- Blog – Why employee voice matters
- Line managers
- Employee Voice: What Is It & Why Does It Matter?
- What exactly is the employee voice?
- Employee Voice: Why It Matters
- Creating Channels Of Communication
- Following Up By Taking Action
- See the way forward to giving employees a voice in your organization
- Creating a Company Culture Where Everyone Has a Voice Matters
- Listen to employees
- Let employees champion their ideas
- Close the loop
- Recognize often
- Don’t forget the hard to reach
- What Is Employee Voice and Why Is It Important?
- Whatis employee voice?
- Voice isn't all talk
- 1. Make active listening a priority
- 2. Give feedback for future performance
- 3. Provide transparency
- 4. Recognize and reward participation
- Getting down to the business of employee voice
- Encourage your employees to speak up
- Listening to Others – Employee Voice
- Address the Opportunity at 3 Levels
- Executive Level
- Team Level
- Organizational Level
- Employee Voice Matters
- Employee Voice: How to Listen and it’s Benefits
- So, What is Employee Voice?
- How to Listen to Employee Voice at Work?
- 1. Employee Feedback
- 2. Employee Engagement Surveys
- 3. One on One Meetings with Employees
- 4. Suggestion Box
- 5. Allowing Interested and Well-performing Employees to Participate in High-level Meetings
- Benefits of Having a Strong Employee Voice
- 1. Enhances the Employees’ Trust Over its Management
- 2. Employees are More Focused on Their Work
- 3. Generation of New Ideas and Knowledge Sharing
- 4. Enhances Employee Advocacy
- 5. Helps in Building Strong Organizational Values
Blog – Why employee voice matters
Here we share why employees need a voice and our top five tips on how to give them one…
If you watched the recent TV show Chernobyl, you will have undoubtedly been fascinated by the depiction of what went on in the control room on the night of the disaster.
Rules were broken left, right and centre by the most senior person in the room and the employees around him struggled to speak up and challenge his authority. It echoes the premise of the book Black Box Thinking which talks about cognitive dissonance.
Cognitive dissonance is a theory that the more firmly we hold beliefs, the harder it is to let them go when contradictory evidence is presented to us. Having to admit we were wrong doesn’t come naturally, we’d rather insist we were right. And this is particularly a problem for people in senior roles or positions of trust.
And this of course has implications for employee voice. While Chernobyl is an extreme example, it does demonstrate the importance of everyone having a voice, a safe space in which to share it, and for it to be listened to.
It’s also worth saying that for employee voice to be effective, it needs to be informed. In his research, Dr Kevin Ruck has found that
“there is limited value in giving employees a voice unless they are well informed in the first place”
Let’s apply this to the Chernobyl example. One of the many reasons the employees didn’t challenge more confidently is because they couldn’t understand why their manager was insistent on pushing ahead, so therefore couldn’t address the root cause.
Obviously, in this example there were some dodgy dealings at play, so employees would never have been party to that information, but the scene demonstrates the point of how difficult it is to challenge when you don’t understand the bigger picture of what’s going on.
And while it’s not possible for employees to know everything that goes on in a business, it is important that overall they understand the strategy and direction of the business and why decisions are made so that they’re in a position to engage with the organisation in a meaningful way.
So, how do we facilitate employee voice inside our organisations? Here are our top five tips…
For employee voice to be effective, it needs to be listened to. It sounds obvious but so often ideas, opinions and feedback are shared and then disappear into the ether.
Encourage leaders and managers to really listen with an open mind and be willing to take on board what’s being said rather than treating it as a tick box exercise.
But that does mean being vulnerable and realising that it’s OK to not know everything and to change your views new information or a different perspective. That’s one of the things that went wrong in the Chernobyl control room, the team leader’s inability to admit he’d lost control and didn’t know what to do.
And don’t forget to communicate changes that have been made as a result of employees’ suggestions. It may seem obvious to you that an initiative was started following an employee’s idea, but it may not be obvious to others. It’s important to share examples of the business listening for other employees to trust that their voice will be heard too.
Trust is a key component in employee voice. There needs to be a culture that supports and welcomes employee voice and where employees feel safe to speak up. A culture where trust is waning or non-existent is not the sole job for internal communications to fix, but it needs to be recognised as being detrimental on your efforts to engage employees.
When workers at the nuclear power station tried to speak up, they were quickly shut down. Their colleagues who witnessed it were then unly to raise their voices.
A lack of trust can manifest in other ways too, such as whether leaders and managers respond to employees in a transparent way. There will always be some things you can’t say, and it’s ok to say that. If you fudge an answer filled with half-truths, employees will know. Once broken, trust is very hard to get back.
When employee voice is missing, it’s often because there isn’t clarity on where to share it and how to respond to it.
Provide a clear framework for how to facilitate employee voice. Help people understand where and how they share it and how leaders listen and respond.
This doesn’t need to be a rigid set of rules that restricts authentic conversation, but simply guidance that helps people understand that they can share their voice on Workplace for example, and leaders know to be visible and active on that platform. Or that it’s done via regular face to face opportunities or line managers.
The latest Gatehouse State of the Sector research found that line management is still a major barrier to effective internal communication. This is despite it having been identified alongside employee voice as an enabler to employee engagement back in 2009 as part of Engage for Success.
Line managers can be an important way for employees to have a voice inside the organisation, but they’re often unsupported by not having the right skills and resources to help them communicate and might not know where to share the feedback or questions they’ve received.
Provide communication skills training for line managers that includes how to listen, where they can keep informed themselves and how to respond to employees.
When leaders or line managers respond to employees, they can often adopt a very corporate tone of voice (verbally or in writing) and start throwing in jargon and complex explanations. Employees won’t engage if they can’t easily understand what’s being shared and if they feel the person sharing it isn’t being genuine and is hiding behind complicated language. This quickly erodes trust.
Encourage leaders to imagine explaining a work situation to their friend in the pub and think about the type of language they’d use. It’s unly they’ll mention paradigm shifts or boiling oceans.
We need to focus on having conversations rather than cascading information up and down our organisations, and conversations work best when they’re natural, relaxed and jargon free.
While it’s unly most of us will deal with the extreme type of toxic culture demonstrated in Chernobyl, it was a stark reminder of why employee voice is so powerful and important. As internal communicators, we have a clear role in enabling and facilitating it and advocating its place inside our organisations.
By Helen Deverell for Alive with Ideas
Employee Voice: What Is It & Why Does It Matter?
As employee engagement has grown in importance as an organizational success metric over the past several decades, the concept of the employee voice has become a key focus. In this article, we’ll explore what the employee voice is, and why it matters.
What exactly is the employee voice?
The basic definition for employee voice is giving employees a voice in the direction and decisions made by the organization. While it seems straightforward, that definition has important implications.
First among those is being heard. Having a voice isn’t very meaningful if no one is listening.
Giving employees a voice in the workplace can only lead to improvements in the organization (and greater engagement) if someone is listening to what employees have to say—and taking action to address the issues important to them.
Otherwise, employees may come to believe (with good reason) that the voice of the employee has no importance in the organization.
The danger here is that when people perceive no one is listening to what they have to say, the tendency is to give up and disengage. Asking employees for feedback and then failing to follow up with communication and action can be worse than not asking at all; it can create a perception that no one cared enough about the feedback to do anything with it.
The takeaway is that giving employees a voice is not the only thing that matters. Employees need to know they are being heard and that the organization is not just checking a box when it asks for their feedback, but is actually listening and attempting to address their concerns.
Employee Voice: Why It Matters
As noted, when people perceive that they aren’t being heard, they tend to disengage. But the opposite is also true: When people know someone is really listening to what they have to say, they become more engaged, if only because there is a back-and-forth discussion that includes them.
Really listening to employees—and making them aware that they’re being heard—gives employees a sense of inclusion that encourages them to invest in the success of the organization.
When employees perceive that their opinions are heard and valued, they feel a valued part of a team.
This can not only change their perception of the organization—it also makes them more ly to remain with the company rather than looking elsewhere.
The keys to fostering these feelings of inclusion and being valued are communication and action. Employees won’t know that the organization hears them if what they have to say isn’t acknowledged, and they won’t believe that what they’ve shared matters to the organization if no actions are taken to address the concerns they’ve expressed.
Creating Channels Of Communication
Employee surveys are obviously one method for giving employees a voice. Particularly in large organizations, surveys are an essential tool to give leaders an overview of issues and employee perceptions throughout the organization. But surveys are only one channel of communication; there are many opportunities to create others.
At the team level, open communication between coworkers and between employees and managers can solve many issues; taking this a step further by encouraging teams to share problem-solving approaches that work can foster greater communication between disparate teams. Employee blogs and suggestion pages are another way to get feedback from employees outside of surveys.
In regard to communication around surveys, organizations should communicate at least three times with employees:
- First, to acknowledge survey results and the actions the organization will take to address the feedback
- Again to tell employees what is being done, tying the initiative to the survey feedback (new policies, procedures, or other actions being implemented)
- Once more to report on what was done and how it is working.
Communicating three times on actions is part of the 1-2-3 model for action planning Perceptyx advocates.
Following Up By Taking Action
Action to improve the organization and the employee experience is the ultimate goal of asking for employee feedback. This is where the organization has to step up and “put its money where its mouth is.” Otherwise, asking for feedback is an empty gesture—and employees know it.
When an organization asks employees to share their opinions, there is an implicit contract. If the organization is asking, employees expect that someone will hear what they had to say and do something with it. Employees don’t have the expectation that their individual issues will be addressed, but they do expect to see something done in response to their feedback.
Because action planning is where making changes typically bogs down, Perceptyx has developed an easy to implement 1-2-3 action planning model:
- Choose one issue or problem to focus on.
- Take two actions to address the issue or problem.
- Communicate three times to employees about the actions taken to address the issue, tying the issue and action back to survey responses.
This model allows organizations to focus in on the areas of greatest employee concern and take meaningful action, without getting distracted by other issues and attempting to “boil the ocean” by taking on everything at once. The end result is that taking action doesn’t get mired down in a complicated planning process—and employees see concrete results from sharing their feedback.
Ultimately, organizations can’t be successful unless their employees are aligned with the goals of the organization. If employees aren’t on board, it’s impossible to realize the full measure of success. Giving employees a voice is crucial to making them feel included and valued—both critical elements of engagement.
Beyond that, employees are a rich source of ideas; they are closest to the day-to-day work of the organization and can often see ways to do things better. Really listening to employees and considering their perspectives and opinions can help the organization improve in all aspects—including the bottom line.
See the way forward to giving employees a voice in your organization
The Perceptyx survey platform gives you the flexibility to develop a listening strategy that fits the needs of your organization. Combined with support from our analytics experts, our platform can help you keep your finger on the pulse of your people’s perceptions, so you can provide the support they need to be engaged and productive.
Request a demo to see how we can help your organization develop the perfect listening strategy for your needs.
Creating a Company Culture Where Everyone Has a Voice Matters
It had been eight months since factory employees at a leading global medical technology manufacturer had started working 12-hour shifts.
They were finally starting to feel the churn of the long hours when one employee had an idea to energize the team.
Those four o’clock breaks would feel a lot better, he suggested, if employees had new vending and coffee options to enjoy.
The employee took to his plant’s Bonfyre community to make his voice heard, with several colleagues co-signing the idea in the comments section. One coworker even went so far as to provide a link for corporate vending suppliers.
The next morning, a plant supervisor saw the thread. Instead of rejecting the idea, he let the employees know he would be exploring how to implement their suggestions. One month later, the supervisor returned to the thread to let employees know plans were in progress to not only supply their requested machines, but also to renovate the entire break area.
This change was only possible because this organization has been taking the steps necessary for creating a company culture where everyone has a voice. It never would have occurred if employees didn’t feel comfortable speaking up.
“This is an experience I believe will make a difference for us going forward,” the plant supervisor said. “When people see their suggestions turn into something tangible, it’s going to empower them to say what’s on their mind.
Cultures that value employee voices operate on the belief that work is a reciprocal relationship; it’s not just about what employees can do for the company, it’s about what the company does for the employees too.
No one wants to be unhappy at work, and in many cases, people do have the power to make basic changes that can improve employee job satisfaction.
The problem? Employees often don’t speak up, not because they’re afraid, but because they don’t feel managers will take the steps to make changes.
Related: 4 Reasons Communications Need To Reach Front Line Employees
There are several clear benefits to creating a company culture where employees can speak their mind. Improved retention is chief among them; 75% of employees would stay longer at an organization that addresses their feedback and listens.
When people feel valued and included, they ly won’t want to leave any time soon.
That retention is often a sign employees are happier, and happiness is a driver of workplace engagement and all its associated benefits (higher productivity and lower absenteeism just to name a few).
If any of those perks sound appealing to you, then consider these suggestions as you start creating a company culture that values employee voices:
Listen to employees
Feedback is fundamental to creating a company culture that’s truly collaborative, inclusive, and will engage employees. Set up feedback loops at the team and company levels for the most actionable insights.
You want a channel mix that encompasses both face-to-face and digital communications to cover the gamut of employee preferences.
Leverage town halls, team meetings, even one-on-one conversations to support your relationships with employees as you listen to what their ideas.
Use technology tools mobile platforms that grant real-time insights into employee perceptions of company culture to see how your workforce is responding to programs and processes you currently have in place. Make frequent use of pulse surveys through a quick-deployment survey tool to build a steady pipeline of feedback.
Let employees champion their ideas
Don’t just sit on the employee feedback you collect. Act on it, and keep the employee involved in the process where possible. When the change is finalized, let other employees know just whose idea it was to make changes.
If it’s a process improvement, give that employee the latitude to introduce the change to their peers. As Bonfyre HR Director Rob Seay notes, most on-the-job learning occurs through informal, social communication.
By driving these types of interactions as you let employees introduce change, you’re making more ly that change will stick.
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Close the loop
Sometimes, however, not every employee suggestion will make it to implementation. Always close the loop for with those employees who don’t see their ideas come to fruition. Make it clear, whether by email, team meeting, or whatever communications channel you choose, that their input is valued, and communicate the reasons it can’t be implemented.
Recognition isn’t just a way to motivate and engage employees, it’s a way of showing that you value employees’ voices in the workplace. And if you’re creating a company culture where everyone has a voice, you’ll need to recognize often. Research shows employees want recognition more than they receive it.
Gallup recommends employee recognition be performed weekly for maximum effectiveness, but only one in three U.S. workers say they received recognition for their work within the past seven days. You don’t have to break the bank to turn the tides; go micro for recognition at work. It’s simple.
Make informal, social praise a routine element of your culture and spread the love to as many diverse employee voices as possible.
Don’t forget the hard to reach
Everyone means everyone. Company culture doesn’t only exist for the employees who are convenient to reach. Currently, nearly half of the U.S. workforce performs remote work, and that’s increasing every year.
If you’re not already building company culture for remote employees, then in all lihood you will be very soon. The key thing to remember when being inclusive of remote employees is that reduced visibility should never equate to reduced opportunity.
Leverage technology video conferences that gives these employees a visual presence in meetings, and be rigorous about soliciting their feedback in these communications.
When you start to value the voices of employees, it sends a powerful message. Not only are you signaling an investment in your workforce, you’re signaling an investment in the genuine betterment of your company and its culture. And only by working hand in hand can leaders and employees can cultures that inspire, engage, and endure.
What Is Employee Voice and Why Is It Important?
Do your employees believe they have a voice in the workplace? The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) publishes an annual list of top 10 workplace trends and “capturing the voice of the employee” was on the list.
It shared, “Employees’ voices will become more important to organizations as they focus on collecting employee feedback more frequently, utilizing innovations for capturing that feedback, and taking action to drive engagement those results.” The SIOP also details the importance of leveraging continuous listening tools and pulse surveys.
Organizations need to promote and encourage employee voice and turn that voice into productivity, innovation, and engagement.
What is employee voice?
Employee voice is often defined as giving people opportunities to express ideas, concerns, and perspectives with authenticity and without fear of social or workplace consequences. That means employees have the ability to influence decisions at work through their feedback.
Having influence means leaders act dialogue with employees. Action could represent a new way of completing work, embracing ideas and innovative work processes, improving culture, or resolving problem areas in the company.
Voice isn't all talk
An IBM Survey found that only 62 percent of baby boomers believe managers will act on their input, compared to 78 percent of millennials. The survey recognizes the importance of employee listening, followed by some kind of action by leaders.
IBM researchers found the most important aspect of employee voice is the follow-up with meaningful and appropriate actions. This is only possible when managers learn to actively listen to what employees are saying and learn to take action.
In fact, 90 percent of workers said that they are more ly to stay at a company that takes and acts on feedback. As you build feedback processes and advocate for employee voice across your organization, remember to avoid inaction fatigue and take proper action on results.
Start taking employee voice to the next level across your organization by incorporating its four key ingredients.
1. Make active listening a priority
The power of active listening can't be overestimated. It's a critical skill for people leaders who believe being a coach to employees is crucial to individual success in the organization.
Active listening is a technique in which the listener thoroughly absorbs, comprehends, responds, and retains what someone else is saying.
The Center for Creative Leadership recommends leaders to learn active listening skills to be better coaches, whether holding long conversations or short coaching moments. Active listening has six elements:
- Paying attention
- Withholding judgment
An active listener has empathy but doesn't necessarily agree with what is being said. Actively listen to your workforce by providing an always-on channel for employees to provide feedback any time of the day.
An annual engagement survey won’t cut it and it’s important to adopt a more continuous listening approach at your organization.
If your organization isn't ready to fully transition from an annual engagement survey to an always-on channel yet, try adopting quarterly pulse surveys as a start.
By opening up these always-on avenues atop of in-person conversations, employees will feel there is always a welcomed invitation to share their feedback. Managers can also gather valuable insights that they can take action on in real-time to effectively move the needle when it comes to employee engagement.
2. Give feedback for future performance
Giving employees feedback on everything from work performance to career development is a powerful engagement skill. Proper feedback can strengthen employee voice and build employee-manager trust. People only accept feedback when they believe the person giving it is interested in their welfare. It's a psychological aspect of communication.
The catch is the performance-related feedback must be useful and forward-looking. Yes, it's important to recognize someone for their daily wins and offer praise for team accomplishments. It's equally important to provide performance-related feedback, which refers to employer-employee interactions focused on helping the employee improve from that point forward.
According to Gallup, only 26 percent of employees strongly agree the feedback they get helps their work performance. For feedback to be effective and strengthen employee voice, conversations need to be personal and have two-way dialogue. Think about ways to problem solve together and empower employees to contribute their ideas and recommendations.
Bonus tip: How can you ensure your employee feedback is valuable and making an impact? Check out 10 employee feedback examples and how to use them.
3. Provide transparency
Neuroscience studies found that employees must feel they are in the loop, or else they will lose trust in managers and colleagues and feel less motivated to perform.
In one study, employees feeling out-of-the-loop had a 58 percent drop in their perceived group standing – an employee’s perception of where they rank compared to others.
The brain, according to neuroscientists, interprets ambiguity as threatening.
Ambiguity is common in organizations that don't give employees a voice. If employees aren't given transparency and feel unheard, they won't feel empowered to contribute to decision-making and offer valuable input.
Be thoughtful during your team meetings and performance reviews, and open up time to keep employees informed and updated.
If an employee feels they're lacking information or resources, let them share their feedback anonymously through direct surveys or always-on channels.
Keep your employees in the loop and make sure they feel heard by management. Employees who feel their voice is heard at work are nearly five times more ly to feel empowered to perform their best work.
4. Recognize and reward participation
Encourage employee voice by recognizing and rewarding your employees for sharing their feedback. Show appreciation for their participation and they will most ly repeat that action again.
In fact, 92 percent of workers agree when they're recognized for a specific action, they're more ly to take that action again in the future.
The more you recognize and reward employees for sharing their feedback, the more they will repeat that behavior.
Moving forward, make it a habit to recognize and reward employees for participating in pulse surveys, providing their feedback, and collaborating on effective action. Employees will feel valued and motivated to continue sharing their input.
Getting down to the business of employee voice
There is plenty of global research on the business case for employee voice as an engagement strategy. As the authors in the Harvard Business Review so succinctly suggest in their article titled, “Want Fewer Employees to Quit? Listen to Them.”
So, how can organizations encourage employee voice? There are plenty of ways, including the following:
- Solicit employee feedback through listening tools, surveys, and chatbots
- Let employees be anonymous when providing feedback or let them choose representatives who can share their concerns, suggestions, and ideas with managers
- Crowdsource decision-making
- Implement an open door policy
- Encourage managers to hold team sessions to review employee engagement survey results, discuss top areas of success and improvements, and build an action plan together
- Hold periodic company-wide meetings led by top executives in which employees are encouraged to speak their mind and present ideas
- Respond to employee ideas and go full circle, telling each employee when the idea was presented, why it was accepted or rejected, and next steps
- Frequently recognize and reward employees for sharing their feedback
This is just a short list of ways to strengthen employee voice across your organization. Employee voice should be deeply weaved throughout all aspects of the employee experience.
Encourage your employees to speak up
Do your employees feel empowered to speak up and share their honest feedback? In order to effectively encourage employee voice across your workplace, you need to first build trust. Learn more by downloading the our white paper, “Empowerment and Trust: The Keys to Employee Engagement.”
Do you have any thoughts on this article? Share your comments below.
Listening to Others – Employee Voice
We all want to feel that our experience, ideas, and opinions matter. We want to feel valued by our employers, by our supervisors, and by our teams. In other words, we want to feel heard. The level to which employees feel they can voice their input to an organization that listens, understands, and responds, is what we call, the employee voice.
Nearly every employee engagement survey that DecisionWise runs has items designed to measure different aspects of employee voice. “We listen to and value each other’s thoughts and opinions,” is a common item included in our surveys. This item helps us measure team experience, organization values, employee input, feedback, and suggestions.
Another item we frequently use is, “This organization is responsive to ideas and suggestions for improvement.” Employees want to know: Are you listening? Are you responding? Do you value our feedback? Often a company is confident they have an effective employee voice. However, a survey reveals their employees have not seen or felt the organization’s response to their input.
Address the Opportunity at 3 Levels
I recently worked with a large manufacturing client whose employee survey results showed they were struggling with employee voice. The client asked me, “How do we fix this? How do we make sure our employees feel heard?” I recommended addressing the opportunity from three levels:
1. The Executive Level
2. The Team Level
3. The Organizational Support Level
In my experience, considering the challenge through these lenses is an effective way to design a meaningful response.
Fostering the employee voice must start with the executive team. Their opinions and behaviors directly influence the larger culture of the organization. If senior leaders demonstrate that employee input is important, the rest of the leadership structure will notice and follow. Here are some things that I’ve seen executives do to support healthy employee voice:
- Increase visibility and organic touchpoints – Look for opportunities to interact organically with employees throughout the organization. Walk the floor. Employees often feel that when an executive is visible, they are accessible and listening.
- Share stories of employee voice – Identify and share stories of employee input benefiting the organization. Champion innovations or improvements that have come from frontline employees.
- Respond with authenticity – When input from the employees is received, respond promptly and authentically. Even if the answer is “no,” employees value sincere communication and confirmation that they were heard.
If you want to address challenges with employee voice at the team level, managers must be developed appropriately. Train all managers on the importance of listening and how to demonstrate to their teams that they and the organization are listening. Some things a manager can do to improve employee voice:
- Conduct frequent 1:1 meetings to discuss growth & development and to listen to employee ideas, questions, and concerns.
- Appropriately respond to employee ideas and suggestions to close the feedback loop.
- Take action on the team’s employee survey results. Enlist team members to prioritize areas of focus and take meaningful action. Frequently discuss progress.
Strong employeevoice requires organizational alignment and support. Technology, process,policy, and the physical environment can all help or hinder employee listening.
It is wise to start with a communication channel audit. Explore which channels are currently available for employee communication. How are they working? Are you reaching everyone (including remote employees)? Large organizations need to have a few more options available if they want to frequently hear from all employees.
Do you have an effective employee listening strategy that helps capture frequent input across the employee lifecycle? The best strategies include onboarding/exit surveys and effective pulsing to help capture and organize employee input.
Employee Voice Matters
One of the most important items included in DecisionWise surveys is the simple statement, “I feel I belong here.” This item frequently emerges as a statistical driver of deeper engagement. However, how do you help someone feel they belong? It turns out…you listen to them. Employee voice items are highly correlated to this important area of belonging.
Employees are looking for a deeper sense of meaning, impact, and connection in the workplace experience. One of the best ways to support them is by strengthening the employee voice.
Are you ready to ask yourself that critical question now? What experience are you creating as an executive or manager to help your employees feel heard and understood?
Employee Voice: How to Listen and it’s Benefits
The base of every successful business today depends mainly on two things. The first is transparency and the second is counting everyone’s opinions. Organizations around the world are now adopting various measures to successfully implement these factors. Ultimately, all these measures collectively aimed at uplifting one thing which is employee voice.
The modern-day employees want to be heard. They want to utilize experiences both good and bad by presenting their ideas that could influence decisions in key decision making by bringing up their ideas and thoughts. Encouraging employees to speak up their minds freely is actually good as it helps the business to sustain in the long run as well as it positively impacts employee engagement.
So, What is Employee Voice?
Employee voice is a key ingredient for keeping your employees engaged and motivated. When employees know that their views are heard, their intrinsic motivation levels rise. They feel loyal towards their organization and honor it going above and beyond.
How to Listen to Employee Voice at Work?
Hearing out the employees properly is one of the crucial leadership qualities that every manager must possess. In the beginning, it might be a bit complex especially for the new managers but once the ice breaks they would be able to know how their employees are just by hearing their concerns.
There are several methods to make the process of listening to your employees more effective and here are a few of them
1. Employee Feedback
Feedbacks can count in general questions related to workplace assets. This may include their thoughts about the available amenities, any concern they might have in particular about their work, and things that. This gives you a general idea about the things that as a manager you need to pay attention to before diving deeper into the key issues.
Learn more: 360 Degree Feedback: Definition, Benefits, Alternatives
2. Employee Engagement Surveys
Employee engagement surveys help you understand and measure how motivated your employees feel about their work.
It talks about how the issues that may hinder the employees from giving out their best performance poor communication, team issues, relationship with the management, and so on.
When you run such surveys and act on rectifying the issues your employees feel confident as it encourages them to openly share their views and concerns.
3. One on One Meetings with Employees
One on one meetings are really important if you want to know your employees inside-out. Such meetings help employees speak out about their issues in a detailed manner.
Further, it facilitates the managers to properly understand the employees and put forward personalized suggestions their own experiences.
Also, if you’re up with the idea of 1:1’s then implement an open-door policy as well so that employees can confidently approach you when required.
Learn more: 9 Powerful Tips For Successful One on One Meetings
4. Suggestion Box
This is a very classic yet effective way to help the employees speak out with complete anonymity.
The suggestion box allows employees to tip-off its management about any ongoing problems for timely intervention and stop it from escalating even further.
It ensures that employees who truly care about their organization have a medium to raise their voice without the fear of being judged by their peers or others around them.
Having these kinds of employee voice mechanisms in place helps employers to keep check of things happening around the workplace as well as it ascertains the fact that whatever the employees say there’s always someone to hear them out.
5. Allowing Interested and Well-performing Employees to Participate in High-level Meetings
As discussed before employees now want to register their voice by putting up their ideas and take part in the decision making process. If you have a small team then it’s easy for all to submit their suggestions but if you’ve got a large group of employees then things might become a bit tricky.
So, in this case, you can pick out those employees who are really performing well or have shown keen interest in any ongoing work and let them present their ideas in board-level meetings. This would not only bring fresh ideas to the desk but will motivate others to perform better for getting themselves involved in high-level business processes.
Learn more: 9 Tips to Conduct Productive Business Meetings
Benefits of Having a Strong Employee Voice
Organizations truly progress when everyone associated with it comes forward to discuss things that actually matter for keeping up a healthy work culture. The value of having a strong employee voice within the organization can be established by the wide range of benefits it brings along.
Here are a few such benefits
1. Enhances the Employees’ Trust Over its Management
The level of trust and confidence which employees have over their management is clearly visible with their ability to speak up in front of the employers irrespective of anything. It is a well-known fact that when we are heard we feel more connected to the others valuing our words.
In this case, it is the employees who feel the same towards their managers and leaders. Once an employee realizes that their voices are heard their trust factor automatically increases which is indeed a positive sign for every organization.
2. Employees are More Focused on Their Work
When employees are sure that they have supporting management who is always up and listening, they can concentrate better on their work. They’re motivated to produce better results and come up with new ideas to solve problems. Overall, they feel satisfied at work and this improves employee retention within the organization which is much needed especially in times these.
3. Generation of New Ideas and Knowledge Sharing
Every employee is unique with their own skillset and diverse experiences. Both this combined enables them to come up with unique solutions that often solves a problem in the most effective way. Also, it helps the higher-ups identify suitable employees for any task their thinking abilities and willingness to work on it.
4. Enhances Employee Advocacy
Employee advocacy is the aspect where the employees promote their organization in front of others either over social media or in-person. It is a very vital sign that speaks about the level of unity and trust between the employers and its employees.
When employees are heard by their higher-ups within the organization they feel valued and view themselves as an integral part of it. As such, whenever times come your employees will not hesitate to stand up for their organization. This positively impacts the aspect of employer branding which again helps in attracting the best talents for work.
5. Helps in Building Strong Organizational Values
Employees are the prime assets of any organization. It is them only who work hard to bring success to their organization and as such their voices matter a lot.
When employees share their concerns freely they display their will to contribute towards the growth of the organization by adhering to its values.
This also helps in reshaping and strengthening the company values the changing employee needs which is only possible when they’re able to share their words at the right time.
Paying attention to your employees is becoming more and more important nowadays. Most of the present-day job seekers desire to work for organizations that pay attention to their employees. They want to be valued by their employers at every step and grow professionally.
Especially with the upcoming generation of workers i.e. the Gen Z’ers who don’t choose to remain silent if there’s anything wrong going around, it’s high for employers to incorporate a system Vantage Pulse for hearing out their employees in real-time.
I hope my views on employee voice has helped you understand the techniques to capture it and learn about its benefits. However, if you have something more to add to it then we would love to hear it from you in the comments below.