It comes from a Human Resources background, but more than ever it is being recruited by corporate leaders in decision-making. The concept “voice of employee” refers to the collective opinions, feedback and perspectives of an organization’s workforce, in order to capture and incorporate the contribution of workers and create a culture of appreciation.
Still, globally only one in four employees strongly agree their opinions count at work, Gallup’s data shows. This means that most employees do not feel their suggestions or ideas on how to make their work better are listened to. The ‘voice of the employee’ must be faced as a strategic approach and a powerful concept that can transform the way leaders make decisions and have a positive impact on their organization.
With this in mind, Gallup principal Louis Efron has compiled a few tips on how to get the best out of employees’ voices:
Before setting up a listening post, think through the implications of having one
“Input is just the beginning. Answers can lead to more questions. Data are simply a foundation for further investigation and learning. An effective listening post requires a response team with the authority, capacity and will to respond to and affect change. A pulse survey app may be quick and easy, but a true listening strategy is not free in time or resources.”
Use the data you already have
“Performance data, exit interviews, and old survey results could already tell a story. Or it may help them ask better questions. Leaders should be cautious about seeking out more input on topics that they could easily resolve with what they already have.”
Take action on and communicate survey results
“Surveys can build trust, generate ideas and provide essential feedback on important issues. The difference between success and failure is how leadership communicates the message they’ve received and what will happen next.”
Don’t use surveys to replace conversations
“A survey cannot replace a relationship. And it should never be used as a ‘feel good’ measure to make employees feel like they matter. A leader’s everyday listening strategy includes getting away from their desk, walking the floor, having quick conversations and building rapport that allows for trust and candor. Pulse and census survey results are a starting point for more conversations. And it’s these moments when organizational cultures truly change.”