Let’s face it. The days of lunch-as-consolation-for-stressful-working-conditions are over. The odd team building day is no longer efficient at hiding the fact that those emails you sent up the chain have slipped under the radar. A slice of Mighty Meaty Stuffed Crust doesn’t ignore that you’ve spoken to your manager three times about extra support for that major client and still haven’t had a response.
Bosses, it’s time to rethink your employee engagement strategy. What makes your staff actually feel valued? It’s no longer freebees and perks. It’s being listened to, having ideas heard, and then seeing those innovations at least discussed amongst the wider working environment. It’s opening your business up to hearing the wider employee voice.
Ryan Tahmassebi, business psychologist, suggests that organisations are currently not doing the best job at engaging their employees. Yet ignoring the voices of the many can lead to higher staff turnover, higher costs in training, disengagement at work and a slower success rate over all.
“Society has almost brainwashed workers into thinking a good day’s work is ticking everything off your to-do list”, he said. “If we get the employee experience right, we get a much more successful and productive business. People deserve to have a good day at work, no matter where that is or what they’re doing.”
Leaders who listen to good ideas have more chance of innovating their company from the bottom up. Encouraging your employees to suggest feedback and express opinions dissolves the static perception of the management chain. And there are even better results when a colleagues idea is welcomed without impacting their chances for promotion.
A case study titled What is The Future of Employee Voice? by research advisor Louisa Baczor & Head Of Insight And Futures At CIPD, Dr Wilson Wong, furthers the argument. They talk at length about the benefits of allowing all workers a place to express themselves.
“Providing people with opportunities to openly voice their views in the workplace can increase their sense of autonomy and control,” they stated. “It can also encourage employees to bring their whole selves to work, which is likely to improve well-being and job satisfaction.”
Tahmassebi also stresses the importance and consequence of a positive workplace environment. “Health and wellbeing has to take a much larger place in creating better workplace cultures and our idea of what ‘engagement’ is,” he said. “If we get the employee experience right, we get a much more successful and productive business.”
This means listening. It means implementing platforms into the daily lives of frontline workers to give them a chance to be heard. It’s hearing in real time what the problem is, and then fixing it. It means no more quarterly surveys. It means transparency, trust, and a wider creative pool in which the entire workforce can have a say - not just management.
The power and impact of voice is no longer a secret. And successful two-way communication between a ground level workforce and those in positions of authority has never been more important.