It is well known that an organisation benefits if employees can speak freely and let their managers know about new ideas or problems that they are facing at work. Most research surveys show that employees do not share their ideas of business development, better sales, improved operations or even about the behaviour of their manager or colleague.
So what are the factors that cause employees to remain silent instead of voicing out their concerns freely?
If people are afraid to speak their minds, as they still have to approach their leaders to discuss something and will withhold any negative feedback. Unintentional displays of dominance can be a major turnoff for people. Most organisations rely on anonymous feedback to obtain frank input and this reinforces the fear amongst employees. It can also be difficult to address issues while ensuring the identity of the employee is kept hidden.
Another factor is the belief that nothing fruitful will occur if employees voice their concerns or ideas to their leaders. Leaders have to be vocal and take action on behalf of their employees. They have to be specific about the kind of input they expect from their employees and encourage the contribution of ideas.
In this Harvard Business Review, the author points out how simple changes like engaging with employees by walking out their office can help leaders get a better feedback. This report points out how different people from various organisations and work culture can encourage candour through frequent and casual one-on-one interaction.