One of the best ways to increase employee engagement is by encouraging employee voice. This offers your company a variety of benefits such as innovation, increased productivity, and a strong foundation for success. Employees should feel empowered to do their best work and feel comfortable to speak freely and share their thoughts and opinions. Using some of our tips mentioned below, you can encourage employees to open up and boost your culture of engagement.
Start From The Top
In order to establish a foundation of trust and confidence, you need to start with the company leaders and managers. An employee’s experience is only as good as their manager and for some organizations, many higher-ups may not engage with employees at all. A lack of face-to-face time with employees may lead to them feeling that they are not valued or considered when leadership makes decisions.
Senior level management and company leaders should continually facilitate conversations with employees and foster authentic and transparent dialogue. For larger companies, incorporating an employee voice representative on your decision board can ensure that employee opinions are taken into consideration when making organizational decisions.
Ensure Employees are Informed
In order to build employee voice and generate meaningful feedback, you must first provide employees with the knowledge to make informed suggestions. Sharing key company information, performance updates, and team goals will give your employees the information needed to provide ideas and insight on how to improve the business and reach success.
This can be done through weekly meetings, performance reviews, posters, emails, or even on tv screens. Hosting regular face-to-face meetings can provide employees with fresh updates and give them the opportunity to ask questions and share feedback.
Create a Culture of Openness and Feedback Through Multiple Channels
Employee voice exists when everyone in the organization feels they can have a say and that their voice is heard and listened to, especially when decisions are being discussed that affect them. Enabling a culture of openness and inclusivity allows you to develop a wealth of knowledge, foster creative thinking, and discover solutions to solving internal problems.
Without, employee voice you are missing out on their side of the story and lacking an understanding of what really matters to them.
There are a variety of ways you can encourage feedback and ideas, however it should never be confined to just one channel. The more channels available to them, the more comfortable employees feel sharing their thoughts and suggestions.
Implementing creative solutions such as online forums, a feedback link in a monthly email, or an employee engagement survey can help you understand what aspects of the company employees think are working well and if there are any needed improvements.
Some additional ways to collect employee feedback include:
- Training and professional development meetings
- Holding focus groups centered around feedback
- Setting aside specific days for employees to speak with managers around improvements
Evaluate Employee Feedback
It’s unlikely that every suggestion will be feasible for your company and your business model, however having a fair process in place for evaluation can add transparency and ensure employees their ideas are not going to waste.
Employee Feedback Examples
Answering the following questions can help you easily evaluate ideas and place importance on feedback.
- Does it reduce costs?
- Does it generate business income or increase market share?
- Does it improve customer service?
- Does it improve the working environment or work/life balance?
- Does it enhance the reputation of the business?
- Does it improve decision making or reduce risk?
- Does it improve workplace practices?
Overall your process will depend on the size of your business and the amount of feedback you receive. For larger businesses, having a dedicated team of representatives from across your business can help you manage suggestions and provide insight from multiple perspectives.
By making your people your first priority, high performance and engagement will follow. Employees want to feel a part of something and that their contributions matter. By giving your employees a voice, you can drive productivity, reduce turnover, and propel your business forward. At C.A. Short Company, we have helped hundreds of businesses connect with employees and boost employee engagement. Sign up for our free employee engagement survey today to get started!