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Voice of the Employee: Maximizing Its Value

by Jody Ordioni

Voice of the Employee: Maximizing Its Value

If you work in a managerial role or run your own business, you are likely “in the know” about things happening at the top of the organization. But what is less clear is what happens underneath you in the organizational hierarchy. That’s why you should tap into the collective voice of your employees, and reap the benefits of acting on what they have to share.

Your employees are your eyes and ears. They know what is happening even when you are not around. They know about the workflow bottlenecks that you don’t see, and the looming disasters that you aren’t thinking about. Listening to their voice can help overcome obstacles and quickly solve problems.

Let’s take a look at three ways to maximize the value of the voice of the employee…

1. Use Two-Way Communication

Two-way communication is when manager and employee can converse freely, sharing information from each of their perspectives. One-way communication might be appropriate in some settings, such as the military, but in workplace settings is often non-productive. Two-way communication provides the opportunity for a democratic exchange of information, leading to clear workflows and faster problem solving. By allowing your employees to have a voice, they can express any confusions or frustrations on their minds. This will help them feel comfortable coming to you first before walking out the door.

2. Act on the Voice of the Employee

Employees often make great suggestions for improving their workplace and it’s wise to capture these ideas. On has to be careful though because it’s easy to get into the trap of collecting lots of information from employees through surveys, meetings, and other means, but then doing nothing at all with such information. Acting on their suggestions shows that you are listening and caring about what employees have to say.

3. Make Listening a Part of Company Culture

Listening to the voice of the employee needs to be an entrenched part of your company culture. Setting clear expectations with new employees and managers will help carry this out.

To move in this direction, why not start by listening to what your employees have to say? Call together a meeting or distribute a survey asking what steps the company could take in order to better hear their voice. Engage in a two-way discussion about the company culture, and then, act on their suggestions. It stands to reason that if your employees are adding value to the organization through their efforts, then their voice is definitely worth listening to.

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