Bridging the Gap Between Workplace Security and Workplace Culture: The Engagement-Threat Connection

Bridging the Gap Between Workplace Security and Workplace Culture:
The Engagement-Threat Connection

Melissa Muir
Human Resources Director, Seattle Municipal Court

Multidisciplinary threat assessment teams create the opportunity to push prevention forward in our organizations. With security-informed HR practices and HR-informed security practices, we can learn from each other to make our workplaces safer and prevent workplace violence.

The gap between our security and our culture reflects the natural tension between security and HR. Building bridges between them can transform our people practices into powerful tools to prevent and mitigate workplace threats. Applying hard data to soft skills, Melissa Muir demonstrates measurable ways to align our workplace culture with our workplace security.

Integrating research in HR practices with core threat management principles, Melissa demonstrates ways to foster workplace practices that increase engagement and reduce threats at every stage of the employee life cycle:
• Hiring and welcoming new employees
o How Not to Hire a Psychopath
• Setting workplace expectations, coaching, managing and rewarding performance
o The engagement-threat connection
• Employee relations
o Building connections and trust – the best defense to threats
• Ending work relationships and creating alumni relationships
o How we say goodbye matters as much as how we say hello

You’ll come away with practical tips you can use today!


Melissa Muir has been an HR professional in the U.S. courts for 25 years. Informed by threat assessment and management principles, Melissa is passionate about applying positive HR practices to improve the safety and health of our organizations.

Melissa is the Past President of the Northwest Chapter of the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP), a non-profit dedicated to learning and sharing knowledge to prevent targeted violence and interpersonal violence. In addition to an active role expanding online training, she serves on the national sponsorship and strategic planning committees. Melissa has recently created an ATAP Community of Practice for Human Resources.

Melissa has developed and delivered communications training across the federal government, from grammar to crisis communications. She recently introduced a program on preventing workplace harassment through building trust. She has also developed a comprehensive video series focused on preventing workplace violence. Melissa holds an MBA from the University of Washington, and a law degree with a focus on employment law and mediation from Seattle University School of Law.

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