Article: Create a workplace where everyone feels comfortable speaking up

Fascinating article that goes into the research of speaking up. A key component of employee satisfaction is feeling like your voice is valued. Well, here at SunShower, we’ve been not only saying that for more than a dozen years, we’ve offered workshops and training materials you can use to conduct your own workshops. Ouch! That Stereotype Hurts is the only course on the market today that actively teaches how to speak up and what to say when you hear demeaning comments. Also, Ouch! Your Silence Hurts teaches about how to be an ally when you hear something.

“Before we can explore how leaders can foster a workplace where employee voice is valued, we must understand why employees don’t speak up. Conventional management wisdom says that employees will speak up once they muster the courage — if they see something, they’ll say something. But brain scientists repeatedly find this not to be the case. Time after time, otherwise morally upstanding people choose not to report something troubling.”

As we say in Ouch!, remaining silent condones the behavior. In today’s workplace it’s important to speak up and not condone stereotypical jokes or biased statements. Learn what to say so that when you speak up, you’re not creating a bigger problem (one of the biggest reasons people don’t speak up is to avoid rocking the boat).

“Two essential habits, when modeled and practiced, help people find their voice: speaking up in a way that is less challenging for the speaker, and less threatening to the person being spoken to. If leaders can make speaking up feel less threatening — and maybe even feel rewarding — they can create the kind of culture in which psychological safety thrives.”

How to create a culture in which psychological safety thrives? Train your people with Ouch! and then model the behavior of speaking up, and reward those who do. If you’d like help, call us and we can conduct an online webinar or in-person training workshop. Along with our DVD, USB, streaming video and Elearning course offerings.


Joel Lesko