Employee Empowerment: Getting them to Speak Up, Not Complain Behind the Scenes

How come nobody’s speaking up at work anymore? I mean actually expressing opinions, offering suggestions, recommending changes in a face-to-face format.

Sure, it’s much more fun to whine and complain under the radar. Whether it’s blogging, Facebook, email, Twitter, texting, etc., there are plenty of outlets for uncensored chatter. (Even Tiger Woods’ swing coach opted for “dumping by text”, rather than a real conversation.)

But what’s really going on here? Are workers laying low because of the jittery job market? Perhaps they’re feeling that it’s just too risky to be visible, even when they have ideas that could have a positive effect on your company, and their careers.

Or maybe they feel that no one is listening.

It’s one thing to say that your employees are your greatest assets, but just talking about it isn’t going to cut it. It’s all about how we as managers prove that out, day-to-day by building a culture that encourages communication——both ways.  It matters less what method you choose: blogs, employee feedback programs, or full-blown employee recognition programs that encourage and reward the sharing of ideas to improve the business. It’s more about making a commitment to open the conversation.

What are you doing to make it easier for your people to speak up?


Jude Carter
May 14, 2010

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