Essay Example. The Sound of Things Not Being Said

Published: 2023-05-01
Essay Example. The Sound of Things Not Being Said
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Human resources Organizational behavior Organizational culture Interpersonal communication
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 996 words
9 min read

Speaking up is an issue that continues to elicit debate within organizations. Whereas it is important to speak up, most employees feel it is an opportunity that exposes one to threats and victimization. Margaret Heffernan talks about speaking up within an organization (TEDx Global, 2017, Aug 29). Limiting the employee's view has negative consequences which includes employees feeling disoriented and unwanted. It is essential for organizations to create a culture that promotes speaking up of employees. It creates an opportunity for overcoming organizational challenges such as wages and general growth of the organization to greater heights.

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The Consequences of Employee Silence

Employee silence has a negative consequence to the organization. It's essential for the employees to feel appreciated and encouraged to talk about their ideas and how they feel. If they don't think that way, they tend to remain silent, which has negative consequences on the organization's mission and vision (Adelman, 2012). An organization that deals with healthcare feedback are critical to helping in decision-making and saving lives. Employee's silence does not guarantee any input, and there is any, then it is limited, which cannot be helpful in decision-making (Adelman, 2012).

Leaders need employee feedback to be able to make the right decisions. Employees' silence makes it impossible for the leader to get the feedback they need, thus affecting the decision-making process (Adelman, 2012). There are federal agencies that have been proven to provide employees with incentives so that they can speak up instead of remaining silent. Silence is not helpful to organizations that want to stay competitive and strategic (Adelman, 2012).

Silence does not buy back disengaged employees in the organization (Adelman, 2012). If all apply silence, the consequence is more disengagement of employees, thus affecting the organization's goal accomplishment (Adelman, 2012). Engaged employees remain productive and full of ideas to solve the challenges faced by the organization (Adelman, 2012).

Employees' silence means that the platform for idea-sharing and creativity to promote organizational growth is not available (Robinson, 2019). The employees will withhold the ideas that they have, which could make the organization tremendous and successful (Robinson, 2019). If the employees are allowed to share their ideas early in their tenure of work, then they have a chance to implement those ideas or to see those ideas being implemented, but with the silence is the consequence of losing all those opportunities (Robinson, 2019).

Employees provide leaders with information beforehand, whether negative or positive. It allows the leaders to analyze the information given and get enough time to make the necessary decisions and take action (Adelman, 2012). Failure to communicate between employees and their leaders has negative consequences (TEDGlobal, 2017). It means that leaders will not have enough time to solve problems by making decisions earlier enough. It means the leaders will always be solving problems as opposed to acting strategically using the information gathered from employees' feedback and ideas through communication (Adelman, 2012).

The Fear of Speaking Up

The fear of speaking up sometimes results from the fear of damaging already existing and important relationships in the organizations (Robinson, 2019). Most employees want to remain silent and friendly, and they avoid giving any strongly opinionated comments (Robinson, 2019). The fear of destroying valued relationships involves the fear of being branded and losing the job that they have worked so hard to get (Robinson, 2019). For example, an employee cannot speak up against a boss who helped him secure the job. Such an employee will always agree with the opinion of the boss despite having a contrary opinion (Robinson, 2019).

The fear of speaking up sometimes also comes from the organizational culture. The corporate culture instills insecurity in the employees who consider the option of not speaking up (Robinson, 2019). For example, some new employees would fear not to challenge the status quo of the new organization. The fear of being a change agent as a new employee is real, especially in government institutions that have deep-rooted organizational culture emanating from the bureaucracy (Robinson, 2019). The employees may believe that by speaking up, they will have a difficult life in the organization since the supervisor in their department discourages speaking up or acts in a manner that makes speaking up a challenge to the junior employees. No employee wants to be viewed negatively or get label by fellow employees or the supervisor (Robinson, 2019).

Some employees may fear speaking up because they feel their ideas will not be appreciated. It is a real fear among employees to share their thoughts with supervisors who think their ideas are not helpful or worthy to be considered (Robinson, 2019). Innovative employees always feel discouraged from working in such environments, and the fear of not being innovative makes them want to move to other work environments in different work environments (Robinson, 2019).


The fear of speaking up by employees is real within organizations. Employees feel like it is a risky affair to speak up, especially when the organization's culture instills insecurity in the employees. New employees are mostly affected by the fear of speaking up for they feel inadequate. There are consequences of not speaking up for the organization. The leaders and supervisors need the employee's feedback to be able to make decisions and make the organization remain competitive. The employees need to speak up and share their ideas with the organization. It helps the organization grow to greater heights.


Adelman, K. (2012). Promoting employee voice and upward communication in healthcare: the CEO's influence. Journal of Healthcare Management, 57(2), 133-148.Retrieved from:

Robinson, R. (2019). Are you stifling the employee's voice? Management development. Peer Review Resource.TEDx Global. (2017, Aug 29). The sound of things not being said/Margaret Heffernan. (Video) Youtube.

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