Each week, ICBA’s Jordan Bateman reflects on what we’ve learned as we participate in ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program. This program is free for all ICBA members – check out icba.ca/wellness for details.

School’s back from summer break and our ICBA Wellness program is talking this week about some stereotypically bad schoolyard behaviour – bullying. In recent years, thanks to the Pink Shirt campaign and other anti-bullying initiatives, there has been a lot more focus on this kind of inappropriate, intimidating behaviour.

Bullying at work can include:

  • Repeated, health- or career-endangering mistreatment of one employee by one or more others
  • A form of psychological violence
  • Often a mix of verbal and strategic insults preventing the target from performing work well

So how do we stop this? One way is for bystanders to show “moral courage.” Instead of freezing or withdrawing when you see rude behaviour, politely but firmly address it. Speaking up early, and kindly, can defuse a lot of bad situations. Something as simple as, “Hey, what’s going on? Let’s not talk to each other that way,” can be very helpful.

We’re allowed to have bad days and disagreements – but we shouldn’t let those have a significant negative impact on anyone else.

ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program is helping more than 50 companies, and thousands of construction professionals, better understand mental health. The program is free for ICBA members — see icba.ca/wellness.