Be the “Voice” in your company.
“Why would I ?” you might ask. It’s a fair question. Let me ask you one.
If you won’t speak up, why do you still work there?
Here’s how it works. You do what you do every day. And every day you see
things that could be different. And you have ideas that might (notice I said
might) make an impact, however small, in your company’s operations.
And you might be saying things to yourself like “They never listen” or “They
won’t spend the money" or “My boss is a one celled pea brained animal who does
not care about us anyways and he/she doesn’t have the sense god gave a goose and
why should I say anything? Anyways, all of the other people will think I am
brown nosing” and other self fulfilling defeatism talk that goes on inside our
Why would you want to change your circumstances? Isn’t it much better to just
stand there and take it day after day? And at the end of every day isn’t it
great to go home knowing that you could have made a difference, even if it is a
small one, and you didn’t. GO AHEAD! Stand in front of your mirror and pat
yourself on the back! Way to blend in with everyone else and keep the same
mentality. You are part of the human "no impact" stream, the pack, the crab
bucket, the check collectors. How does that feel knowing you could have made a
difference and chose NOT TO!
Choosing to speak up is not easy. You face ridicule and scorn, as people will
be jealous and fear you. Because you speak up, you might be threatened and even
challenged about your motives. You might be accused of “ratting” out the
Here is the real deal though.
Without people speaking up, every company on the planet would go under. Why?
Because we are an information driven engine. And without information, we cannot
make decisions or guide our company. And who has the information? That’s right.
So here are 7 reasons to Speak Up!
1. We speak up when something is dangerous, unhealthy or requires
intervention by company or outside officials to correct the situation. We speak
up when someone is being threatened. And you might be surprised about how little
company officials know sometimes. Why? It’s because there is always the
assumption that “they know” merely because they work there or had worked in that
department before. Conditions and circumstances change. Also, I know that if
something happened that I was aware of and I did not say something and someone
became injured or hurt because of it, I would feel a sense of responsibility. I
would be a part of something that resulted in someone else’s loss or injury
(including the company’s loss or injury) and I would not want that to start
playing in my "movie house".
2. We speak up when something is wrong. Just plain wrong. It doesn’t fit, it
doesn’t do what it was supposed to do, it is the wrong color, won’t do the job
as described, etc… Wrong is Wrong. This is applicable to people as well. If they
are doing the wrong thing, procedure, saying the wrong things (we have never
heard anyone do that have we?), performing the wrong job, it’s our obligation to
say something. Wrong is Wrong! And as long as we don’t say something, we are
contributing to the “wrongness”. It becomes a part of us. We can say things like
“That ain’t me, I don’t do that, glad that wasn’t me” and stuff like that, when
in reality, if you allow that “wrongness” to continue, it might as well be you
3. We speak up when asked. It’s going to happen. Every long term employee
will be asked at one time or another “What do you think about this?” If you
stand there and say nothing, when changes are made and you are not part of the
change, whose shoulder will you be crying on? If someone is asking what you
THINK and not your OPINION then give it to them. It might be that you have
specific knowledge that will make or break the company’s future. Or, you have
been around long enough to know the difference between poo and pudding. That’s
why they are asking YOU!
4. Speak up when CHANGE is required. If you see something that’s not quite
right and you can correct it by pointing out what change is required, speak up!
You might think that it is of no small consequence. The corporate landscape is
littered with “insignificant” changes yielding huge savings in time and money. I
just read an article about how much money airlines are saving from not making
paper tickets anymore. Have you noticed how thin the boarding passes are these
days? Not only a resource savings but a disposal savings as well. Less paper,
less cost. Seems small, has big ramifications. One small change,(no paper
tickets), and the airlines saves millions and millions each year.
5. Speak up when there is a savings of time or money. If you notice that Bob
at the front counter has to stop what he is doing to continually perform a
repetitive task that could be handled by a) moving something b) having someone
else perform the task or c) retrain Bob to become more efficient, then speak up.
The time or money we save for the company always finds its way back to us. It
comes back in the form of raises, bonuses, benefits, job security, market
stability, community contributions, charity functions, etc… You are not just
saving the company money, you are putting funds in their hands to do something
6. Speak up when someone else can benefit from your experience. You may have
some knowledge, tip or idea that can transform a person. You think not???? What
if you are working alongside someone that is struggling? And every day this
person has a mental wrestling match with themselves. And it sounds something
like this. “I don’t know why I bother to come on. I just don’t get it. I try and
try and it doesn’t seem to work. Mary sitting right next to me knows how to do
this so well. I wish I could be just like her. If I don’t get it soon, they are
going to fire me. And I just can’t be fired right now. I need this job! I hope
that I can get it. If I don’t, I guess I better start sending out my resume, I
hope I can find another job” And there you sit ,day after day, never saying
anything. One small tip, or just a few minutes of your time, can make a big
difference in someone else’s life! Change a person’s life! Help them feel a
sense of accomplishment, self dignity and pride. They will never forget it.
Speak up and make a difference.
7. Speak up when it’s time to recognize someone! In fact, don’t speak, YELL!
CHEER! WHISTLE! Be LOUD and OVER THE TOP! CELEBRATE! Yeah! That is definitely
the time to cheer and cheer loudly! If we are not speaking up then, WHEN ARE
WE??? By celebrating we assure ourselves of more celebrations and
accomplishments. So SPEAK UP!
Be the person who has a VOICE in your company.
Leonard Buchholz is a Certified Trainer, Speaker and Author. If you are