Speaking honestly with a supervisor is often a terrifying experience for employees. And as leaders, we might think we don’t want to hear the truth, but it’s important that we do. The safer your employees feel speaking openly, the sooner you can resolve problems together. This starts with a culture of love that encourages employees to speak up.
Consider the following story about one of my project managers, Maggie. By 2019, our business to employee (B2E) solutions company, Softway, had a healthy culture. Gone was our past culture of toxicity and mistrust; we now had a culture of love. Maggie had fully bought into Softway’s culture, but she needed to know it was real. That meant holding me, her manager, accountable. Without realizing the damage I was causing, I had stood Maggie up for several 1:1 meetings. So, she had a difficult conversation with me: “You made me feel like I wasn’t worth your time." I was glad she told me, because now I knew I had to fix my mistake.
I apologized. More importantly, I changed my behavior. Many organizations would rather people be silent in front of leadership. But that only allows resentment and mistakes to grow into bigger problems.
Adopt a culture of love that empowers employees to speak up, and you’ll move forward instead.