How to Get Ahead: Speak Up When You Want Something to Change

speak-up-at-work

We are all guilty of this. We see something in our office that we don’t like: an outdated policy or inefficient procedure, how a client issue was handled, how a staff person was treated, etc. What is the easiest thing to do? Stay silent and go about your day.

Afterward, we think of all the different ways we would have handled the situation better to make the company/department/team improve. The worst part about it is that the majority of the time, all of these great ideas stay in our minds. Why is that exactly?

Here are a few common thoughts that many people have:

  • I am not experienced enough.
  • People will think that my idea is terrible.
  • It’s not part of my job description.
  • I’m too busy.
  • Who would I even talk to about this anyway?

Here’s the problem. When we talk ourselves out of saying or doing anything, everything stays the same. Over time, you end up feeling frustrated because nothing ever changes. This leads to burnout and feeling disengaged, which happens a lot, since 67% of U.S. employees say they aren’t engaged at work. Plus, your company missed out on a potentially great idea that you had. It’s lose-lose.

Many firms are catching on to the fact that millennials want a voice at all levels. In my opinion, this cannot happen fast enough. Whether it means having a flat hierarchy or believing that good ideas can come from anyone, the firm of the future looks and acts different. Not only is having a culture that is open to all ideas effective for employee retention and engagement but it is essential to building an innovative firm. During this period of technological expansion, accounting firms must revolutionize the way they do things. It’s that simple. So why not get ideas from everyone?

Maybe you want to help your firm go paperless, develop a staff training, streamline a compliance process, or organize a focus group to provide a way for all employees to contribute ideas. The opportunities are endless. By seeing the potential for improvement and speaking up, your company could benefit in all sorts of ways.

I know what you are thinking. “Ok, that’s great. But how does it benefit me? I work enough already.” For starters, it’s a great addition to your resume. But more importantly, you spend a lot of time at work. By improving your firm, it will help you feel happier, more satisfied, more productive, more impactful, more purposeful…the list goes on. It’s that whole “Be the change you want to see in world” thing.

What do you want to see changed at your firm? Speak up! The future of the accounting industry depends on it.

Have something to add to this story? Give us a shout by email, Twitter, or text/call the tipline at 202-505-8885. As always, all tips are anonymous.

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