Glen Haven Manor welcomed Jenna Brookfield, a health and safety representative of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) national office, to present multiple anti-bullying, harassment and harmful behaviours educational sessions to Glen Haven staff earlier this spring.
Brookfield was pleased with the collaborative approach taken by CUPE and Glen Haven and said it is clearly the most effective one.
“These issues can only be overcome co-operatively and cannot be solved by the unions or the employers alone,” said Brookfield. “There is both a business and moral case for creating a bullying- and harassment-free workplace. It creates an environment where people belong, are treated with dignity and respect, are happy and therefore more productive.”
Approximately 160 members of staff and management took part in the hour-long sessions which explained the definitions of bullying and harassment, the cycles of bullying, and ways to implement preventative action. Brookfield explained that bullying and harassment are psychological health and safety issues and that our minds are also susceptible to injuries just like the body.
The objectives of the anti-bullying educational session are for participants to better understand the impacts of harmful behaviour, the difference between bullying and harassment, and to offer tools to prevent bullying and harassment and to minimize the impact of harmful behaviours. Brookfield explained that harassment is a pattern of offensive behaviour that a reasonable person would consider unwelcome while bullying is a form of harassment. Both are examples of behaviour harmful to the workplace.
“Harassment is targeting and undermining others. Bullying is a form of harassment in which one individual seeks to devalue or undermine another in the eyes of their peers. It requires bystanders or an audience for the bully works to present their target in a negative way. The bully waits until the target leaves the room and plants seeds of destruction. They want others to “do their work.”
When a bully criticizes others, he or she seeks a nod of acceptance or the repeating of the “gossip.” Bullying creates social isolation and is a form of torture. Humans need acceptance to survive while the bully strives to take this away. Brookfield also explained the difference between good stress, which is a catalyst for productivity, and bad stress, which creates flight or fight reactions.
CEO Lisa M. Smith said she was very pleased that CUPE presented Glen Haven Manor with the opportunity for Brookfield to come and speak and that Glen Haven was delighted to co-host this professional development session.
“Glen Haven has long-standing anti-bullying and discrimination and harassment policies and it is a priority that our workplace treats all employees and residents with respect and dignity. Our Twisting the Kaleidoscope team, which is made up of representatives from our partners in care, our staff, and reps from the leadership team, is initiating several new programs that strengthen a respectful workplace in addition to other joint projects. These respectful workplace programs include a bulletin board for key educational messages plus shout-outs to staff for a job well done, going above and beyond the call of duty or for supporting and helping out someone else.”