The man who saved over 1,000 people from the 1994 genocide in Rwanda is now facing life in prison for criticizing his country’s president.
Paul Rusesabagina’s heroism was captured in the movie Hotel Rwanda. His humanitarian actions are known and praised all over the world. With such notoriety, one would think that he’d be untouchable. Yet, while in exile, he was tricked into boarding a flight to Rwanda, and then cowardly accused of terrorism. After the charges were filed, his attorney was forced to leave the country. This his happening in plain sight, and no one seems able to right this wrong.
If such a man can suffer retaliation, imagine how one of your front-line employee feels when deciding to report wrongdoing they’ve observed. They are not famous. They do not have powerful allies. What can you possibly say to this employee to convince them that all will be well in the end?
Nothing, really. But you can show them how you try to prevent retaliation, and how you don’t tolerate retaliation when it happens.
Do this over and over again, and you just might give someone the courage to speak up.