Employee Voice: How to Listen and its 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 implement these factors successfully. Ultimately, all these measures collectively aimed at uplifting one thing, which is employee voice.
Modern-day employees want to be heard. They want to utilize both good and bad experiences to influence decision-making for ensuring better outcomes.
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.
It might be a bit complex, especially for the new managers, but once the ice breaks, they would 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 like that. This gives you a general idea about what you need to pay attention to before diving deeper into the critical issues as a manager.
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 may hinder the employees from giving out their best performance, like poor communication, team issues, relationship with the management, etc. When you run such surveys and act on rectifying the issues, your employees feel confident. And it encourages them to share their views and concerns openly.
3. One on One Meetings with Employees
One-on-one meetings are crucial if you want to know your employees inside-out. Such discussions help employees speak out about their issues in a detailed manner. Further, it facilitates the managers to understand the employees properly and put forward personalized suggestions based on their own experiences. Also, if you're up to with the idea of 1:1's, then implement an open-door policy as well so that employees can confidently approach you when required.
4. Suggestion Box
This is a very traditional yet effective way to help the employees speak out with complete anonymity. The suggestion box allows employees to tip-off their management about any ongoing problems for timely intervention and stops them from escalating further. It ensures that employees who genuinely 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 helps employers keep check of things happening around the workplace and 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 above, employees now want to register their voices by putting up their ideas and take part in the decision-making process. If you have a small team, it's easy for all to submit their suggestions, but if you've got a large group of employees, things might become 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 bring fresh ideas to the desk and 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 matter for keeping up a healthy work culture. The wide range of benefits can establish the value of having a solid employee voice within its organization.
Here are a few such benefits
1. Enhances the Employees’ Trust Over its Management
The level of trust and confidence that employees have in management is visible when they can speak up freely in front of the employers, irrespective of anything. It is a well-known fact that when we are heard, we feel more connected to 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. 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 like these.
3. Generation of New Ideas and Knowledge Sharing
Every employee is unique with their own skillset and diverse experiences. Both these combined enable them to develop unique solutions that often solve a problem most effectively. Also, it helps the higher-ups identify suitable employees for any task based on 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 vital sign that speaks about the level of unity and trust between employers and employees.
When their higher-ups hear employees 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 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 to the organization's growth by adhering to its values.
This also helps in strengthening the company values based on 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 like Vantage Pulse for hearing out their employees in real-time.
I hope my views on employee voice have helped you understand the techniques to capture it and learn about its benefits. However, if you have something more to add to it, we would love to hear it from you in the comments below.