Speaking Up When Something’s Not Right At Work
Even in the most communicative of workplaces, it can feel difficult to speak up. Many of us struggle to find our voices when it really matters, but at what cost?
Not speaking up could have more of a consequence than you realise. Who knows when someone else might decide to step in? When you feel something’s not quite right at work like a safety issue or harassment, you need to talk. It’s not easy, but the following advice could help you to find the courage to speak up at work.
Speaking up about your work and development
Speaking up for yourself is probably one of the hardest things to do at work. If you’re often overlooked for a promotion or you feel that your salary doesn’t reflect your duties, you need to say something. It’s all well and good venting at home about the unfairness of your workplace, but for that to change it’s you that needs to take action. Arrange one-to-one meetings with your manager and take an agenda with you to make sure you cover everything you need to say. If it helps, send it to them in advance so that they know exactly what you’re going to be talking about during the meeting. You can negotiate a pay rise or ask for development opportunities, but it’s up to you to start those conversations.
Speaking up when a colleague is taking advantage
Today’s workplaces are becoming more flexible when it comes to time and working conditions, but there are still some people who will take advantage of their employer’s policies. Whether it’s browsing the Internet too much for personal use, bad timekeeping, or as serious as stealing company finances – you should speak up. Whistleblowing is an ugly term when it comes to employee ethics, but if a colleague is behaving unfairly it could be you that has to pick up the slack. Practice what you’re going to say ahead of time and speak to a colleague or manager you can trust about your concerns.
Speaking up when your employer is at fault
You could be subject to harassment or unfair working practices, or witness them affecting someone else. Your employer could be guilty of breaching health and safety guidelines or even messing with accounts. Whatever the score, you need to speak up to protect yourself and your colleagues, and to ensure that your employer is playing by the rules. In this situation, it may take time for you to gather more information before you raise your concerns. It’s worth seeking some external advice or support to back up your claims – you could ask Peninsula Group’s health and safety consultants for advice on safety guidelines, or an employment lawyer to discuss your rights at work. It may help to share your concerns with other colleagues that you can trust to put on a united front.
If you want to be bolder in the workplace, it’s time to start making your mark. Speaking up when things aren’t right will give you a clear conscience and ensure you’re doing all you can to make a change. If your efforts are fruitless, it may be time to think about looking for a new job and finding an employer with better practices in a workplace where you can thrive.