Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

“Navigating Tough Conversations in the Workplace: Strategies for Success"

Adrian Lewis, Director of Activ People HR

Difficult conversations with your boss can be challenging, particularly when discussing burnout and mistakes made at work. However, creating an open and transparent culture in the workplace can help make it easier for employees to speak up about these issues.

Burnout has become a growing concern for many employers. Almost half of UK workers (46%) are close to burnout, with two-thirds (62%) of employees working more hours during and after the pandemic. Employees who have been working from home are more likely to feel at risk of burnout (50%) than those who have been going to the workplace (41%). Burnout is a state of physical and emotional exhaustion that can occur when employees experience long-term stress in their job or work in a physically or emotionally draining role for a long time.

Common signs of burnout include feeling tired or drained most of the time, having a cynical/negative outlook, procrastinating, and taking longer to get things done. To nip burnout in the bud, it's essential to speak up and address it with your boss.

Another challenging conversation to have with your boss is admitting a mistake made at work. Being hesitant to speak up at work is a common problem, with studies suggesting that 50% of employees keep quiet at work. However, feeling able to speak up is key to resolving mistakes. Employers should not be kept in the dark, no matter how insignificant the mistake may seem.

Honesty builds trust, and good employers work hard to create an open culture where people can feel comfortable talking about difficult issues. Building trust and openness allows employers to approach their manager if they have made a mistake, preventing issues from escalating.

Conducting regular appraisals is an excellent way to ensure that accurate feedback is given and that managers and employees can work together to set realistic, actionable goals. It provides employees with the opportunity to let their manager know if they have any issues with their work, plus a safe space to own up to any mistakes they have made. Regular appraisals can help foster a more open culture where employees feel supported and that their employer is encouraging them to succeed in their roles.

In conclusion, creating an open and transparent culture in the workplace is essential to help make it easier for employees to speak up about difficult conversations. Employers need to provide regular feedback and appraisals to create an environment where employees feel supported and valued. By doing so, employees will be more willing to put ideas forward, leading to a thriving and innovative workplace.