Managers and HR pros know how important it is to hear about workers’ problems early on.
That way, you can resolve the issues before they spiral into larger problems.
But getting workers to speak up isn’t always easy.
Create an open culture
Rebecca Knight, writing on the Harvard Business Review blog, consulted Joseph Grenny, co-founder of corporate training company, VitalSmarts, about how to create a more candid workplace.
Here are a few tips for you managers to help them encourage workers to speak up about problems. Grenny suggests:
- Find the source of workers’ silence. Are workers afraid if they speak up about a problem, they might be reprimanded? Do staffers feel that speaking up won’t change anything? Understanding why workers won’t speak up can help you tear down communication barriers.
- Provide multiple options for speaking up. Some workers may not be comfortable speaking up in front of groups. So give employees multiple avenues for reporting problems.
- Have managers model honesty. If your company wants to create a culture of openness, workers will have to see that managers and other higher-ups are willing and able to broach difficult topics in meetings, too.
- Show workers their voice matters. Staffers may feel like even if they do speak up, their ideas will just be passed over. To squelch that misconception, give workers regular updates on their suggestions and concerns to show the company is giving their opinions serious consideration.