“The International Labour Organization in Geneva reveals some startling information,
France, Argentina, Romania, Canada and England have reported the highest rates
of assaults and sexual harassment on the job. Canadians are more likely to be
assaulted in the workplace than are their neighbours to the south of the
border… Canadian employers clearly have a challenge to face. The evidence and
statistics on workplace violence in Canada gathered by professional
associations show the numbers are rising.” – Joanne D. Leck, University of Ottawa
Here are some tips for managing anger and aggression in your workplace
- Lead by example
- Provide your staff with information and training of company’s harassment
- Encourage assertive communications practices.
- Discuss and provide examples of acceptable and respectful behaviour in
- Create and encourage peer and shared leadership.
Foster a Supportive Work Environment
- Ensure that employees do not feel stigmatized, watch out for the warning
signs of harassment and aggressive behaviour, address it immediately.
- Everyone needs to know that it is okay to ask for help, and that support
- Create opportunities for collaboration.
Ensure Best Management Procedures
- Train key staff, provide them with information and training of the
policies and procedures of the company.
- Monitor and ensure that procedures are followed.
- Watch for possible trouble spots and be prepared to affect positive
- Build engagement – share leadership whenever possible.
- Be Prepared to Defuse an Anger Event
- Have in place emergency procedures to deal with threats and
violence. They can come from within or outside of your organization -
- Train key people to respond and to deescalate anger events – recruit
peer leaders to help.
Bring in Outside Resources
- Assertiveness Training and Anger Management Programs can help your
people to increase their emotional intelligence and develop coping skills to
better manage stressful situations.
- Workplace Violence Prevention training can help your key people to
develop skills to respond to crisis situations – protect yourself.
- Engagement Programs can help your people to define best practices and shared
- Counselling Programs can support individuals who are struggling with
challenges in life and at work.
- Outside Resources bring an outside perceptive to your situation and
provide you with services to protect yourself.
- Be prepared to look at the causes of stress in your workplace and do
something about them.
- Support good stress management practices, encouraging employee wellness.
- Encourage and support professional and personal development for your
Uncontrolled anger and conflict can bring about violence. You will never have control over other people or events that unfold before you, but you do have a choice in how you
respond to any given situation. The safety and wellbeing of your staff and
customers are concerns for every business and the risk of anger episodes and
potential violence at work is very real. Being prepared and having a plan ready
may not protect you from threats of violence related to anger episodes, but it
can prepare you to respond effectively and minimize the risk to your people and