All relationships require honest and open communication.
Most of us have found ourselves in romantic relationships or friendships where we felt like our voice wasn’t respected. The relationship always fails when one (or both) parties can’t communicate properly.
Likewise, I’m sure everyone reading this can think of a workplace they quit because their employee voice was ignored – or even smashed.
Worker suggestions sit in drop boxes never to see the light of day. Grievances go unaddressed.
Decentralizing communication can help make sure everyone feels heard and appreciated.
What is Employee Voice?
Employee voice is the idea that everyone deserves the opportunity to express ideas and perspectives without fear of negative repercussions. It also means workers have some influence in company decision-making.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that every employee has equal influence as management over every decision – big and small. It depends entirely on each company’s unique structure, field, and team.
There are several types of employee voice, ranging from collective representation to project teams, upward problem-solving and ideas for product improvements.
Some companies might provide more influence over major decisions as a worker’s seniority grows. Meanwhile, other companies might limit employee voice to things like company culture, submitting ideas for serious consideration, and resolving workplace problems.
Employee voice doesn’t necessarily mean people can say whatever they want either. Their voice should respect company culture and other team members. It does mean, however, that employees can voice issues and ideas honestly and respectfully without fear of losing their status or causing problems.
Why is Employee Voice Important for Organizational Performance?
When people don’t feel their voice is heard and valued, a few things happen:
- People stop speaking up their ideas about service and product improvements.
- Workers stop caring about the good of the company.
- Employee engagement and productivity dropEveryone does the bare minimum.
- The best workers will find another workplace that values their voice.
As we can see, a lack of employee autonomy leads to serious issues across an entire organization.
64% of workers in North America will leave their jobs this year by choice. Meanwhile, 90% say they’re more likely to stay at a company that values their voice.
How to Encourage Employee Voice with Content
If team members have already been shouted over or disregarded, it will take time to earn their trust.
It’s important to create a widespread culture where workers feel comfortable respectfully speaking their mind.
Content, new communication channels, such as digital signage, can boost worker voice efficacy:
- Send out anonymous surveys to gauge current attitudes, grievances, and concerns.
- Measure & improve employee engagement, broadcast the live status to increase transparency.
- Create a Slack or Teams channel specifically for addressing internal problems.
- Amplify supportive and encouraging messagesacross digital signage.
- Create content to remind workers of their voice and proper channels for addressing issues.
- Recognize team members who used their voice appropriately with digital content.
The Bottom Line
We spend so much time working. Everyone deserves to work somewhere their voice is heard, respected, and appreciated. Without a voice, the best workers will leave and engagement across the entire organization will drop. Modern tools for employee communication, made accessible for all, can help amplify the employee voice and thus improve engagement.
Further reading you might find interesting: