How the Pandemic Altered Bullying & Harassment in the Workplace

harassment and bullying in the workplace

2021 was the beginning of The Great Resignation, an economic trend employers are still battling against in 2023. This trend was triggered by the overwhelming number of workers who voluntarily resigned as lockdowns lifted and office life tried to return to normal. Or whatever the “new normal” is in a post-pandemic world.

Businesses faced the challenge of retaining employees in the wake of the unprecedented and complex year 2020 turned out to be. Many people discovered that remote work was more conducive to their productivity, free from lengthy commutes, distracting coworkers, and workplace bullies. When the government gave businesses the green light to return to the office, the negative response from employees was surprising.

Pivot HR has seen a rise in requests for HR diversity training regarding anti-bullying and harassment– keep reading to find out why.

Inclusive Accommodation

When workers were confronted with an employer that refused to provide accommodations, like the option to continue working remotely for those with auto-immune diseases, workers across the world handed in their resignation. Why would they stay at a job that does not respect their health, safety and well-being?

This major shift in employee ideologies forced companies to look inward, especially at their diversity, equity and inclusion policies. In the past three years, Pivot HR has been hired by countless businesses to revamp their policies and provide DEI training tailored to the business. Providing accommodation without inclusion is discrimination.

The Old/New Issue

Bullying and harassment in the workplace is a tale as old as time. Conflict is inevitable when people from all walks of life are stuck together for 40 hours a week. Transitioning to remote work did not put a stop to bullying. If anything, bullies had greater access to their victims due to the sharing of personal phone numbers and private Zoom meetings without any leadership present.

What is a Bystander?

The bystander effect is a social psychological theory where onlookers in a crowd are less likely to assist a victim because they assume someone else will lend a hand. This is also known as bystander apathy.

Bystanders are the people who look upon an incident and do nothing to assist the victim, like driving past a fatal car crash, gawking at the gore and driving away.

It’s human nature to be cautious of conflict, but in Pivot HR’s DEI training, we encourage everyone to reject the bystander inclination and to encourage upstanding behaviour. To be an upstander is to stand up against bullying and intimidation tactics– to speak up and speak out.

DEI Training with Pivot HR

Most businesses have experienced DEI training in some capacity. In the wake of the Great Resignation, it’s time for businesses to get serious about their DEI policies and initiatives.

Pivot HR’s DEI training teaches employers and employees about the importance of representation and participation of all people in the workplace, regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, disabilities, age, and culture.

Get In Touch

Is your business struggling with bullying and harassment? Do your policies need updating? Pivot HR offers in-person training in Vancouver and Toronto and online courses held over Zoom for businesses across Canada.

Contact us today to learn more about Pivot HR’s Diversity Training and policy reformation.

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