10 ways to coax employees to speak up

A company where workers fear recrimination for voicing opinions is one that misses out on essential feedback. Here’s how to engage them.

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Let’s hear some ideas from some of the little people here at Acme Corp.—our employees, or as we like to call you, our partners.

We, the leaders who have the power to demote you, fire you, and otherwise make your life miserable, are open to any idea. No holds barred.

Speak up, now. Anybody? Come on, people. Show some initiative.

When employees censor their opinions or won’t speak up, your company is missing out on insights that can help it address problems and grow.

“Unheard voices are energy leaks,” says organizational consultant Joni Carley, co-author of “Stepping Stones to Success, Vol. 1.” “It’s often the more quiet people who have the most profound insight and who are shut down most easily by cultures that don’t support high-functioning communication wherein there is no fear of truth telling.”

At Ragan.com, we recently posted an article about the problem. Now let’s look at some suggested solutions:

1. Change the culture.

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