Employees are the most important source of information. They are the eyes and ears in the workspace. You should give them this freedom, responsibility and trust. Remember, people actually want to help. It is human nature. This might sound easy, but the reality is challenging, as speaking up has been misinterpreted in time. In this insight we share tips for managers on how to achieve a SpeakUp culture.
Perhaps you can relate
Imagine that you as an employee are carrying something heavy on your shoulders and you are not able to voice your concern in a day-to-day business environment. You are missing synergy between your voicing and somebody listening.
We understand that it is not easy for an employee to find the right words to voice an almost unwanted message to his or her superior. Maybe the employee asks a vague question, or hints at something. He or she is investigating if the manager is open for this. It would be easy for the manager to say “Let’s put it on the agenda for our next bi-weekly”. Such a response can make an employee feel that their message is not important. So, in the worst-case scenario the employee could decide to leave, resulting in losing talent and harming the company’s reputation. And the issue is still not resolved and could be growing.
Our key take-away is: you need to offer your employees the psychological safety that allows them to freely speak up and engage with you and your common goals in the company. In practice, in order to create this safe synergy between the listener and voicer, you need a proper reporting system, like the SpeakUp® system. Even if the voicer wants to stay anonymous, you can have a conversation and check facts using SpeakUp.
Embrace, Preach, Practice…
As demonstrated, managers have a vital role in the journey towards actual integrity management in the workspace. We want to give you four tips:
- One. EMBRACE. Accept the difficult dynamics between the voicer and listener. Embrace a proper reporting system, just like the SpeakUp system, as a valuable and necessary tool!
- Two. PREACH. Share your vision with your colleagues and voice prevalence of integrity as a must… but do not make it too serious, bring it simple and positive! Make it normal to speak up.
- Three. PRACTICE. Put integrity on the agenda, create a SpeakUp culture and make it a living subject. Forget the sales targets for a minute and discuss potential missteps. Even though it is not easy, try to be the best listener you can.
- Four. SAFEGUARD INTEGRITY. Provide your superiors with feedback on integrity. Facilitate continuous dialogues in your team.
Do not forget, if you are in a situation with a voicer: accept, listen and do not panic. Someone is speaking up, someone is feeling safe to voice a concern, and this is a good thing. Practice what you preach, focus on the facts (do not ask who did it) and seek expert advice.