How to Leverage Employee Voice
5th June 2023
Did you know that 74% of people feel more engaged at work when they feel their voice is heard?
Employees know what they need best to succeed, so by simply listening to their people, leaders can provide proactive support. This could be, for example, influencing processes, enhancing resources or making small changes to improve efficiency.
But to listen successfully, organisations need open and honest two-way communication that empowers everyone in the organisation to have their say.
What is employee voice?
Employee voice is defined as letting employees express their ideas, concerns and opinions, which feeds into the organisation’s decision making, giving employees the ability to influence change.
To encourage as many employees to get involved as possible, organisations should evaluate how psychological safety they are to allow employee voices to be raised without the fear of judgement or negative consequences.
Why is employee voice so important?
Employee voice is essential for many reasons:
- To identify workplace problems: Creating a space where employees feel comfortable expressing their opinions will raise valuable insights into what is working well and what improvements can be made.
- To improve your brand: When people feel like they are being listened to, they have an enhanced feeling of belonging; therefore, your people are more likely to become brand ambassadors.
- To boost employee engagement: Actively listening to and acting on employee feedback creates a sense of belonging and teamwork, which in turn makes employees more likely to engage with their organisation and make it a great place to work.
- To enhance decision making: Employees have a different experience with the company, compared to key decision makers. They can share insights into how the company is running from an operational perspective. Leaders can then take this on board, leading to faster problem solving and speedy decision making.
- To drive innovation: Creating an environment where employees are free to speak up can help you tap into a vast source of insights. With a variety of unique perspectives, you’re then better equipped to plan strategically and future-proof your organisation with new, more efficient processes and innovative solutions.
How to capture employee voice
There are several options you can explore when trying to encourage employees to share what’s on their mind and translate it into actionable change.
While employees’ feedback is significant, leaders need to be transparent and share constructive comments with their employees, to encourage active and meaningful discussion. From our experience, the more transparent organisations are at this stage, it’s likely that people will be more likely to get involved and raise what’s on their mind.
The Trickle app lets everyone in a project, team or organisation share their concerns, questions and suggestions regardless of their role or seniority. Through threads called “trickles”, employees can share their views and follow comments and actions until a conclusion is reached. The openness and transparency of the app lets anyone see how their thoughts are translating into meaningful changes.
2. Facilitate continuous change
Listening to employees is only one part of the equation — there needs to be continuous improvement to show their voice matters. Whilst some changes might take a couple of days to implement, discussions about other improvements may take weeks or even months, so it’s important to let employees know these talks are ongoing on a regular basis, otherwise they might start to disengage due to lack of updates.
However, if employees are kept in the loop and see real change unfold continuously, they’ll feel like a valued participant contributing to making their workplace better.
Trickle makes continuous change easy. With real-time feedback from your employees, ranked by what’s most important to them, you can tackle the top 5 issues and make adjustments. You can then update Trickle and explain how you’re addressing issues, which are visible to everyone to promote transparency.
3. Regular check-ins
With a huge number of people continuing to work from home, it’s important not to overlook the importance of one-to-ones, which give employees the opportunity to go into more detail to share what’s on their mind. When employees feel comfortable sharing their suggestions with management, it prompts a feeling of belonging — boosting their overall satisfaction.
But speaking up isn’t always easy, so creating anonymous avenues is important. Trickle’s MoodSense feature allows you to capture employees’ general feelings towards a situation at any moment in time — without the added pressure of a one-to-one meeting. Using this feature, you gain actionable insights while giving your employees a voice no matter who or where they are.
4. Employee involvement in high-level meetings
A major part of embracing employee voice is giving employees the opportunity to take part in meetings with key decision-makers, internal influencers or stakeholders.
This is easier to do when working with a small team. However, for larger teams, you could prioritise high-performers and those interested in the process. This then becomes an incentive, as well as a robust plan for implementing ongoing improvements.
At Trickle, our customers receive monthly executive reports, which summarises what’s been happening on Trickle during that month. This lets management understand what’s really going on inside their organisation and what’s most important to their people at a birds eye view so they can gain insights to help improve the workplace.
5. Company-wide discussions
Organising company-wide meetings to encourage innovation and opinion-sharing is a valuable way to increase employee voice. In these sessions, people can bounce ideas off each other and management can find innovative solutions to company-wide problems.
However, some people may be uncomfortable offering their ideas in these types of sessions. We often encourage organisations to post a Trickle after important sessions to seek further ideas or feedback to promote inclusivity and ensure everyone has had the opportunity to raise their voice.
Overcoming concerns about employee voice
Here at Trickle, we’re advocates of harnessing the power of employee voice. However, we understand that some may have concerns. One that often crops up is the worry that opening up more lines of communication could lead to unclear decision-making protocols.
However, this is often only the case if companies fail to promote a culture of transparency or use ineffective forms of communication. For example, rather than leaving employees’ suggestions to gather dust in an already-cluttered inbox, Trickle offers a single app where employees can raise suggestions, ideas and questions and watch actionable changes unfold.
Communication doesn’t need to be complicated. Trickle ensures everyone’s on the same page — and on the same app — to eliminate confusion and create harmony between employee voice and decision making.
To see Trickle in action, why not book a 30 minute demo with one of our friendly team?
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By giving your people a place to voice their suggestions & concerns when they need to, you’ll inspire a happier, more productive and loyal workforce.