Why are my employees afraid to share their experience and perspective?

Why are my employees afraid to share their experience and perspective?

There are many employees who feel that it is difficult to voice their opinions or experiences to their employer. It could come from a place of fear, complacency, or underestimation.

An employee should never feel as though they are putting their issues or perspective aside to be compliant. The workplace should be an environment where every employee feels comfortable to share, no matter how serious the issue may be.

As an employer, it is your mission to build a comfortable workplace environment. Not only will your employees be happy, but you will also benefit from a communicative team. If/when there is an issue presented, you will know sooner rather than later and can start creating a solution right away. Another advantage is that you could accumulate higher quality ideas because your team is more open to collaboration and sharing their creative ideas.

Why might an employee be uncomfortable with sharing their perspective?

An employee may think their perspective won’t be appreciated. If the employee has been interrupted or mocked when they’ve contributed to meetings with their employer, they may not have the spirit to share again. There could also be “a certain way of doing things” that the employer has been executing for years and is reluctant to change.

Employers should always create a space where there is room for improvement. When an employer hires a new employee, they are hiring a new perspective. That should be recognized and respected because it could develop into ideas that were unimaginable before they were employed.

Employees could also feel like they are too underqualified to add value to conversations. The employee could lack the confidence to speak up because they feel they don’t have as much experience or skill as their other colleagues.

It is important, as an employer, that you have an opportunity for professional development. If there is training available, employees could choose to participate in these courses so they can gain the confidence amongst their colleagues.

An employee could believe their statement will not elicit any change. An employee could feel that even if they did share their issue, the employer would not engage in a solution. This mindset is often built in toxic workplace environments or a company that has poor policies to handle certain issues that could arise. For example, employees could be experiencing discrimination from clients or customers but not sharing the incident because they know nothing will be done.

An employer should prioritize building respectable policies and have a plan of action for solving problems that could arise at their workplace. If there is a good plan available, employees will be more open to divulging their situation when they know it can be resolved.

An employee may fear retribution if they speak up. Workers don’t only think about their current position, they are also thinking about future employment. The employee may be afraid of how their employer will react when they expose a problem, and the unpredictability could impede the employee from addressing the situation altogether. For example, employees may fear that their employer will terminate their employment, provide a negative letter of recommendation, or even a negative review if they speak up against the harassment and discrimination occurring in the workplace.

If an employer punishes an employee for pursuing their rights in the workplace, the employer could be legally punished for engaging in this behaviour. This conduct is defined as workplace retaliation or reprisal by the court and the employer could be sued for damages.

If you need to further develop certain policies to enhance your workplace environment, please contact KCY at LAW by filling in an online consultation request or contact us by phone at 905-639-0999 or book your consultation today!