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The Business of Healthcare with Tara Humphrey

Nov 14, 2019

BH016 - Influencing a Culture to Speak Up

Allison Hawes is a Freedom to Speak Up Guardian who currently works at the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust. She has over thirty years of experience in the healthcare field, serving as a coach, mentor, facilitator, and senior nurse. Allison holds a Master of Science from the University of Surrey, where she also received a degree as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse. Allison’s work as a Freedom to Speak Up Guardian involves supporting employees in resolving workplace concerns by facilitating communication and empowering a positive professional environment for all.


Allison joins me today to discuss her role as a Freedom to Speak Up Guardian and the specifics of how her role helps mitigate “blame culture” and promote a culture of organizational improvement and professional development. She shares the need for employees to feel that their voices are appreciated, the importance of employee wellbeing, and how her role as a Guardian can help bridge the divide between managers and employees. Allison also reveals the most common workplace concerns her constituents face and the responsibility we all have to promote a fairer professional landscape.


“There’s enough noise out there in the system for us to start believing that it’s okay to be treated well at work; it’s okay to expect this.” - Allison Hawes


This week on The Business of Healthcare:


  • What a Freedom to Speak Up Guardian is and daily responsibilities of Allison’s job
  • The impact of Allison’s work and how she is encouraging colleagues to speak up
  • The types of organizations that have Guardians and who Freedom to Speak Up Guardians report to
  • The importance of valuing employees and addressing situations where they don’t feel valued
  • Common barriers to speaking up and why an employee might not feel comfortable communicating with their manager
  • Transferrable nursing skills Allison has harnessed in her role as a Guardian
  • How a thorough, fair process of receiving feedback encourages strategic organizational growth
  • The most common workplace concerns Allison has heard as a Guardian
  • Allison’s thoughts on the impact of whistleblowing policies
  • What organizations and individuals can do to promote a fairer workplace culture
  • What to expect during National Speak Up Month



Connect with Allison Hawes:






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