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How to identify workplace bullying

Bullying and harassment occurs long after adolescence and is present in many workplaces across Canada. In fact 40% of Canadian workers experience bullying on a weekly basis. To help change this we are leading innovation in anti-bullying initiatives and enabling support networks to graduate to the workplace.

What is bullying in the workplace?

Bullying in the workplace is targeting inappropriate comments or actions that cause another person to be humiliated or intimidated.
Bullying negatively affects the work environment and may lead to low employee morale, and increased absenteeism.

Are you unsure if it’s bullying?

Many people may be unsure if what they experienced was truly bullying or they may feel uncomfortable reporting the problem and facing the responsible party.
Workplace bullying does not include:
  • Expressing differences of opinion in a calm manner;
  • Assigning work duties, setting workloads and deadlines;
  • Work instruction, correction or supervision;
  • Work performance evaluation; imposition of discipline; and
  • Transfers, layoffs and reorganizations.

How to spot workplace bullying

Bullies in the workplace can come in many shapes and sizes and are not only limited to the most aggressive or loud individuals. Workplace bullying includes:
  • Insulting comments or offensive language (this includes face to face, phone, email and social media)
  • Overloading with an unreasonable share of unpleasant jobs
  • Deliberately excluding someone from workplace activities
  • Shouting or speaking loudly at the workplace
  • Belittling, gossiping, cyber-bullying
  • Withholding information that is required for effective work performance
  • Intimidating with words or actions such as standing too close, rolling their eyes or making inappropriate gestures
Intent does not factor into whether behavior is bullying or harassment. An individual cannot excuse their actions by saying they did not intend for said actions to be humiliating or intimidating.

How are we addressing bullying in the workplace?

We are celebrating the 1 year anniversary of the launch of our anti-bullying program. 
The new program includes a No Bully Line, a 1-800 support line that allows VCH employees to confidentially debrief their experience with a trained counsellor and decide upon their next course of action.
This confidential line is solely dedicated to supporting those who have experienced or been involved in a bullying situation in some way or who may have questions about the policy or procedure. It is a truly unique both to the workplace, the healthcare field and is the only program of its kind in Canada.

Pink shirt day at VCH

To help raise awareness of no bullying and providing a respectful workplace, VCH employees will be demonstrating their support with special pink shirts and pink hats on Anti-Bullying Day, February 25th, 2015.
SOURCE: How to identify workplace bullying ( )
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