Employee Voice

Most companies have some kind of system in place which allows employees to give feedback on any number of workplace issues.

Generally, such surveys and questionnaires take place annually, allowing companies to compare year-on-year performance. However, this information can only truly be regarded as employee engagement or valuable if companies listen to what is being said, take it on board, and then appropriately act upon it.

Turning feedback into action

Employee voice

Taking action is absolutely essential for all companies that wish to keep their employees happy and engaged. And this means that there must be a system in place to properly collect the information.

There are numerous ways this can be done. For example, a combination of annual surveys (during which employees can give feedback with their name attached) and quarterly anonymous feedback forms (within which they can say anything without having to be personally scrutinised) will ensure that positives and negatives will be highlighted.

A regular management and staff meeting in the form of a 'Town Hall Meeting' is a popular way to engage employees. This article gives you tips on how to run a successful one.

Senior employees and decision-makers will then have the ability to take on board what has been said and come up with any solutions they believe will be able to make the company better to work for. It will be important to also explain ideas that aren't taken up, with the right rationale, this will also become a positive.

Employers should consider employee feedback as something of a GPS. Feedback should play a large role in setting the company's future direction, and employees should be at the centre of deciding what is important and what isn't.

A two-way conversation

It is absolutely vital that as well as giving feedback, employers and decision-makers inform employees about decisions that have been made and new approaches that are going to be taken. Feedback and information from employees is only valuable if it genuinely makes a difference to how the workplace operates, and if members of staff are aware that they are being listened to.

According to an article by Engage for Success: Employee voice exists where the organisation has put mechanisms in place to enable it to have an ongoing conversation with its staff, in different ways, to ensure every voice is heard. It exists where everyone in the organisation feels they can have a say and that their voice is heard and listened to, and their views taken into account when decisions are being discussed that affect them.

Keep feedback fatigue at bay

Employee voice

It's difficult to know how often to gather employee information. Not only can it be tough because it is difficult to assess how often situations will change, and how often updated employee feedback will be required, but it can also be tricky getting employees to give feedback forms the same level of enthusiasm if they are being asked to fill them out too regularly.

One way to do this could be to - somewhat paradoxically - send an email around to employees asking them how regularly they would like to give feedback, and what they find most useful about the surveys they currently fill in.

Alternatively, senior managers could also ask employees during their annual meetings about feedback loops, how often they would appreciate being engaged, and whether they think the current system is working.