Union launches bullying prevention program

Awareness session and workshop help employers reduce bullying
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 10/06/2010

Bullying is detrimental to employees and employers as 75 per cent of people who are bullied in the workplace will leave their jobs, according to the Canadian Safety Council. Employers in Nova Scotia looking to prevent bullying in the workplace have a new resource to draw on.

The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union has launched the Bully-Free Workplace Program, a peer-to-peer facilitation program.

The union partners with the employer to provide either a two-hour bully awareness session or a more intensive six-hour bully-free workplace interactive workshop.

The union provides the trained facilitators, who are NSGEU members, and the materials to run the program.

"Bullying is a major problem," said union president Joan Jessome. "And that's no different in the workplace than it is in the playground."

The union has tested the program in workplaces across the province over the past year. The program covers topics for both employers and employees, such as:

• strategies employers and managers can use to reduce workplace bullying

• how to tell the difference between normal managerial activities and bullying

• how to observe staff for signs of bullying

• skills to use to change the dynamics of an unhealthy relationship at work.

Bullying has been shown to reduce productivity and result in increased sick time for employees, according to the union's website. It leads to increased stress, lack of motivation and a lack of trust. On the other hand, bully-free workplaces are more efficient, productive and stable.

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