Creating a safe space for ideas in the workplace

Posted on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 by Abby Draper

Four diverse people's hands connected in a circle.

By Abigail Draper, OSCPA communication and engagement manager

Even if you have a diverse workplace, that doesn’t mean everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. Here are four tips for creating a safe space for ideas in the workplace.

According to Mentimeter, a presentation software company, these are some ways to foster a positive and safe workplace.

1. Get your team to show appreciation for each other.
As a supervisor, make sure you show appreciation of your team. Also, encourage them to show appreciation for each other. At a company I previously worked for, the customer care team wrote thank you notes monthly to members of their team and other staff members who helped them out. This showed each team member that his or her efforts were not going unnoticed.

2. Celebrate team wins.

 Did your team accomplish a goal? Don’t hesitate to celebrate! At OSCPA, we just celebrated the end of our fiscal year with a New Year’s Eve-teamed office party. Here, we talked about the accomplishments we made in the past year. Our entire team was also recognized with individual silly, but heartfelt awards. Let your team members decide how they want to celebrate their next accomplishment!

3. Spend time together not working.

Do something not work-related as a team. Whether this is a volunteer event or happy hour, getting to know each other outside of the office can lead to bonding and make everyone feel more comfortable sharing their ideas.

4. Trust your team.

Steve Jobs said, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” As a leader, you need to be able to trust that your employees know what they are doing. Don’t micromanage them and don’t take on things other people should be responsible for. This will make them feel unimportant or belittled. Instead, make sure they know what they are in charge of and set them free, but remember to always be there to support them when they need it.

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