You can ask employees to speak up but they probably won’t.
You can tell them that they will be protected from retaliation but they might not believe you.
You can write all of this down in a policy but it’s not likely to make a difference.
You can provide training about the importance of raising concerns but that doesn’t make anybody feel safe.
It’s all talk.
What we need is action.
We need leaders who keep their door open.
We need organizations that support ombudsman programs.
We need managers who follow up with those who raise concerns to let them know what they’re doing about it.
We need employees who are recognized for speaking up.
We need to hear about the ones who get fired for retaliating.
The desire to fit in, to belong, is deeply ingrained in human beings. Few will risk the safety of their tribe by outing another member.
Not until they feel safe in doing so.