A survey last year showed that nearly half of the employees in Västerbotten experienced a culture of silence in the workplace. Then Regional Director Kent Eliasson told SVT Västerbotten Much has been done to address these issues. Among other things, they produced materials on freedom of information and planned a large employee survey.
But when the answers of about 8,000 employees are now aggregated into an employee survey, the results are disappointing. Although 80 percent say they know where and how to express criticism of misconduct, nearly 20 percent say they do not feel safe expressing themselves critically without experiencing reprisals.
It is a serious and clear signal that we managers, employees and unions must work more together to build a safe and open workplace culture. Regional Director Tommy Svensson says it is a prerequisite for a good working environment but also for business development In a press release.
The local president of the Swedish Medical Association in Västerbotten, Cecilia Nordensson, was not surprised to hear the concerns of many of her colleagues. However, she thinks it would be interesting to see how the answers differ by occupational category.
“What I see is that middle managers are above all the ones who don’t dare say much to the top, because that’s too risky,” she says.
Cecilia Nordenson says operations managers are most at risk, because they have great responsibility but their powers are limited.
They are seen as difficult if they say too much. We have cases where business managers have been actively silenced, because they take up too much space or are too critical.
According to Cecilia Nordenson, it can be a matter of getting feedback that you’re taking a lot of your own initiative — or, as in a controversial case, asking a business manager to take a timeout.
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