Employee Toolkit toAddress Bullying

Table of ContentsTable of Contents . 2Table of Contents . 21.0Purpose . 31.1 Definitions. 31.2 Facts about bullying in the workplace . 31.2.1 Did you know? . 31.2.2 Common bullying behaviours . 41.2.3 Potential causes of bullying . 41.2.4 What bullying is not . 51.2.5 Impact of bullying . 51.2.6 Signs and symptoms of bullying in the workplace. 52.0Bullying in Alberta Health Services . 62.1 What is AHS doing about bullying? . 62.2 Are you being bullied? . 72.3 Are you bullying others? . 82.4 What to do if there is bullying at work . 92.5 How to address bullying . 92.6 How can you report bullying in AHS? . 102.6.1 What will happen if you report bullying to your manager or appropriate supervisor . 112.7 Bullying Resources for Employees . 11Appendix A: Tips to address bullies . 12Appendix B: Bullying Links. 132

1.0 PurposeThis toolkit is designed to assist Alberta Health Services (AHS) employees with bullying in theworkplace. The toolkit provides general guidelines on how to address and report bullying in theworkplace and is part of a larger strategy to prevent and address Violence in the Workplaceand to create a Psychologically Safe work environment.1.1DefinitionsBullying is a form of harassment and workplace violence. Workplace Violence is defined as anyact in which a person is abused, threatened, intimidated or assaulted in his or her employment.AHS defines bullying as the activity of repeated, aggressive or disrespectful behaviourintended to hurt another person physically or mentally. Bullying is characterized by anindividual or individuals behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person.Bullying can include verbal harassment or threat, physical assault, physical harm or coercionand may be directed repeatedly towards particular victims. Sometimes the bullying behaviourcan also become discrimination when it is on the basis of prohibited grounds such as race,religious beliefs, colour, gender, gender expression or gender identity, physical disability,mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family statusor sexual orientation. Bullying includes acts or verbal comments that could hurt an individual’sfeelings or cause the person to become isolated in the workplace. Sometimes bullying involvesnegative physical contact as well. Although bullying is a form of aggression, the actions can beeither obvious or subtle. Bullying can result in psychologically, emotionally, and spirituallydamaging effects and can have devastating long-term consequences on its recipients. If bullyingis done by a group, it is called mobbing. 1AHS defines workplace bullying as psychological in nature. It is a deliberate repeated pattern ofdisrespectful behaviour intended to intimidate, offend, degrade or humiliate a particularperson or group. It is often in a situation where there is a power imbalance.Three features of bullying behaviour are:1. It is deliberate;2. It is disrespectful; and3. It is repeated.1.2Facts about bullying in the workplace1.2.1 Did you know? 1 in 6 people have been bullied in their lifetime. Less than 15% of people being bullied go to their managers or ask for help. 80% of staff who are bullied will find a new job.1 Mobbing: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace by Noa Davenport, Ruth D. Schwartz and Gail Pursell Elliott.3

1.2.2 Common bullying behaviours Berating a person in front of others or in private. Constantly criticizing or belittling a person. Cyber bullying – personal harassment occurring through electronic communicatione.g. email, text messaging, internet sites. Excessive and unreasonable monitoring of someone’s work. Excluding a person from on the job socializing. Failing to support a person because of a dislike for the person. Giving a person “the silent treatment”. Intimidating, threatening or coercive actions such as threatening or implying unwarranteddiscipline or job loss. Making fun of another person’s appearance, demeanor or another trait. Making unfavorable comments about someone in the context of a joke. Manipulating or intimidating another person. Name calling. Repeating information shared by a person out of context so that it reflects badly onher or him. Running a smear campaign or otherwise trying to get others to turn against a person. Sabotage or setting someone up to fail such as deliberately excluding someone fromcommunication they need to be involved in, withholding information or resources neededto perform work, unreasonable work assignments. Sharing information that is intended to be kept private. Spreading rumors. Tampering with a person’s personal belongings or work equipment 2. Teasing someone about her or his lack of skill or knowledge. Using humiliation and put-downs, usually regarding a person’s skills and abilities. Using body language (such as eye rolling or head tossing) to convey an unfavorableopinion of someone.1.2.3 Potential causes of bullying Differences in personality, work ethic or power. Hierarchical abuse and preserving the status quo. For example, clique formation subgroups are formed, which can serve as a power base for individuals to gain controland resist change.2Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety website, “OHS Answers: Bullying in the Workplace. Found Sept 1, ullying.html4

1.2.4 What bullying is not 3It is important to differentiate between bullying and a person’s legitimate authority at work. Allemployers have the right to direct and control how work is done, and managers have aresponsibility to monitor workflow and give feedback on performance.There is a difference between someone communicating a message that you may not agree withor like and bullying behaviour. A person who is displaying bullying behaviours actions aredeliberately meant to hurt someone. This may need an intervention from managementsupported by Human Resources.If an employee has performance problems, these should be identified and dealt with in aconstructive, confidential and objective way that does not involve personal insults orderogatory remarks. In situations where an employee is dissatisfied with managementpractices, the problem should be raised in a manner that remains professional and objective.1.2.5 Impact of bullyingThere are many potential negative effects of bullying on both the victim and organization. 4Negative effects on the victim Increased stressIncreased absencesLower level of job satisfactionIncreased physical illnessIncreased mental illnessPotential suicidal ideationNegative effects on the organization High turnover and intention to leave theorganization Higher rates of absenteeism Higher rates of injuries and illness Higher level of patient dissatisfaction Decreased productivity Decreased organizational engagement Decreased quality of patient care1.2.6 Signs and symptoms of bullying in the workplaceA workplace that has bullying may experience: Poor morale. Increased absences and absenteeism. Increased stress, tension and conflict between staff in a unit. Reported fear of a co-worker by other employees. Increased turnover of employees.3Government of Western Australia, Department of Commerce. Code of practice. Violence, aggression and bullying at work.2010. Commission for Occupational Safety and Codes of Practice/Code violence.pdf4Ontario Safety Association for Community & Healthcare. 2008. Workplace Bullying. Fast Fact. Found July 2, 2013.www.osach.ca5

2.0 Bullying in Alberta Health Services2.1What is AHS doing about bullying?AHS is developing and implementing policies, procedures and supports to address violencein the workplace with the goal of creating a psychologically safe work environment.AHS defines bullying as the activity of repeated, aggressive or disrespectful behaviourintended to hurt another person physically or mentally. Bullying is characterized by anindividual or individuals behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person.The Workplace Violence Prevention strategy (in progress), and the AHS Psychological SafetyStrategy (in progress) support a bully free work environment. Policies, procedures andsupports are being developed in accordance with an Accreditation Canada RequiredOrganizational Practice and fall into three key components:1) Education and Communication Annual Continuing Education (ACE): Respect in the Workplace Module available atMyLearningLink. EFAP resources:o Bullying in the Workplace Seminaro On the WorkHealthLife website look up the following article: Bullying in theWorkplace, A Little Respect Goes a Long Way, Building better relationships atwork, Building great business relationships. Team building courses offered by Learning and Leadership Development. Understand the Expectations and Responsibilities of AHS workers, patients and familieswhen it comes to the providing a respectful workplace as part of AccreditationCanada’s Required Operational Practice (ROP) on Workplace ViolencePrevention (patient brochure). Facilitate a short discussion on Workplace Violence Prevention which provides actionsleaders can take and questions to prompt discussion. Print and Distribute (or attach to an email):o Violence Awareness (staff and patient)o Respect Postero Go to: for more information.2) Respectful Workplace AHS Values promote a safe and respectful workplace. Respectful Workplace Resource Guide.3) Risk Assessment and Management Strategies AHS Workplace Violence: Prevention and Response Policy (formerly WorkplaceAbuse and Harassment) Safe Disclosure / Whistleblower Policy: to provide guidance for the safe disclosure ofany improper activity occurring within AHS. Canadian Standards Association Standard “Z1003 – Psychological Health & Safety inthe Workplace” which will guide the development of the AHS Psychological Safetyand Mental Health Strategy.6

AHS addresses each situation on a case by case basis and when needed conducts investigations forfurther information and clarification. Please contact your manager or appropriate supervisor, Advisor,HR Business Partnerships, Union Representative(if applicable) or the Safe Disclosure Line to discussspecific situations and for additional informational resources. See page ten for ways to report bullyingwithin AHS.2.2Are you being bullied?Do you think you’re being bullied by someone at work? If you’re not sure, consider each of thequestions in the self-test below, then circle the appropriate number to indicate how often thedescribed behavior happens. 5Does the person you’re having trouble with:NeverNotOftenOftenAlmostAlways1. Ignore you, not say hello when you greet them,not return phone calls or emails?00122. Dismiss what you’re saying or “put you down”while alone or in the presence of others?01233. Sabotage you or make you look foolish such asby “forgetting” to tell you about importantmeetings or, if the person is your boss, set you upto fail by placing impossible demands on you?02344. Spread rumors, lies and half-truths about you?02345. Frequently act impatient with you, treating youlike you’re incompetent?01236. Blame and criticize you?01237. Try to intimidate you by interrupting,contradicting and glaring at you and giving youthe silent treatment?01238. Tease, ridicule, insult or play tricks on you,especially in front of others?02349. Always insist on getting their own way andnever apologize?012310. Yell, point their finger, swear, insult orthreaten you or call you names?0234Sub Total:TOTALAdd up the numbers to get your total score. There is a possible total score of 33. The higher the5Bullying in the Workplace: A handbook for the workplace. http://www.bullyfreeatwork.com7

score the more pronounced the bullying behavior.2.3Are you bullying others?Have you been told that you are displaying bullying behaviour? Take the quiz below to see if youdisplay bullying behaviours?YesNoDo you withhold information that could impact another’s performance?Do you ask a co-worker to do work below their level?Do you ignore a co-worker?Do you give co-worker tasks with unrealistic deadline?Do you excessively monitor a co-workers behavior?Do you humiliate or ridicule a co-worker?Do you spread gossip or rumours about a co-worker?Do you intentionally ignore or exclude a co-worker?Do you criticize a co-worker?Do you play practical jokes on a co-worker?Do you tease or use excessive sarcasm with a co-worker?Do you raise your voice with a co-worker?Do you use intimidating behaviours such as finger-pointing, invasion of personalspace, shoving or blocking someone’s way?If you answer yes, to any of the behaviours listed below you may be displaying bullying behaviourtowards someone. Take a minute to consider why you are displaying bullying behaviours and make aconscious effort to stop. Ask yourself Do you mean to upset or hurt others? Do you know when you are bullying? Is something making you upset? Do you feel excluded at work? Is someone bullying you? Does someone make you feel angry or frustrated?Seek out assistance from people you trust or access EFAP and talk about it.8

2.4What to do if there is bullying at work 6Here is what you can do if you or someone you know is being bullied at work.2.5 Learn more about bullying – information is power. Check out some of the resourceslisted in Appendix B. Don’t ignore the behaviour. Remember you’re not alone. Get help/support. Tell others you trust, a friend, relative, your union, Human Resources,your manager or appropriate supervisor or someone who is understanding andsupportive. Contact your physician, a counselor or EFAP. Document every incident. Start a journal and enter events after they occur or eachnight. Include the date (and time if relevant), who was present, what happened andspecific comments that were said. It is important to document the facts and removeany subjective information. Address the situation with the person displaying bullying behaviour if you feelcomfortable and safe. Let them know that their behavior is unwelcome and notacceptable. Stay calm, be polite and direct.How to address bullyingAddressing the person displaying bullying behaviour can be difficult. You can train yourself toidentify and address bullying behaviours. Here are a few phrases that you can use if you arebeing bullied (depending on the situation): When you (insert behavior) it makes me feel (insert feeling). I don’t like it when you put me down in front of my peers. It’s demeaning when I am told that I am I don’t like it when you point your finger at me. I want to have a good working relationship with you. I don’t like shouting. Please lower your voice.If you don’t feel comfortable addressing the bullying behavior you can use the followingresponses to excuse yourself and walk away. Excuse me, I have a meeting to go to. I have something I have to attend to. I’ll get back to you later. Pardon me, I was just heading out. Can we talk tomorrow? Let’s talk later. I have something that can’t wait. I don’t agree, but I’m sure we can talk about this another time.6Bullying in the Workplace: A handbook for the workplace. http://www.bullyfreeatwork.com9

2.6How can you report bullying in AHS?There are a number of ways AHS employee can report bullying. When a bullying incident occursAHS employees are encouraged to take the following steps:Disrespectful behaviouroccursAddress the disrespectfulbehaviour with theindividual displaying thedisrespectful behaviourDisrespectfulbehaviour stopsDisrespectful behaviourcontinues to occurApproach your manager and letthem know what is happeningDisrespectfulbehaviour stopsDisrespectfulbehaviourcontinues to occurApproach your manager (or theirleader) and let them know thebehaviour continues to happenDisrespectfulbehaviour stopsDisrespectfulbehaviour continuesto occurHave a conversation with the person who displayed the disrespectfulbehaviour. Let them know how it impacted you and try to come to amutually agreed upon solution in the event that similar behaviourhappens in the future. Tools to help you to have these difficultconversations can be found at . Respectful Workplace Resource Guide Psychological safety toolkit (Page 4) MyLearningLink courses: Pathway to Resolution Conflict Management EFAP: Counselling / Coaching to have difficult conversationsIt is important to ensure that you are aware of how your behaviours andreactions may be contributing to the behaviours. Ensure that you are getting support (i.e. from EFAP, Familyand/or Friends) Avoid gossiping at work (this may make the situation worse) Let your leader know if the behaviour continuesIf after having a conversation with the person displaying the disrespectfulbehaviour – the behaviour continue .Your manager will work with you to try and address the behaviours. (Ifthe disrespectful behaviour is with your manager you can approach theirleader.)Your leader will coach you to have another conversation with the personwho displayed the disrespectful behaviour. If you don’t feel comfortabletalking to the individual, then your manager will talk with the persondisplaying the disrespectful behaviour.After bringing this forward to your manager your role is to ensure thatyou are aware of how your behaviours and reactions may be contributingto the behaviours. Ensure that you are getting support (i.e. from EFAP, Familyand/or Friends) Avoid gossiping at work (this may make the situation worse) Let your leader know if the behaviour continuesConnect with additional supports such as:1. Advisor, HR Business Partnerships2. Your union (if applicable)3. Safe Disclosure Line10

2.6.1 What will happen if you report bullying to your manager or appropriatesupervisorIf you report to your manager they will have a conversation with you and the person displayingthe bullying behaviours. They may also reach out to their Advisor, HR Business Partnerships forsupport. After you report it is important that you let you manager know if the behaviourcontinues to occur.What to do after you report? Take care of yourself by:o seeking supports from your friends or familyo accessing EFAP Avoid gossiping Let you manager know if the behaviour continues2.7Bullying Resources for EmployeesPreventing bullying through awareness Talk to your manager about bullying using the Worker Safety Moment on Bullying in theWorkplace. Use and promote educational resources on bullying located on Insite.Useful resources include:o Bullying in the Workplace: A handbook for the Workplace. Practical suggestionsfor managers and staff to help reduce incidents of workplace bullying.o Workplace Bullying Fast Facts Call EFAP at 1-877-273-3134 or visit their WorkHealthLife webpage for moreinformation.Education and Resources There are several courses offered by AHS to help staff and managers deal withdifficult behaviours; some suggestions include:oRespectful Workplace ToolkitoArt of AccountabilityoConflict Resolution Complete the Annual Continuing Education (ACE): Respect in the Workplace Moduleavailable at MyLearningLink See MyLearningLink for additional educational opportunities.AHS Awareness CampaignAHS has a Bullying Awareness Week that coincides with National Bullying Awareness Week Preventing Bullying through Team Awareness.11

Appendix A: Tips to address bullies71. Recognize it – Be aware of the signs of bullying.2. Don’t personalize it – Realize you may not be the only one who is being bullied by this person atwork.3. Establish boundaries – You need to be aware of your own boundaries so you know when a line iscrossed and can choose to take appropriate response.4. Be courageous – Don’t let people who are displaying bullying behaviours intimidate you. Theirbehaviour is wrong and you need to muster up your own courage and conviction to deal with thiseffectively. Sometimes reflecting this courage with professionalism and restraint can deter theperson who is displaying bullying behaviour, if they think you won’t ‘buy in’ to their tactic.5. Let the person displaying bullying behaviour know their behaviour is unacceptable – Have a directconversation with the person who is displaying bullying behaviour and let them know theirbehaviour is unacceptable. Never stoop to their level – do not ‘bully back’!6. Document everything – Write down all bullying incidents. As much as possible keep a writtenrecord of communications, events, emails etc. Take notes after the incident include time, date,what happened and witness. When its time to escalate the situation you will need to show thehistory. Note: It is important to report incidents in a timely manner.7. Remind the person who is displaying bullying behaviour about the workplace policies – Remindthe person who is displaying bullying behaviour of the AHS Workplace Violence: Prevention andResponse Policy (formerly workplace abuse and harassment).8. Stand up to the person who is displaying bullying behaviour– Sometimes a person who isdisplaying bullying behaviour will back down when someone stands up to him or her. Assertively,professionally and directly, tell the person to stop the bullying behaviour.9. Escalate when necessary – If the bullying continues, report the bullying behaviour to theappropriate organization official (your manager, Human Resources or Workplace Health & Safety).10. Seek support or get counselling – Seek out counselling through EFAP if you are having on-goinganxiety or mental health issues as a result of the incident. If you notice others being bullied by thisindividual reach out to support each other and stand in unison.712 tips to deal with a bully at work. The Globe and Mail. Found Sept 2, 2013. e4920861/12

Appendix B: Bullying LinksAnger Management Resource (for ly Free at Workhttp://www.bullyfreeatwork.comCanada Safety Council – Bullying in the llies.htmlNo Bully For Me Harassment Information 13

RIGHTS AND DISCLAIMERThe content of this resource is offered for information purposes only. This resource is not intended tooffer legal, medical or other professional advice and should not be relied on for those purposes.ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSMany thanks to the Foothills Medical Center for allowing us to utilize some of the content theydeveloped in their Bullying in the Workplace Toolkit.Updated: December 201514

or sexual orientation. Bullying includes acts or verbal comments that could hurt an individual’s feelings or cause the person to become isolated in the workplace. Sometimes bullying involves negative physical contact as well. Although bullying is a form of