Risky Business: Don’t Guess – Ask Your People

Ask Your People
Embracing Workplace Consultation for Success.

In the dynamic environment of modern workplaces, effective communication and collaboration are essential for driving business success. Yet, far too often, decisions are made based on assumptions and guesswork, without consulting those directly impacted by our decisions; our people. This risky approach not only threatens workplace culture but also undermines the potential for growth and innovation.

In this blog, we will explore why guessing is risky and why it’s crucial to ask your people about their experiences and what is REALLY going on in the workplace!

Why Guessing is Risky Business

As leaders, making decisions based on guesswork can damage the reputation of the business and ultimately impacts people, stakeholders, and customers. Leaders are expected to demonstrate sound judgement and strategic foresight by being aware of what is going on in the workplace by understanding the strengths and struggles of those doing the work. But without a crystal ball or being a mind reader, it can be tough!

Guessing at solutions often results in wasted time, money, and resources, as initiatives that are not carefully planned or informed by consultation may fail to get the desired results, leading to unhappy people and workplace, and financial loss for the business.

In addition to this, when our people feel that decisions are made arbitrarily or without consideration for their input, morale can suffer, leading to disengagement, absenteeism, and turnover, impacting culture, productivity, and performance.

Ultimately you will find yourself in a situation where the business is heading in one direction and your people in another, and no one wants that. So, what’s the answer? Workplace consultation.

Benefits of Asking Your People

Talking to your people isn’t just good practice; it’s now a legal obligation. And by talking we don’t mean simply saying “Hello” each day in the office or in the Teams chat. The significance of open dialogue and two-way communication strategies is now mandatory for Australian workplaces to actively seek feedback and address concerns. The benefits of doing this are: 

    • Enhanced Collaboration: By involving employees in decision-making, workplaces foster a culture of collaboration. Each team member brings unique insights and experiences to the table, enriching discussions and driving innovation.
    • Improved Decision-Making: Consulting with employees leads to more informed decisions. Drawing on diverse perspectives helps identify blind spots, leading to well-rounded solutions that consider various viewpoints and potential outcomes.
    • Boosted Morale and Engagement: When employees feel valued and included in decision-making processes, morale, and engagement soar. This sense of ownership cultivates a deeper commitment to organizational goals and fosters a positive work environment
    • Adaptability and Innovation: Actively seeking input from employees promotes adaptability and innovation. Employees are often closest to customer needs and operational challenges, making their insights invaluable for driving continuous improvement and staying ahead of the competition.

Risks of Not Asking Your People

There are many risks associated with not consulting adequately with your people, some of which include:

  • Decreased Employee Engagement: Ignoring employee input can lead to disengagement and decreased productivity. Employees who feel sidelined may become disheartened, affecting overall team morale and performance.
  • Missed Opportunities for Improvement: Without consulting employees, workplaces risk overlooking valuable suggestions for improvement. This can result in missed opportunities to streamline processes, enhance customer satisfaction, and drive growth.
  • Resistance to Change: Excluding employees from decision-making processes can breed resistance to change. Employees who feel disconnected from decisions may resist new initiatives, hindering organisational progress and innovation.
  • Legal and Compliance Risks: Failure to consult with employees on certain matters can result in legal and compliance risks. Businesses and Leaders may face fines, lawsuits, and reputational damage for disregarding legal requirements surrounding workplace consultation.

Remember, effective workplace consultation is not just a checkbox to tick—it’s fundamental to creating cultures of safety and care as well as the success of your business. If you need leadership tips on practical ways to Ask Your People see our blog on this topic here.

So, let’s commit to stopping the guesswork and embracing open dialogue and collaboration in our workplaces. It’s better for the people, leaders, and the organisation – win-win-win. Together, we can create environments where every voice is heard, valued, and empowered to drive positive change.

Awareness Co. is committed to helping leaders create cultures of safety and care and to minimise psychosocial hazards in their workplace. Since 2017, our team of experienced Human Resources, Mental Health and Change professionals have been leading the way with practical solutions that support workplace wellbeing strategies and meet Work Health & Safety obligations.

Not sure where to start? Click here to claim your free consultation with us today.

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