Have you ever stopped to think that your employees may have very useful ideas and solutions for the improvement and development of the business? Giving space and opening for employees to participate in decision-making is a strategy that is gaining more and more strength in organizations. We are talking about the concept of employee. employee voice
Have you ever stopped to think that your employees may have very useful ideas and solutions for the improvement and development of the business?
Giving space and opening for employees to participate in decision-making is a strategy that is gaining more and more strength in organizations.
We are talking about the concept of employee voice , a change that brings many benefits and makes employees more engaged.
What is employee voice?
Employee voice is an English term that, translated, means “voice of employees”.
The concept refers to listening to and valuing the opinions of internal professionals in relation to various elements of the organization’s management.
In this way, a company that uses the strategy maintains an open communication channel between leaders and subordinates, listening to complaints and ideas for improvement, in addition to welcoming the most diverse opinions.
More than just listening, an organization committed to employee voice also acts according to what is raised by professionals , always seeking to improve processes, fill gaps and seize new opportunities.
What are the goals of employee voice?
In summary, we can say that the employee voice is a means of influence, representation and dialogue between employees and the company.
In this sense, it proposes a channel of collective representation and allows the participation of employees in solving the company’s problems.
This guarantees a sense of belonging and the freedom to express views to leaders.
At a time when human capital is seen as one of the main assets of an organization , giving voice to professionals is essential to guarantee more expressive results and greater competitiveness in the market.
Thus, the employee voice policy can bring the organization several benefits to management, such as:
- increased engagement, making employees wear the company’s shirt and do their best to achieve results;
- increased motivation, caused by the feeling of appreciation and belonging;
- improvement in productivity, as a result of increased motivation and engagement ;
- increased innovation, with the possibility of absorbing new ideas and suggestions that can optimize the team’s routine;
- improvement in the organizational climate and strengthening of the group’s relationship;
- boosting results, a direct reflection of the other benefits, since with increased motivation, engagement and productivity, the trend is towards greater commitment to achieving goals.
How to encourage employee voice in your company?
Despite being a trend that is widely discussed, it is not always easy to implement employee voice and change team relationships.
In fact, it takes a lot of preparation and dedication from managers to encourage the new approach and bring confidence to employees.
The first step may be to put more open communication tools into practice , such as a suggestion box or something internal.
In addition, it is important to train leaders to implement satisfaction surveys and bottom-up feedback meetings .
If you still don’t know how to put everything into practice and change the company’s mindset, it’s worth checking out the tips we’ll list below.
Change the leadership perspective
There is no point in trying to implement the concept if listening is not a priority for leadership.
This is because, when leaders do not see employees as part of the solution, they tend not to give due attention to opinions and suggestions , which only generates a feeling of frustration in the team.
In addition, leaders who are unprepared to listen may fear losing authority when accepting suggestions, which also negatively impacts strategy.
Thus, the first step is to adopt a cooperative and collaborative culture in the company .
This is done by showing the leader that he can and should involve his team in problem solving and that this involvement can generate innovative ideas that will make a difference in results.
Train and value active listening
In addition to encouraging changes in perspective, it is possible to implement training , capacity building and workshops focused on active listening, openness, empathy and participation.
In this way, the company manages to train leaders and open space for employees to suggest alternatives and solutions, acting more actively on a daily basis.
To encourage change, it is even worth rewarding those who are more participatory.
Work with brainstorming sessions
To start applying the employee voice in the company, it is possible to opt for tools that are already known and widely used, such as brainstorming .
With the model, the organization can establish a starting point and carry out a more collaborative experience without necessarily having to change the entire structure.
In addition, with the tool it is possible to stimulate innovation , improve the relationship between teams and ensure more agile decision-making.
So, to ensure good results, determine objective brainstorming sessions that really impact the company.
Improve internal communication
Another point that needs to be looked at carefully is internal communication.
Therefore, it is essential that the company invests in the area, informing employees about everything that happens with the maximum possible transparency .
Thus, it is necessary to communicate, in an objective and clear way, the important decisions and the paths that the business is taking, opening space for employees to give their opinion and contribute.
In times of crisis, communication must also be honest and transparent to increase employee confidence and encourage them to contribute ideas.
The idea behind employee voice is precisely to listen to what employees have to say . So, don’t try to make assumptions, interpret behaviors and be trial and error.
The simplest way to put the strategy into practice is to ask what the team thinks about the decisions made and areas for improvement .
This information may seem obvious, but this is where most companies fail.
That’s because, many end up carrying out research only sporadically, as the only employee voice tool, and are left without basis for actions during the rest of the year.
Develop a versatile hierarchy
One tip that can be implemented to improve the strategy is to reduce barriers in communication and make hierarchical relationships more flexible .
This does not mean that decision-making must change hands, but that managers can be influenced by different opinions.
Companies with very rigid hierarchical levels end up discouraging the participation of employees.
Thus, opening the dialogue between superiors and subordinates, making relationships more horizontal, can be an excellent way to promote employee voice at all levels.
bet on technology
There is a universe of possibilities for companies that want to stimulate the employee voice and, to assist in the task, it is possible to count on different technologies.
In this sense, collaborative platforms, discussion groups, climate and satisfaction surveys, open suggestion boxes and polls in which employees can vote for the best proposals are some of the options that can be used.
To ensure good management, the tip is not to get attached to a single tool and test different proposals to surround the strategy in the best way.
employee voice cases
Do you want to adopt the employee voice, but are still afraid? Below, we will list two real success stories for you to be inspired by.
Tire manufacturer Bridgestone also bet on the strategy to increase the level of employee engagement.
In 2012, after noticing a drop in the motivation of the teams, the organization decided to give voice to employees and created an organizational climate committee .
The group started to represent the other employees and hold monthly meetings to discuss demands and possible improvements. The focus was to ensure more health and quality of life.
Thus, a tailored wellness program was created , which adopted actions such as the biweekly monitoring of employees with chronic diseases, the implementation of acupuncture and chiropractic spaces to relieve muscle pain and health coaching programs to encourage the adoption of healthy habits.
The strategy also extended care to employees’ families, achieving an engagement rate of 73% and savings of more than BRL 612,000 with health plans.
As we have seen, employee voice is a concept that has been gaining strength, which values and considers the opinion of employees in various aspects of management.
It is an important strategy to improve the engagement and motivation of professionals , in addition to bringing new ideas and solutions.
Now that you know how to apply the concept in your organization, access the HR portal and check out other interesting articles to further improve your people management.