Lauren Peacock – 24 Febuary 2021

Speaking up in the workplace can be a challenge, especially for more junior members of an organisation. Whether employees feel comfortable speaking up often depends on company culture, and whether you feel you can have open and honest conversations without fear of repercussions.

Although culture change takes time and often comes from the top, in the meantime individuals can have a positive influence on a wide range of issues through finding their voice.

Finding your voice
Our tips for finding your voice start with speaking to those you feel most comfortable with. Discussing ideas with friends and close colleagues can help prepare you to pitch an idea to a more senior group. NextGen also offers a mentoring scheme, being paired with a senior figure in the industry provides you with a safe space where you can practice and learn the best ways to share your views and ideas.

Mentors aren’t just for career development either, if you need to have a conversation with a manager or colleague about a tricky topic a mentor can help prepare you and give advice about ways to approach it.

Taking responsibility
We all have a role to play in bringing people up in the workplace. Junior roles often involve the day-to-day work and ideas can easily be sparked which help streamline processes or fill a gap in service offering. Talking to peers is a great way to start testing ideas and NextGen aims to create a community of people where no idea is a bad idea.

Likewise it’s also important that as we start to have our voice heard we don’t forget to bring others with us. We welcome thought leadership pieces from our entire membership so if you have an idea and need a platform to share it then please get in touch.

Challenging behaviour
Discussing project ideas and processes is one thing but tackling challenging behaviour is another. In the era of Black Lives Matter, speaking up and speaking out is being recognised as a key competent to tackling racism. If you feel uncomfortable about a comment, something probably isn’t right.

Addressing this situation in the workplace might feel awkward but it’s actually this bravery that influences the bigger picture, educating people and building cognitive diversity in the workplace. Increasing cognitive diversity in the pension industry is a key goal of NextGen, by challenging each other and being open to feedback we improve communication and encourage diversity of thought.

At NextGen we want to hear your stories and ideas – if you have an idea or just want to share something drop us a line.

Speech bubble made up of yellow lined paper and screwed up balls of paper on a green background