Canadian HR Reporter

March 23, 2015

Canadian HR Reporter is the national journal of human resource management. It features the latest workplace news, HR best practices, employment law commentary and tools and tips for employers to get the most out of their workforce.

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Canadian HR RepoRteR March 23, 2015 2 News Recent stories posted on Check the website daily for quick news hits from across Canada and around the world. WEB O N T H E across caNada Loblaw plans to open 50 new grocery stores this year Will create about 5,000 jobs at corporate, stores Ontario premier previews action plan to combat violence, harassment against women Laws need to be strengthened to keep workplaces free from sexual violence, harassment: Wynne Gender wage gap increasing in Alberta: Report Full-time working women earn about 37 per cent less per year than men New approach needed to tackle mental ill health at work: OECD Can take 10 years from onset of illness to treatment Unifor members approve new deal with CP Rail Local 101R members ratify deal by 79 per cent Canadian job quality sinks to record low: CIBC part-time jobs becoming the new norm arouNd tHe world Pay gap narrowed for EU women during fi nancial crisis diff erence of 16.4 per cent in 2013 versus 17.3 per cent in 2008 German Parliament approves quota requiring 30 per cent female directors at biggest companies Quota will apply to more than 100 listed companies HR key to positive labour relations Buzz Hargrove, director of the Centre for Labour Management Relations at Ryerson University, explains to Canadian HR Reporter tV how a positive labour- management relationship will benefi t a company in many ways FEATURED VIDEO BEd in Adult Education Advance your professional knowledge and skills in adult teaching and learning environments. Our students apply their degrees in many sectors where training and development require a solid foundation in the principles and practices of adult education. Pursue your studies at a pace that suits you — part time, online or site-based in a community near you. Apply today and begin your BEd in Adult Education in September 2015. Learn more: P: 905 688 5550 x5547 E: Faculty of Education Centre for Adult Education and Community Outreach bullying but I think there's broad- er social awareness of it. And from our perspective, we think it's really important that employers treat this proactively as an issue," said Wright. Prevalence At this point, data on the preva- lence of workplace bullying is rath- er limited, said Aaron Schat, asso- ciate professor at the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont. "I don't think we have really good data to know whether it's increasing. I think certainly it's fair to say that our awareness is increasing," he said. Statistical-based estimates suggest about 25 per cent of people in an organization are im- pacted by bullying, but it can vary substantially, said Ruth McKay, associate professor at the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University in Ottawa and a report co-author. "One of the challenges we have is that a lot of organizations are not surveying their employees, and also the methodology by which surveys are completed." One of the diffi culties inherent in measuring the prevalence of bullying is the fact it can take so many diff erent — and often subtle — forms, said Schat. "It can be subtle, non-verbal behaviours such as a sneer or a smirk or an eye-roll," he said. "Turning away from someone when they enter the room, a re- fusal to give eye contact, a refusal to answer someone… there can be some very subtle, non-verbal behaviours that can constitute bullying." In some cases, the target him- self may not even be aware these behaviours are taking place. It's about harm to individu- als and it often involves a power imbalance in some way, shape or form, said Wright. "(But) it's pretty context-specif- ic and there are diff erent types of bullying, and that's going to be a factor as well. Yes, there's the top- down (bullying) and that's the pre- dominant form, but peer-to-peer is quite an issue and also bottom- up bullying, where an individual can be bullying a supervisor." Cyberbullying One type of bullying that is not always associated with the work- place is cyberbullying, said Schat. "We hear more about it in schools and educational contexts but really what cyberbullying is is it involves the use of technology, the use of social media to under- mine someone. And certainly that can and does take place in organi- zational settings as well." ere are many diff erent ways it can unfold, and the target may or may not be aware of it, he said. "It could involve a text during a meeting, for example — a text from one colleague to another about perhaps another colleague in the room, whether it's 'Did you see what she's wearing?' or 'Did you hear what that idiot said this time?' so it can be something like that. It could be emails sent be- tween individuals about someone else," said Schat. "It could be the sending of pic- tures of the person, perhaps doc- tored in a way that makes them look ridiculous. And it could also involve sending the victim directly him or herself a text, an email, pic- tures, links, et cetera that in some way belittle them, make them feel foolish." Cyberbullying can also expand into employees' personal time and social media accounts, he said. "That's certainly one of the challenges of cyberbullying is it doesn't necessarily have physical barriers on it, so it could kind of bleed outside of the workplace but still involve co-workers." ere's also the false sense of anonymity that comes along with cyberbullying, said Schat — but it can still create reputational risk for an organization. "Anybody who is using these kinds of technologies can easily develop a feeling of this not being public domain — until of course somebody shares it and it be- comes public domain. e recent situation involving the Dalhousie dental students, for example — it was supposedly internal sharing, until a member decides to share it publicly, and suddenly it blows up," he said. " ere's a lot of risk that com- panies face in their reputation, and possibly legal risks and so forth if their workers are engaging in this type of behaviour." Guarding your workplace Employers need to have solid, well-disseminated policies and procedures to address workplace bullying, as well as proper en- forcement, said Schat. " ey need to talk about it and address it very openly, and develop policy around it. And not policy that is kind of dry and meaning- less, but policy that's backed up by regular, ongoing communication, and enforcement," he said. "It's important that organizations not tolerate indicators or instances of cyberbullying, or any kind of bul- lying when that behaviour occurs." It's also important to to train employees and managers around properly documenting incidents, said McKay. "One of the things that is really important when you talk about procedures is to make sure that you're not erasing any of that documentation," she said. Ultimately, it's about changing organizational cultures that en- able bullying, said Wright. "In environments where people are bullied, those people (can) also become bullies. So you really want to treat it as an organizational culture phenomenon. It's not just about those one or two individu- als who are bad apples that you need to identify and root out of your organization," she said. If an organization limits itself to just rooting out those one or two dysfunctional individuals, then it misses the concept of workplace bullying, said McKay. "It's a dynamic and it's shifting all the time." Just like with sexual harass- ment, there's now legislation in place around the issue, she said. "But when you take a look at sexual harassment, that legisla- tion has been in place for over 20 years and we're still seeing cases coming forward that are hard to comprehend that (they) would slip under the radar. And the same is the case for workplace bullying. It is easy to look at as a piece of legislation, but it's much more dif- fi cult to actually implement, put in place and make eff ective." Education is key bullyING < pg. 1 Cyberbullying: New tools one of the major means by which bullying occurs is email. it can create excessive work, exclude people from communications, include people from higher levels (by copying them) to draw attention to an action (or lack of action) or raise the priority of an issue without consultation. other cyberbullying tools used in the workplace include texting, tweeting, social media and hacking. organizations can address e-bullying and cyberbullying by: • creating a shared, common understanding of email protocol • educating all employees about e-bullying and cyberbullying • creating a policy "with teeth" and acting on the policy • aligning policy, investigation and action with legislation • documenting — not deleting — inappropriate electronic communications. Source: Workplace Bullying Primer: What It Is and How to Manage It/The Conference Board of Canada

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