When bullying occurs at work, only one in three employers take action, according to a recent survey. (iStock)

Over half of Canadians see or suffer bullying at work: poll

Share

A public opinion survey found that 55 per cent of respondents said they, a co-worker, or both have been bullied at work. The figure was higher for older Canadians as it was for disabled respondents.

The survey also found only one in three employers took action to end the bullying.

‘Harassment becomes bullying’

“Workplace harassment is a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker…that is known or should be known to be unwelcome,” says Jana Raver, an associate professor at Queen’s University’s business school.

“Workplace harassment becomes becomes workplace bullying when someone is repeatedly subjected to this over a period of time. And it often has a sense of difficulty defending oneself, so, a sense of powerlessness or helplessness that’s built into the experience of bullying.”

Stress, insecurity linked to bullying

This study did not look at why there is more bullying at work but Raver says previous research correlates it with stress. “If you have the types of jobs where there’s a lot of conflict, ambiguity, overload, insecurity, people don’t have a sense of job autonomy or control over their work, these types of circumstances are correlated with higher levels of workplace mistreatment and bullying.”

Raver adds workplace bullying is often not taken seriously and often there are no repercussions. Some people don’t report it for fear they will be discredited or there will be retaliation.

Bullying victims can suffer psychological problems and be less able to do their jobs well. (iStock)

Bad for workers, bad for employers

The results are bad for the worker and for the employer. “People, individually, if they’re victims will experience a lot of psychological difficulties. It can be anxiety, depression. It can actually manifest as personal health problems as well,” says Raver. “Above and beyond that there is workplace impairment. So, people have a difficult time focussing upon their work. There might be other, counterproductive behaviours. Turnover tends to go very, very high as well as absenteeism. We see employees taking stress leave. When it comes to actual teamwork and productivity we see  impairments there as well. Where people don’t work as effectively with others as efficient…(or) creative…(or) productive.”

Increasingly, employers are becoming aware that bullying is bad for them too and are implementing policies to prevent it. The survey showed that two out of three respondents said their employers had such policies. And three out of five said their employers’ policies on bullying were effective.

Raver hopes these numbers will increase.

Prof. Jana Raver talks about workplace bullying in Canada.

Listen
Share
Categories: Health, Society
Tags: , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*

One comment on “Over half of Canadians see or suffer bullying at work: poll
  1. Avatar Justin murray says:

    I work for Calgarys leading animal conservation organization. What is really embarrassing is that a company with a forward thinking persona, could support, put up with and defend bullying. I’m a man and the bullying is by a woman, and partly because of this I wasn’t taken seriously and my job was threatened when I reported it. The organization has an antibullying in there policies, but no training or desire to handle it. It caused me so much emotional stress I sought councilling and medical intervention. What your report said was correct, bully’s tend to be passive agressive and hide there behaviour just below the radar. When I brought it up, and showed my supervisor and he evidence I was told I was being mean to her and that I should just let it go. Very disappointing,