The Importance of Speaking Up in Your Workplace

By Marina Krivonossova on September 11, 2020

Have you ever been bullied at work? Have you ever witnessed a coworker conduct a security breach right in front of you? Have you ever watched a manager practice blatant discrimination to get their friends promotions?

Your workplace should be a productive and positive environment, rather than one teeming with unethical and illegal behavior (image via

These are just some of the terrible things that happen in a typical workplace on a surprisingly regular basis. Over 90% of employees admit to the fact that they’ve been bullied at work. Despite the practice aligning with the definition of a security breach, 52% of employees see no issues with sharing login information with coworkers. A whopping 92% of senior business executives have witnessed undeserved promotions take place, as managers played favorites and promoted those they were close to.

The worst thing is not just that such things happen — but that they don’t get reported. This behavior of “turning a blind eye” to illicit practices perpetuates the cycle of discrimination, inequality, and more negativity in the workplace.

But in order for workplace regulations to be preserved — in order for ethical and legal behavior to remain the standard — it is of utmost importance that employees take it upon themselves to call out illicit behavior around them.

Promotions should be dependent on work experience and skill — not on an individual’s relationship with management (image via

As a young adult who’s still new to the work world, you may often feel like your opinions don’t matter, and that your superiors will always continue doing whatever they please. But this is far from being the case! Your opinion and your insight are as valuable as that of individuals who’ve worked with a company for years or even decades. Don’t let your newbie status with a company deter you from doing the right thing. 

If you’ve witnessed something worrisome at work, it’s important to know your options in terms of whom to contact about it. Here are two routes you could take in terms of filing a report.

(1) Contact HR directly. HR is responsible for ensuring that rules and regulations in the workplace are adhered to, and that staff feels safe and comfortable showing up to work every day. So, if you’ve witnessed something that you feel should be reported, contact HR and speak to a representative about the incident. You can then discuss whether or not you feel comfortable having your identity disclosed as a whistleblower, or whether you’d prefer to maintain anonymity.

(2) Anonymous tip line. Many companies will have anonymous tip lines available for employees to report unethical or illegal behavior in the workplace. If you worry that your own reputation may be at stake if you report an incident, anonymous tip lines are your best bet. This way, your identity remains undisclosed, and you can inform HR of what’s going on in the workplace.

Your voice matters — no matter your age, position within a company, or years of experience (image via

And always remember that your voice matters. Reporting illicit behaviors in the workplace preserves the integrity of a company, as people behaving immorally and illegally are stopped in their tracks.

So if you see something — say something. Never underestimate the importance of speaking up.

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