Your Employees Inability to Speak up Is Costing Your Business Big Money

Open door policies are pretty ubiquitous, but simply having the policy doesn’t mean people will actually speak their minds. Your employees aren’t telling you everything they should and it’s costing you—$7,500 per conversation failure and seven work days—according to a new study led by best-selling authors Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield.

That’s what the lack of open communication costs you, and here’s why:

  • One in three employees say their culture does not promote or support holding crucial conversations.
  • Only 1 percent report feeling extremely confident voicing their concerns in crucial moments.
  • 40 percent estimate they waste 2 weeks or more ruminating about the problem

Stop and think about these numbers. If only 1 percent feel “confident in voicing their concerns in crucial moments” that means 99 percent of your employees do not feel confident.

To keep reading, click here: Your Employees Inability to Speak up Is Costing Your Business Big Money

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8 thoughts on “Your Employees Inability to Speak up Is Costing Your Business Big Money

  1. Not all so-called “open door” policies are alike. I worked in an office where the Manager was a suspicious, distrustful, micro-managing bully. Although it was a professional office, and the vast majority of the employees were hard-working, honorable, people, he treated us all like children. If one employee did something wrong, rather than addressing the issue with that single employee, the Manager instituted increasingly-draconian policies, restrictions and punishments upon everyone, which was extremely demoralizing and counter-productive. Each time he announced his newest punishment, he would proclaim that anyone who wished to discuss it was free to drop by his office, as his door was always open. We all understood that to be the threat — as opposed to an invitation — that it was intended to be, and no one ever took him up on his generous offer.

    1. Yes, the one size fits all management style. So frustrating. At my previous job, our manager would go around yelling “everyone, in my office, now!”, and we’d all go and stand there. Then she would start with her spiel…”now we all know that we need to do X. I see not everyone is doing X, so you need to make sure this is being done.” So, 15 minutes later, we’d all go back to our offices grumbling, because all but 1 or 2 of us were doing X on a continuous basis, but the 1 or 2 NOT doing it never started doing it, because they didn’t think it was them! I asked her over and over to please just address this with the people who weren’t following instructions, but she insisted it wasn’t fair to single people out. But, she was wasting hours of work time (think 20 people x 15 minutes) rather than 1 person x 15 minutes. It felt like grade school. “Johnny didn’t put is crayons away, so we all have to stand here and get a lecture”.

      1. It isn’t fair to criticize people who aren’t doing the thing!

        I took a dance class from a teacher who would not make individual correction. Instead, she would walk over to the record player, lift the needle from the record, look at the ceiling, and say, “SOMEONE is not rocking back on the heel on the two count!”

        And we students would look at each other and wonder, “Is it I who is not rocking back on my heel on the two count? Why can’t she just tap me on the shoulder and tell me I am doing it wrong?”

  2. Interesting point about Korean Air. They have apparently not entirely licked the problem. They had a crash in 2016 (SFO) and they delayed the evacuation for a minute and a half because of this chain of command mindset. Keep in mind that in these kinds of situations that is a LOT of time!

    Even once the stewardess saw the smoke, they wouldn’t start the evacuation till they got permission from the Captain. That’s just nuts.

  3. Open door policies do nothing if you are penalized for speaking up. Too many times there is retaliation for pointing out an issue. Egos matter more than money.

  4. I was recently with a company that bragged about how there “wasn’t any office politics” there. What this really meant was that management didn’t want anyone to know anything that went on in the executive suite, ever, unless and until they issued a press release. So anyone who tried to join or start a gossip grapevine was quickly and summarily fired, with no explanation at all given to the rest of us peons.

    So beware companies with a “code of conduct” that forbids saying anything “hurtful” to anybody. That’s what it really means.

  5. Something that was not mentioned is that even if the open door policy is not viewed as a threat, few employees would see any reward out of speaking up. If you speak up you might get a certificate or other trinket. If you instead keep a list of things that need fixing; you can get a nice paycheck consulting with your old employer after you move on.

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