Silence in Employee Voice ("An Exploratory Study of Employee…
Silence in Employee Voice
"Employees who don't feel safe to speak up about problems or concerns can experience stress, anxiety and lack of motivation on the job" (31).
"Employee silence is a widespread yet potentially invisible problem in many organizations today" (31).
"An Exploratory Study of Employee Silence" in Journal of Management Studies:
85% of respondents said that on at least one occasion they felt unable to communicate issues with their boss, even when that issue was important
May anticipate negative reaction from manager
Intrinsic in many hierarchical orgs.
"In workplaces where bringing up problems is interpreted as criticism of management practices, silence takes the place of expressing ideas or honest opinions" (33).
Sense of futility
Idea that speaking up won't change anything or have any impact= loss of motivation to contribute
Mum's the word
"The idea that people stay silent about problems and concerns because of the discomfort that comes with being the bearer of bad news" (33).
Hierarchies intensify this
Not having a solution
"If the expectation is that one always needs to be ready to offer immediate solutions to any problem that arises, then the employee may figure it best to keep his or her mouth shut for the time being" (33).
Dread of Being Labeled
Don't want to be thought of as creating trouble because it makes it harder to have good teamwork with your peers
"If your beliefs are at odds with the organization, one course of action is to start to dissociate yourself from the org. Another alternative is that you change your view of yourself" (34).
Cost on Society: SPILLOVER
"learned helplessness" can present risks for democratic participation
less community engagement
Impact on employee personal life
Emotional Exhaustion and stress
Diminishing life satisfaction
Diminishing sense of self-efficacy
Potential for substance abuse
Learn to listen to employees, don't be defensive and ask employees to explain why they think like they do (36).
Don't demand solutions instantly
Possibly conduct a survey as long as you are careful that it is not discriminatory and is kept anonymous
Try to pay attention to those who are not as outspoken
Maybe appoint an ombudsman
Ombudsman= "an independent listener outside the company's official hierarchy"