WINDOWS Magazine Autumn 2016 - Page 20

whs a ‘Culture of Speaking Up’ will avoid disasters Maureen Kyne Maureen Kyne and Associates When ‘Speaking Up’ is not welcomed in your organisation then you are likely heading for a disaster. W hen problems arise, people recognise them and sound the alert. Well, that’s what we would expect. But the truth is they are often ignored, paving the way for organisational cultural flaws which stifle complaints and concerns rather than encouraging them. To prevent disasters, organisational culture can be changed through values, leadership and communication. Culture Change is not a buzzword. It is change through commitment; through small acts done daily, which are supported or discouraged in daily situations. What started as Culture Change becomes the routine way people act and make decisions. It becomes the new normal! Let’s review eight steps that will create a culture for Speaking Up. 1. risk identification by leaders Make sure key risks are identified and understood by everyone in the organisation, along with the belief that they have a role in preventing them. This is the vital first step in getting everyone comfortable with their responsibility to Speak Up and act when made aware of problems. If not, individuals won’t Speak Up when they see potential high-risk situations. They’ll think that if they do raise potential problems, they could be sidetracking other key priorities, like reaching a deadline, and keep quiet. 2. maintaining open dialogue Make your focus about finding and fixing 18 Australian Window Association Autumn 2016 problems, whatever they are. And, to get results, make it a responsibility of teamwork, rather than just a potential performance risk. Praise and recognise instances when individuals Speak Up and tie it to business results. 3. trust in leaders all the time Some workers decide to keep quiet because they feel their actions won’t be considered, or, even worse, they fear job security. They won’t trust their leaders to fix the problems. The only way to change this is for leaders to build trust among their teams, so team members know there is a sincere interest in knowing about problems and a real commitment to fixing them. They’ve got to: • Speak regularly about how important it is to learn about issues. • Demonstrate their commitment by taking the time to listen and follow up