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Tips & Training

Addressing workplace bullying: 6 resources to check out

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Wearing pink on Pink Shirt Day is meant to signify taking a stand against bullying. Held on the last Wednesday of February, Pink Shirt Day this year will be on Feb. 28. While bullying is often associated with schoolyard interactions, it also happens in our adult lives and can manifest in the workplace.

The Government of Canada defines workplace bullying as: “acts or verbal comments that could psychologically or ‘mentally’ hurt or isolate a person in the workplace … Bullying usually involves repeated incidents or a pattern of behaviour that is intended to intimidate, offend, degrade or humiliate a particular person or group of people.” This article provides resources to identify and address bullying in the workplace.

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety [Government Organization]

The Government of Canada’s Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) was established by Canada’s parliament to promote “the total well-being – physical, psychosocial and mental health – of working Canadians.” The CCOHS provides a variety of programs and services to address workplace safety including courses, events and training tools. If someone is experiencing bullying, the CCOHS advises them not to retaliate but to tell the perpetrator that their behaviour is unacceptable, keep a record of events including date and time, the outcome of the event, and report the incident to a manager or supervisor.

Verywell Mind [Website]

Verywell Mind is an online platform dedicated to mental health awareness that covers a wide variety of topics written by mental health professionals. In the article “Signs and Effects of Workplace Bullying,” author and bullying prevention advocate Sherri Gordon writes that bullying can be both overt and explicit. The health effects of bullying should not be minimized as they can be severe and have long-term impacts. The article also shares ways that employers can safeguard their employees’ mental health and condemn bullying.

Bullies at Work: What to Know and What You Can Do (Alis) [Article]

This Government of Alberta website provides career, learning and employment information. Alis describes what someone can do if they witness workplace bullying. Some suggestions include “gather some co-workers and stand in plain view of the bully” so the target feels supported, keeping records and going with a colleague to “meet with a supervisor or speak with the bully about the behaviour.”

Alis also covers issues like microaggressions at work, managing conflict and supporting diversity in the workplace.

Canadian Human Rights Commission [Government Organization]

The Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) states that employers “must take appropriate action against any employee who harasses someone else.” If someone believes they are being discriminated against in the workplace, they can file a complaint with the commission. It is important to note that the CHRC only regulates federal places of work which means other places of work would file under provincial jurisdiction.

Workplace Bullying Institute [Organization]

The Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) offers training courses for professionals across several industries including mental health, human resources and health care. WBI offers free tutorials for those who are currently experiencing or have experienced workplace bullying. Some of the tutorials include Impact on Your Health, Life After Bullying and Why It Happens.

Harassment in Canadian Workplaces – Statistics Canada [Report]

Statistics Canada has found that workplace harassment is experienced by 19% of women and 13% of men. The most common types of workplace harassment are verbal abuse and humiliating behaviour. Although these statistics are from 2018, the numbers illustrate the pervasiveness of workplace bullying.

Additional reading

Samar Ismail Author
Samar Ismail is an occasional teacher in Ontario. With a background in journalism, she continues to freelance as a writer, editor and researcher.
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Samar Ismail Author
Samar Ismail is an occasional teacher in Ontario. With a background in journalism, she continues to freelance as a writer, editor and researcher.
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