Daily Buzz: Create a Voice-rich Culture
Leaders should promote a culture of speaking up
If there’s a problem at work, you’d hope your team members would speak up. Yet research shows only 1 percent of employees feel “extremely confident” airing their concerns, and another 33 percent say their organizations don’t support a work environment where speaking up is acceptable.
Psychologists have named the behavior of speaking up at work “employee voice,” which tends to be upward, constructive communication in its intent and challenging in content. Khalil Smith and David Rock, executives at the NeuroLeadership Institute, and Chris Weller, an editor there, have studied employee voice—and leaders play a big role in determining whether a workplace cultivates or shies away from speaking up.
“While our research team initially started studying voice as a way of addressing harassment and other high-stakes breaches of ethics, we discovered that speaking up doesn’t just discourage problematic behaviors; it encourages positive ones like creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving,” they say in a post for Quartz At Work. “That means when leaders create the conditions for voice, they can make smarter, more creative decisions and root out questionable behaviors before they fester into something larger.”
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