Organisational culture: The importance of listening
In November 2015, ICAS launched its business ethics initiative: The Power of One. In 2020, to mark the fifth anniversary since its launch, ICAS issued second editions of The Power of One series of publications on ethical leadership.
Following on from the ICAS Speak Up! Listen Up! Whistleblow! research published in October 2019, the ICAS Ethics Board has published the guidance paper – Organisational culture: The importance of listening – to highlight not only the vital importance of speak up mechanisms to the long-term success of organisations but also that it is just as critical for organisations to ‘listen up’ when employees raise concerns as it is for individuals within organisations to ‘speak up’.
Organisations need their people to ‘speak up’ if they have concerns – a speak up culture allows issues to be dealt with at the earliest opportunity before they escalate – but employees need to feel safe and be able to trust in the authenticity of the speak up mechanism to be encouraged to speak up.
Speaking up is not always easy or appreciated. People fear retaliation, negative consequences on their career or their remuneration, and worry about what people might think of them. They also fear organisational inaction. If people feel that speaking up would be futile, that their concerns are just going to be ignored, or not followed up, perhaps because they, or others, have had a poor response from the organisation in the past, they will not put themselves at risk to report.
This ICAS guidance focuses on the importance of organisations ‘listening’ to their employees in order to counter these fears and provides some practical suggestions on ‘speaking up’ and ‘listening up’ both for individual CAs and for organisations.
View more of The Power of One publications