The benefits of creating a speaking up culture
When individuals feel comfortable sharing their ideas, concerns or feedback, it leads to improved decision-making, increased innovation, enhanced employee engagement and, a more positive, productive and happier workplace culture.
The latest Gallup State of the Workplace Survey reveals on only 13% of the global workforce are engaged at work. 72% are not engaged and (quiet quitting) and 15% are actively disengaged (loud quitting). Gallup estimates that low engagement costs the global economy US$8.8 trillion and accounts for 9% of global GDP.
“Leadership and management directly influence workplace engagement, and there is much that organisations can do to help employees thrive at work”.
- Enhanced decision-making: When employees feel empowered to share their thoughts and opinions, it brings diverse perspectives to the fore, leading to better decision-making. Varying viewpoints challenge assumptions identify unconscious bias and brings about more informed choices.
- Increased innovation: When an organisation embraces a culture of speaking up it nurtures creativity and innovation. Employees who feel valued and safe for raising ideas allow the organisation to tap into the collective intelligence of their people, problem solving and driving continuous improvement.
- Positive, productive and happier work environment: Create a culture that encourages open communication. Remove the barriers to speaking up where people fear retaliation or worse!
Building a successful speaking up culture
As we mentioned earlier, leadership and management directly influence workplace engagement.
- Leadership commitment: Leaders should actively demonstrate and encourage open communication, inviting feedback, listening and following up on feedback, and valuing diverse perspectives. When leadership model this behaviour, it sets the expectation for the whole organisation.
- Establish trust: Trust is the foundation of any speaking up process. Through transparent communication, active listening and demonstrating feedback is welcome will help people to feel confident in voicing their opinions, concerns or ideas. Confidentiality is crucial for employees to feel psychologically safe to raise concerns.
- Communication channels: Establish clear and accessible communication channels for your people to speak up. These could include; anonymous reporting channel, suggestion boxes or discussion board forums, staff surveys, regular team meetings. Ensure everyone is aware of these channels and know how to access and use them.
- Training and Education: Provide training when onboarding new employees, ongoing training to existing employees and advertise internally all the ways your people can communicate with you.
- Feedback and recognition: Reinforce the act of speaking making sure you to acknowledge and appreciate individuals to speak up. Celebrate these contributions and the value of these inputs. This encourages others to follow, creating a culture where speaking up is ‘business as usual’.
- Accountability: All feedback received must be acted upon. Hold leaders and teams accountable for raising concerns and taking necessary actions. When employees seethed their concerns or ideas are taken seriously and can lead to tangible improvements in the organisation, it reinforces the importance of speaking up and show that every voice matters.
Encouraging speaking up in your organisation is crucial for fostering open communication, driving innovation and enhancing employee engagement. Build a diverse speaking up process that values diverse perspectives, establishes trust and promotes accountability. You can create an environment where individuals feel empowered to share their ideas and concerns, Embrace the power of speaking up and unlock the full potential of your organisation and its people.
WorkInConfidence provide a whole suite of solutions to support your speaking up culture from anonymous two-way reporting to HR case management – book in for a demo today!
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