Strategies to prevent bullying in workplace

By Kiljon Shukullari

Law360 Canada (November 21, 2023, 9:53 AM EST) --
Kiljon Shukullari
Kiljon Shukullari
A healthy work environment is the key to great workplace productivity and employee morale. As an employer, ensuring the well-being and safety of your staff is crucial, and this includes taking proactive measures to prevent bullying and harassment. With Anti-Bullying Week underway, now is a great opportunity for employers to address this issue head-on and implement strategies to foster a respectful workplace.

According to a recent study, nearly two in three survey respondents (65 per cent) reported experiencing harassment or violence at work in the past two years. Furthermore, a staggering 71.4 per cent of respondents encountered some form of harassment, violence, or sexual harassment and violence in the same timeframe. These statistics underscore the urgency for employers to take decisive action in preventing workplace bullying.

Key measures to prevent workplace bullying

1. Provide training

Conduct regular training sessions for both employees and supervisors on recognizing and preventing bullying. Managers should receive specific training on how to respond to complaints effectively and address them in a manner that fosters a positive workplace environment.

2. Promote positive workplace culture

Cultivate a workplace culture that values respect, open communication and collaboration. Encourage teamwork and emphasize the importance of treating colleagues with dignity and consideration.

3. Establish clear workplace violence, harassment policy

Develop and communicate a comprehensive workplace violence and harassment policy that explicitly defines bullying behaviour. It’s crucial to ensure all employees are not only aware of the policy but also understand the consequences of engaging in bullying.

4. Create support system

Establish support systems for employees who have experienced bullying, such as providing access to counselling services. Creating a supportive environment helps victims cope and promotes the overall well-being of the workplace.

5. Respond promptly to complaints

Investigate all complaints promptly and take appropriate corrective action in a timely manner. Demonstrating a commitment to addressing concerns promptly sends a strong message that bullying will not be tolerated.

It’s the employer’s responsibility to take the necessary steps to protect staff and prevent all forms of bullying and harassment, thereby maintaining a safe and inclusive workplace for everyone. Addressing bullying is not only a legal obligation but also crucial for the overall health and well-being of the business. By fostering a respectful workplace culture, implementing clear policies and providing ongoing training and support, employers can create an environment where employees feel valued, safe and empowered to continue to give their best to the organization.

Kiljon Shukullari is human resources advisory manager at Peninsula Canada.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the views of the author’s firm, its clients, Law360 Canada, LexisNexis Canada, or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.

Photo credit

Interested in writing for us? To learn more about how you can add your voice to Law360 Canada, contact Analysis Editor Peter Carter at or call 647-776-6740.