Bullying in schools has become the “topic-du-jour” in the local media, for parents and many special interest groups dedicated to preventing and addressing bullying in the school system. Not only can school place bullying include violence (or threats of violence) but often includes comments that mentally hurt or isolate a child at school or create fear-based responses. But does “bullying” really end when we become adults, or does it simply take on a different, less discussed form?
According to the 2018 Forum Poll investigating workplace bullying, over half of Canadians have experienced bullying in the workplace. Unlike the forms of bullying spoken about in schools and concerning our youth, bullying in the workplace usually causes psychological rather than physical harm, making it much more difficult to recognize but no less serious. Workplace bullying can deeply affect the mental, physical and financial health of the bully’s target.
As described by WorkSafeBC, bullying and harassing behaviour does not include:
While bullying is often a form of aggression, the actions can be both obvious and subtle, but can be defined as a repeated pattern of negative behaviour aimed at a specific person or group.
Bullies can be managers, supervisors, co-workers or even clients. Most bullies are aiming to sideline someone they consider a threat, further their own agenda at the expense of others, deny responsibility for their own behaviours or mask lack of confidence and self-esteem.
The targets of workplace bullying can experience both physical and psychological effects that interfere with their performance, productivity, confidence and health.
If not, try the following suggestions.
Whatever you do, don’t retaliate! It could make you appear to be the perpetrator and will likely make the situation worse.
The most important component of any workplace prevention program is the commitment of management to enforce policies. This is best communicated in a comprehensive written policy that covers a range of incidents, from bullying and harassment to physical violence. Most Canadian jurisdictions have specific workplace violence and/or harassment legislation. ALL Employers have a general duty to take reasonable precautions to protect the health and safety of employees.
IWG Corporate Services can help take the weight of Harassment, Bullying and various other policies off your hands and help your company lower costs by avoiding costly lawsuits, decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, decreased morale and high employee turnover.
For a comprehensive look at your policies and procedures, contact us at 250-869-8158 or email us at admin@IWGservices.ca