Most employees when asked would state that they prefer to work with leaders who truly value their input, and who appreciate a “speak-up culture”, to be involved in a workplace where people feel welcome, included, and free to express views and opinions. A company culture such as this, can benefit all areas of the organisation.
Nobody likes confrontation, and many people will go out of their way to actively avoid conflict. In the workplace, however, there are instances where people must voice their concerns, air grievances and speak their mind. Employers should recognise this, encouraging team members to ‘speak up’ and this will be well accepted by employees if there is a solid platform on which issues can be raised, this platform is built on three elements…
Trust comes first. Employers should lead by example and ensure that staff can trust them 100%. Like any relationship, starting with trust as a foundation will go a long way in reassuring your employees that they can speak about anything that might be worrying them.
A big part of this is having an open-door policy. If a member of staff feels they cannot trust an employer with sensitive information, or an issue that troubles them, then they will take it elsewhere or keep it to themselves.
Trust not only has a massive effect on bringing up sensitive issues, but it also gives employees the confidence to pitch new, brave and exciting ideas to colleagues and clients.
Trust also has a lot to do with how your policies are implemented. A clear, structured process is far better than one that is overly-complicated, or one with a worrying amount of small print.
If, for example, an employee feels they have to report a fellow colleague then this is already sensitive ground for them. It doesn’t have to be – make your processes jargon-free and easy to understand.
It is vital that a company breeds a culture on reporting, and stresses how accessible reporting is. A “speak-up” culture will help lessen the stigma around workplace reporting and alleviate any worries, concerns and issues. Creating trust through removing the stigma of reporting on colleagues can be achieved through reiterating there is no consequence to doing so and creating an atmosphere of honesty and transparency. But how can you really get your employees to engage with it?
It should be properly addressed during the induction phase with clear parameters of what actions they can take if they see untoward conduct occurring and highlighting reward versus consequence. Once you have instilled a sense of confidence and a culture of trust within your workplace, it is now time to draw up some detailed grievance procedures. Having your staff understand what processes exist, will make them feel comfortable should an issue arise.
It is imperative that you promote a culture of transparency by ensuring everyone is responsible for continuous feedback, across all levels of the company. Of course, the implementation of policies is not quite enough. Employers need to be following up these policies by speaking to staff and getting their views “How has this worked?”, “Do you think this has had a positive, or negative effect on productivity?” Staff satisfaction translates well into all other areas of business, productivity is proven to be far higher when staff are happy, motivated and well-adjusted. This also improves reputations, as it gives you the opportunity to present the business as a strong advocate of employee happiness and satisfaction.
So how can Corporate Drama help your organisation to close the accountability gap, ensure that all team members are actively listening and feeling free to speak up when issues arise?
We can help you by using our interactive, dynamic learning experiences with business role-play actors and your specific workplace challenges. We make training memorable, transferable and measurable.
They say that ‘practice makes perfect.’ But the theory in a classroom is not practice, actually doing something different is. So, the best way to improve your staff’s management, leadership, influencing, customer service or selling skills is to create as close to a real-life environment as possible.
Our Corporate Drama team of facilitators, coaches and business actors bring something very different to each client project. All of our team have ‘walked the walk’ working in the real world of business, with all of its politics, pressures and relationship challenges. This means your people receive a very different training experience, one that is as close to real-life as possible. This gives them the confidence to put the ‘practice into action’ back in their ever-challenging working environments.
Here at Corporate Drama we develop authentic leaders, managers and teams. Our programmes re-energise, re-focus and re-engage your people. We dramatically transform workplace training leaving a measurable, visible impact throughout your entire organisation.
How can we help you and your people?
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