A massive problem in today’s performance management landscape is that while everybody claims they value feedback and fresh opinions but when they are posed the simplest question of: What do you do exactly to encourage any of these? The answer never seems to be satisfactory. Encouraging your team to speak up might seem like a simple enough concept and appear like it is just a matter of asking them to do so, yet the foundations of this concept go far deeper.
To make sure you encourage speaking up in your organization, what you need to do first and foremost is to ensure that you are fostering a culture of empowerment, and that takes more than just telling people to speak up. So, let’s discuss what exactly you can do to encourage your team to speak up.
A safe space
You need to start by creating a safe space where your employees aren’t afraid to speak out. If anyone on the leadership team has a habit of shutting down new ideas or putting the people who came up with unsatisfactory ideas down, then you need to make some attitude changes fast. None of your employees should feel afraid to speak out, voice their opinions, and exchange feedback in the workplace.
Start the conversation
Even if you adopt a new and positive outlook towards employees speaking out, they will need to see it first. That is why you need to start leading by example. Make round-robin discussions a regular part of your team check-ins. Don’t wait for your employees to speak out in order to show how supportive you are of them speaking out, instead, create opportunities in which they will be encouraged to speak out. This way, your team can experience just how supportive you are firsthand. Once you turn discussions into daily or even weekly habits, your company culture will evolve around them.
360 degree feedback
360 degree feedback is one of the most versatile tools you can take advantage of as you are building a culture of speaking out in your organization. 360 degree feedback shows your employees that their voice matters and that their opinions are valued in your organization. Utilizing performance review software with 360 degree feedback features makes sure your employees know that their opinions and feedback have actual power and real time implications on your decision making and action plans in general.
Encouraging your employees to speak up is a challenging task but if you play your cards right, create a safe space, lead by example, and of course, implement 360 degree feedback into your day to day operations then you will, without the shadow of a doubt encourage your employees to voice their opinions, present fresh ideas, exchange feedback, and simply speak out more often.