Provocative conversations at work are good, said workers

Provocative conversations at work are good, said workers
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PwC’s global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey 2022 revealed that sensitive political and social discussions are already happening within the workplace even without company involvement. 

These conversations are a little bit complicated. Teetering between topics that hinge on issues of power and distribution (i.e. climate, immigration, gender equity, and race).

But despite the dangers of these conversations, 37% of workers said that talking about societal issues helped them understand their colleagues better and increased their empathy for people with different viewpoints.

Additionally, people said that these conversations helped create a “more open and inclusive” office environment that most organizations aim to have.

These figures just highlight what employees are striving for in the workplace: to be their authentic selves and exchange thoughts without censoring their own opinions.

Leaders have to take the lead in these dialogues

Most of the time, discussions of societal issues in the workplace are happening without the facilitation of the organization. Only 30% of employees said that their company provides support to help them work effectively with people who share different views. 

This is a missed opportunity, given the importance of empathy and openness within any organization

Sure, supporting and encouraging sensitive conversations is not easy. However, establishing norms, offering resources, and ensuring safe environments with ground rules to avoid judgments could help. 

Employers could also emphasize that not everyone is required to participate in the conversation, especially if they find the issue sensitive.

Provocative conversations are not done to reach solutions or generate consensus from everyone. It should be used to bring meaning, humanity, and social impact to the organization.

For all we know, these convos could help staff with opposing beliefs to reach a middle ground and create a more welcoming, inclusive environment in the workplace.

Read more here.

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