Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Why you need to hear your Employee’s Voice


  The recent UK labour market statistics pointing to a jobless recovery throughout 2011 and beyond emphasise the need for all organisations to get the most out of the people they currently employ. One, and certainly the simplest, way of organisations doing this is to listen to their people’s suggestions.

I’ve recently posted on the need for doing this during restructuring – and the benefits Westminster Council have gained from listening to their employees. Consultation is a legal requirement (not just in the UK) during restructuring but it’s also a highly effective approach to minimising the negative consequences, and of maximising the positive opportunities of restructuring. It’s a shame therefore that most research shows that consultation continues to be performed so poorly.

There are broader benefits to listening to employees ideas as well. For example, I’ve already posted on research suggesting that UK engagement levels are stable, but of my worry that this masks a reduction in employee passion for what they do, and in their so important discretionary behaviours. Asking people about how they can best contribution to their employing organisation is one of the most obvious ways of showing the organisation considers them important.

This is about more than running a once a year engagement survey (important though this is). Partly because employee voice is part of social HR – you want your employees to talk to each other as well as to you. And partly because just showing you’re interested in them once a year isn’t likely to get the results you want.

Here are a couple of ways you may want to listen to your employees as well as in your engagement survey:

  • As a qualitative stage before your more quantitative engagement survey – asking your employees about which issues are most important to them – which you can use as the basis in your engagement survey
  • As an ongoing shorter pulse survey, involving a smaller proportion of staff, in order to take an ongoing temperate check of the organisation
  • To seek out employees’ ideas on particular issues, or about particular events.


You can use face-to-face consultation for a lot of this, but don’t forget about the increasingly important opportunities for using new and social technologies as well.


This post is sponsored by Organised Feedback.

Your customers and employees have great ideas and powerful opinions. Ignoring them is not a good idea. They will enjoy using OrganisedFeedback to suggest, vote, comment, share and improve. This knowledge is free, organised, prioritised and easy to utilise. See the live demonstration of Employee Voice, plus free trial.

Contact: Jim Sproat. email: jim [dot] sproat [at] organisedfeedback [dot] com, Twitter: @jimsproat, telephone: +44 (0) 845 508 1585.


Picture credit: Dflock