September 19, 2013

40% of Canadian Workers Experience Bullying on a Weekly Basis!

Doug Lawrence







Well that certainly captured my attention!  Another interesting fact is the one in three adolescent students in Canada have reported being bullied recently. An estimated 200 million children and youth around the world are bullied by their peers. Young people who bully have a one in four chance of having a criminal record by age 30. The school yard is the number one hot spot for bullying.

Bullying sometimes never gets addressed as leaders, managers and supervisors are not sure how to deal with the behavior. Most prefer to adopt the ostrich syndrome and bury their heads in the sand. That way we don’t have to acknowledge that it is happening in our school or workplace. I understand how we may not have the tools to deal with this but there are people that can assist you in dealing with this. Think of it from this perspective – if you are an organization of 130 people on a weekly basis 52 of your employees are being bullied. Is that the culture that you want to portray? What have you done to train your leadership team on how to deal with these situations? Do you deal with the root cause or choose to ignore it?

I read in the newspaper just the other day another report of bullying taking place in the school system. We are going to study this some more and in the meantime there will be so many lives that will be impacted. 47% of Canadian parents report having a child victim of bullying! We can make a difference in their young lives before the damage is too great even to the extent of it becoming a tragedy. That is truly senseless from where I sit – how about you?

Organizations can change the culture and deal with bullying in the workplace. If you could change it there, imagine the impact that would have on our children as they go to school. They listen and hear Mom and Dad discussing their day at work. They are very intelligent people and can figure things out pretty fast. Besides that who wants to go to a work place that is riddled with negativity and where you have a 4 in 10 chance of being subjected to bullying on a weekly basis?

There have been some great programs put in place in the United Kingdom in relation to peer mentoring in the educational system. There is some room for improvement and that would be to ensure that the students are provided with the tools that they need to be successful in their mentoring endeavours. This should really come as no surprise to us - one of the reasons that mentoring programs fail is the lack of training that should be provided to the participants.

Effective Mentoring is part of the solution in the work place and the educational system. We can make a difference and reduce the numbers of people that are being affected by bullying. We can create mentoring cultures in organizations and in the educational system that will suppress bullying before it has the chance to grow. All we need to do is embrace the “power of mentoring”! Can we afford not to?



2. Molcho M., Craig W., Due P., Pickett W., Harel-fisch Y., Overpeck, M., and HBSC Bullying Writing Group. Cross-national time trends in bullying behaviour 1994-2006: findings from Europe and North America. International Journal of Public Health. 2009, 54 (S2): 225-234

3. Lee R.T., and Brotheridge C.M. “When prey turns predatory: Workplace bullying as predictor of counteragression / bullying, coping, and well-being”. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology. 2006, 00 (0): 1-26




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