“52 percent of millennials are uncomfortable sending food back at a restaurant.”  (Eater.com 2018, Technomic restaurant research).

So how many would speak up for what’s right at work?

According to Eater.com the following tips help us to speak up when eating out and not happy.  Not dissimilar to speaking up at work in our view!

  1. Know when to speak up.
  2. Be polite.
  3. Be specific about a resolution if you have one in mind.
  4. Know that feedback is welcome, but you might not always be right (love this one!).
  5. Don’t expect a freebie.
  6. Do expect a dish you don’t eat and send back to be taken off your bill.
  7. Let it go.
  8. Don’t say nothing, and then write a scathing Yelp review.

Many businesses battle with how to get their people to speak up for what’s right, to make business outcomes better, as well as making things better for people.  Yet what often happens is that the ‘speaking up’ can be delivered in a way that creates challenge or nothing is said to avoid conflict, play it safe, and not rock the boat.  Some of us don’t even notice what’s wrong with the behaviours and approaches that surround us.
How many of us feel that there are boundaries that we shouldn’t cross?
This week I had the experience of meeting a customer facing specialist and they were incredibly rude.  Their attitude sucked.  I wanted the opportunity to feed this back, so I asked for their card.  They asked why, and I shared that it was because of their dismal attitude to their customer.  I explained that I wasn’t going to complain, just speak up for what’s right.  I wasn’t being horrid, I was just going to speak up and give feedback.  If we don’t speak up, things never improve, and people don’t get feedback.  Staying quiet and not speaking up is a recipe for culture and experience to take a downturn or go stale.

We expect good customer service from companies and brands that we interact with; across the globe, 96% say customer service is an important factor in being loyal to a brand (Microsoft research).  Nearly 90% of us will take our business elsewhere if we don’t get it,  (Harris Interactive), and we like and trust brands that encourage feedback and have excellent customer service; 77% of consumers view brands more favourably if they proactively invite and accept customer feedback. (Microsoft).  When asking consumers what impacts their level of trust with a company, offering excellent customer service ranked number one (Dimensional Research).

How we are treated by others matters.

ALL of us have iAM values of respect, fairness and caring, but how many of us are expressing these values when we want to speak up for what’s right?

Here are our top tips to enable speaking up for what is right in your business:

Be Open and Curious:
Decide to be less defensive about your own ideas and opinions; ask others how to make them even better, and welcome opinion and commentary.  What can I learn from this situation or other’s ideas? Make feedback normal and natural.

Be Positive About Others:
People are always good, from an iAM Values perspective.  See through any challenge or complaint and don’t make this about you or blame others.  Be open and listen.

Embrace Difference:
Notice difference.  Instead of deciding people are wrong, better or worse than you, see them as different to you.  Remember that we are all unique and others are not like you, so stop expecting them to be!

Manage Yourself:
Manage your emotional response and take accountability for your mood – don’t give your power away.  Realise that others may see you as a challenge.  Don’t stop challenging but decide to stop being the challenge! Be aware of what you are saying and your tone of voice.

Use Your Natural Self:
Be the same person at work as at home.  Respond and interact with people, and speak up about things as you would with your friends outside of work, and as you’d love to be interacted with.