Strategies to Reduce Stigma | Action
Implement policies that support workers’ well-being and make seeking support easier. Foster an environment where individuals can access resources without fear of retaliation or discrimination.
When confronted with stigmatizing behavior or harassment on the worksite, it’s crucial to take action. We understand that behavior change can be gradual, but consistent correction is vital when addressing disrespectful conduct among team members. A well-communicated respectful workplace policy can significantly ease the process of correcting behavior. If your organization lacks such a policy, we recommend starting with the framework provided by Work Force at https://www.buildforce.ca/en/respectful-workplace-policy-framework
Intervening in such situations may require confronting uncomfortable challenges, depending on your role within the company and the person perpetrating the behavior. To assist you in tackling stigmatizing behavior, we present the “5 Ds of Bystander Intervention,” developed by Right to Be, which offers
Distraction: Subtly derail the incident of harassment by engaging directly with the person being harassed, rather than discussing the harassment itself. This discreet approach can be valuable, especially when dealing with sensitive or authoritative situations.
Delegate: Seek help from someone in a position of authority on the worksite to address the issue. Clearly communicate what you witnessed and how you’d like them to assist.
Document: Record or take notes on the incident of harassment responsibly. Always ensure the person who experienced harassment consents to the use of documentation and never share it without their permission.
Delay: If immediate intervention isn’t possible, you can still make a difference by checking in on the person who experienced harassment afterward. Show support, offer assistance, and share resources with them.
Direct: Respond directly to harassment by confronting the person responsible. Use this approach cautiously, as it may carry risks, such as potential retaliation. Assess the situation for safety and the willingness of the person being harassed before deciding to respond. Keep your intervention succinct and focused on supporting the person who experienced harm.