How much of a voice do your employees have within your organisation? By giving your employees a ‘voice’, you can enable your employees to raise concerns which can help to solve problems within an organisation (or troubleshoot them in the first place), and even identify efficiencies that can lead to an increase in productivity and the amount of income generated by the organisation.
In academic literature, employee voice is recognised as a catch-all term that covers “the wide range of processes and structures which allow and even empower employees, directly or indirectly, to contribute to decision-making within an organisation”. Indeed, well-known researcher Richard Hyman identified three facets of effective employee voice: autonomy, legitimacy, and efficacy.
The articulation of a coherent employee ‘voice’ requires the filtering and prioritising of multiple, fragmentary and often contradictory grievances and aspirations. It is absolutely essential that an organisation treats any feedback provided by their employees in a fair and reasonable manner.
Effective employee representation is established (and sustained) through ‘delivering the goods’ and providing genuine actions following interactions with their employees. On the other hand, the good will between an employer and their employees can be severely damaged by a persistent (or even single) failure to take employee feedback on board.
Efficacy can be conceptualised partly in terms of organisational capacity: the ability to acquire relevant information (intelligence), to formulate policies coherently and dynamically (strategy), and to implement them appropriately (competence). Therefore, it is important to establish what the most appropriate forum is within an organisation – there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution.
Many of our clients have established forums between themselves and their employees in the form of, for example, work councils, employee surveys, and electing employee representatives. The unanimous feeling is that these interactions between employer and employee is effective for both sides from the perspective of staff retention, job satisfaction, and indeed the overall performance of the Company. If you would like to establish the best way to give your employees a voice in your workplace, please contact one of our advisors.
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