“We don’t get a lot of complaints around here”
It was true.
People did not complain.
– They did as they were told.
– They put in the long hours needed to get their jobs done.
– They made the most of the “open-door policy,” frequenting their manager’s office to ask questions and understand how the Manager would do the job.
They did not complain. To Management, at least.
Nor did they voice valid concerns.
– Or make creative suggestions.
– Or take risks.
– Or talk about the things they were passionate about or the areas they wanted to develop.
Instead, they grumbled. First to their family and friends. And then to each other.
And then, to the surprise of Management, people started to burn out. And people started to leave.
“But we have an open-door policy, I have people in my office all the time!”
“But they had no problem putting in the extra effort we needed to get things done!”
“But we had no complaints!”
Over the course of my career, I have spoken with many, many people who are afraid. Afraid to speak up. Afraid to share their truth. Afraid to say “no.” Afraid to be creative. Afraid to take risks. Afraid to fail.
Afraid of losing their job. Or perhaps worse, keeping it but having to deal with a boss who has responded with blaming, shaming, irritation, frustration, anger, or the cold shoulder.
They may call it hesitation. But it is fear.
Creating a safe space for people to speak up, be creative, take risks, and share their truth is not easy, but it is essential if we want to keep great people, create a healthy workplace culture, and grow, develop, and succeed.
THRIVE: A Leadership Journey, which starts January 2023 in Cambridge, ON and February 2023 online, can help you enhance psychological safety, performance and well-being both at work and at home.
Or reach out to find out how to bring THRIVE to your workplace.