Remote Culture

What Difference Can A Day And Pink Shirt Make?

February 24, 2021
4 min read

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Did you know? 79% of all employees have indirectly experienced or witnessed bullying in the workplace. Pink Shirt Day is an anti-bullying global movement to raise awareness and promote the prevention of bullying in the workplace.

On the heels of so many challenging events (do I really need to list them?!), I can’t help but wonder what difference a day and pink shirt might make? I expect we’ll see a bunch of Zoom team photos and several companies will (as we are right now) be using the day to show their clients, customers, employees, and others their commitment to respect in their workplace and communities. But can a day and pink shirt make any real difference? I hope so.

Today might be the day when:

Someone decides to report something they’ve been putting up with.

In her article for Harvard Business Review, How to Deal with a Mean Colleague, Amy Gallo outlines a detailed path to dealing with bullies in the workplace. When it’s time to report them, the recommendation is to outline how that person’s behaviour is hurting the business.

Someone decides not to look for another job because they’re seeing a commitment from their employer to do better and be better.

The most important component of preventing bullying in the workplace is a commitment from management. Want to know what a proper workplace violence and harassment prevention program should look like? Click here and scroll down to the ‘What can an employer do?’ section.

A leader finally asks for help from their HR team to deal with the brilliant jerk on their team.

In Jim Schleckser’s article in Inc., Why Netflix Doesn’t Tolerate Brilliant Jerks, it highlights that regardless of how smart or productive these individuals are, teamwork and collaboration suffers.

A brilliant jerk gets a glimpse of how people may be seeing him/her and tries to be brilliant without the “jerk” part.

Psychologist, Chantal Gautier shares six signs that provide insight into whether someone is a bully. Use these six indicators to pay attention and become aware of how you’re treating others or how others are being treated.

Someone decides to check in with a co-worker who is always the butt of jokes to see if it ever feels like things go too far.

Being the butt of jokes isn’t always easy and can be exhausting. Putting the spotlight on ourselves rather than others can have more positive impacts. In Wanda Thibodeaux’s Inc. article, Why Researchers Say You Should Make Yourself the Butt of a Joke Once in a While, she dives into how self-defeating humour can give you control over what you say about yourself.

Someone decides to get help with the depression and anxiety they’ve developed as a result of feeling bullied or harassed at work and realizes they aren’t alone.

Living Life to the Full provides a mental health promotion course that helps people deal with their everyday life challenges and to learn self-management skills and techniques. Always remember, you’re not alone! Don’t be afraid to lean on others for support.

Workplaces become more productive because their employees feel safer.

The Fearless Organization Scan was developed in partnership with Professor Amy C. Edmondson of Harvard Business School. It highlights the correlation between psychological safety and team high-performance. They define psychological safety as "a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes." Read more to learn about the four dimensions used to measure psychological safety.

A top performer chooses a new company because of their reputation for creating safe workspaces.

Even in remote work (who isn’t working remotely these days?), bullying can be an issue. It also can be harder for employees to seek support from a far. Creating safe workspaces is critical for retaining top talent. You can learn how to train your remote leaders on creating safe remote workplaces, through Teamit’s Remote Performance Academy.

We hope you’ll join us in reflecting, learning and taking even one small action to lift one another up and promote respect in our workplaces.

About the author


Teamit helps growth-focused companies recruit top talent, scale quickly and build high performing technical teams in North America and South America.