Is your company ready to address the serious issues of harassment and bullying? The Calgary Consortium for Civility, Respect, and Dignity at Work is a group of professionals who provide a wide range of services in this area. Together, we have developed a model of service interventions that will address the requirements of Alberta’s Bill 30 and assist organizations to develop a culture of respect. While not every service will require outside assistance, many will as often dealing with issues is difficult for internal resources. Previous involvement, knowing pieces of information, and having dealt with some of the parties can create a conflict of interest situation. Further, not every organization has every resource.

The model begins with prevention activities, but organizations can begin anywhere with the services indicated.  Here is the model as presented by Pat Ferris of Janus & Associates;

Preventing: We can help your organization:

  • Create an updated occupational health and safety policy that includes harassment and bullying
  • Create a Respectful Workplace Policy
  • Provide training on Occupational Health and Safety obligations with regards to bullying and harassment
  • Provide training and discussion on Psychological Safety in the workplace
  • Create health and safety and/or respect committees and provide the designates required by the legislation
  • Provide opportunities for social dialogue around bullying, harassment, and psychological safety, keeping the topic current and in the minds of workers
  • Provide leadership training and coaching on the role of supervisors, managers, and other leaders in creating a culture of psychological safety and respect
  • Utilize the opportunity to use a third party to assess existing conflict management systems and their impact on bully and harassment and provide recommendations for proactive conflict management
  • Provide training to all levels on conflict resolution
  • Select supervisors and leaders on the basis of emotional and social intelligence using reliable and valid tools

Monitoring: We can help your organization:

  • Provide a whistle blower process
  • Provide employee surveys that give feedback on psychological safety
  • Develop a committee that can oversee and review results of whistle blower and employee survey outcomes
  • Give leadership the opportunity to see and discuss such results
  • Provide an Independent Ombudsman Office to enable employees to anonymously and confidentially call out to a third party to discuss concerns around managing conflict or explore bullying and harassment issues and who supplies annual or semi-annual reporting to indicate systemic issues around bullying and harassment

Responding: We can help your organization:

  • Provide skilled support to those who have experienced or witnessed bullying/harassment
  • Assess and intervene for those who have engaged in bullying and harassment
  • Develop inter-personally appropriate leadership and management styles through leadership coaching
  • Skilled HR professionals with training in the management of bullying and harassment
  • Bring in third party investigation to provide reports and recommendations by investigators trained in trauma situations.

Repairing: We can help your organization:

  • Provide specialized treatment professionals for those who have experienced/witnessed bullying/harassment
  • Provide perpetrator coaching with professionals skilled in the area of abrasive management
  • Provide debriefing and skill building for teams in conflict and harassment situations
  • Provide restorative facilitation and mediation services for repairing interpersonal relationships
  • Other means of personal repair, e.g., access to retreats and workshops, working with horses

The cost of bullying and harassment can be substantial to organizations[1]. Studies show that when a company provides a full range of interventions and resources, the likelihood of negative workplace behavior is reduced and damage to individuals when incidents do occur is minimized.[2]

The Calgary Consortium can assist with developing a culture of respect, dignity, and safety. The members include:

  • Linda Crockett, MSW, RSW, Executive Director Alberta Bullying Research, Resources and Recovery Centre (ABRC): expert in bullying resources, training, treatment, , coaching, advocating and whistle blower line provision ( abrc.ca  1-780-965-7480 ).
  • Pat Ferris and Janus Associates Psychological Services, Ph.D., Partner, Janus Associates Psychological Services: experts in workplace bullying and harassment policy development, training, coaching, treatment and testing (janusassociates.ca 403-269-9600).
  • Marlene Hope: expert in trauma-informed interviewing techniques and healing through equine (horse) facilitated learning:(Licensed Investigator through the Government of Alberta – Alberta Justice and Solicitor General, Mediator, Certificate in Conflict Resolution, Equine Assisted Therapy Certificate, Human Resource Management Certificate, Senior Police Management Certificate (hope@committed2change.ca  587-578-1545).
  • Michelle Phaneuf: P. Eng., Mediator, Ombudsman: expert in mediation, facilitation, and conflict resolution training (workplacefairnesswest.ca 403-243-0147)

Together, we can make Alberta workplaces a positive experience and example to all.

[1] http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2158244015589997, http://www.workplacebullying.org/costs/ Giga, Hoel, Lewis, (2008). The costs of workplace bullying. Report and review for the Dignity at Work Partnership, available from http://www.workplacebullying.org/costs/

[2] Ferris, Deakin, Mathieson, (2018). Workplace bully policy effectiveness. In press.

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