’t want to change jobs, or </p><p>they can’t change jobs because they have monetary obligations,” Davis-Laack says. </p><p>Here, management can go a long way by being proactive and soliciting feedback from workers regarding their state of mind. “It’s important to have regular discussions with employees about the impact of the workload on them personally, and give them every opportunity to talk through their situation, and vent if necessary,” Morales says. “It’s important for management to recognize the potential for burnout and approach employees proactively to discuss it. It provides employees a safe environment in which to talk through the situation.”</p><p>In these situations, a manager can approach an employee with a proactive goal—how can workload and workplace environment be shaped so that the employee is energized in the office, and still has energy left at the end of the day and on weekends for a life outside of work, Wilson explains.  </p><p>Using this framework, Wilson adds that it is often easier for the manager to then ask, “What’s getting in the way of that? Is it bureaucratic interference? Is there too much on your plate? Is there bullying going on, or other workplace environment problems?”  ​</p><h4>More Recognition</h4><p>But while burnout is still a sensitive subject among some workers, there is also a growing recognition that it is a serious issue that needs to be dealt with, experts say. This may be partly driven by recent research in fields like healthcare and finance, where findings suggest that burnout and overwork are causing costly mistakes that are detrimental to a company’s bottom line. </p><p>Moreover, more business leaders see that the problem, if left unchecked, will just get worse in the future, due to factors such as globalization and a web of technology that is becoming more and more complex. “The perfect storm is upon us,” Wilson says.</p><p>Davis-Laack says she is heartened by the fact that the burnout issue, which was frequently dismissed as too “soft” to be a subject at business conferences, is appearing on more agendas. </p><p>“It’s finally starting to get attention across different professions and different sectors,” she says. “Managers are taking it more seriously.” ​​</p>GP0|#28ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997;L0|#028ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997|Strategic Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465