In decades past, it’s been an accepted corporate tradition that workers work, and managers manage. In this model, feedback was limited, and staff members with something to say – whether a complaint or an idea – were silenced by a strict hierarchy that didn’t allow porous layers between staff.
Nowadays, though, things are changing. Giving your employees more of a voice can be beneficial to your company in a number of ways – like giving employees a stake in your business, and allowing their ideas and thoughts to form your strategy.
As such, here are some tips to amplify employees’ voices.
Set Up a Forum
One idea, especially interesting in larger companies in which there are various siloed-off teams, is to introduce a forum, committee or council of employees. In this grouping, which could meet once a week or once a month, ideas and concerns are discussed in an open format, and the conclusions of the meetings are passed on to managers. It’s in this way that the most important pieces of feedback can pass from employees to employers in a regular and acceptable fashion.
Office politics may be universal and difficult to manage, but there are other forms of office behavior that companies simply shouldn’t tolerate in the modern era. Instances of bullying, harassment, intimidation and exclusion can all be incredibly difficult for staff members to work through – as well as being illegal in many cases.
Avoid workplace tribunals and accusations of detachment by setting up a proactive anonymous complaints system, making your staff feel at ease with their complaints and queries, and giving your staff a voice when they spot something they believe is untoward or inappropriate.
Digital surveys also do a wonderful job of getting a cross-section of employee opinions on a range of different subjects related to how they work and the changes you’re looking to bring into your company.
By using Inpulse change management tools, and distributing a number of different surveys across the course of a year, you’ll be able to understand your employees’ positions on a number of different issues. Your employees will also appreciate the fact that you’re regularly charting their opinions on your approach, and taking into account their ideas and thoughts regarding the future direction of your company.
Sometimes, there’s nothing for it but to introduce a number of informal workplace sessions in which staff can wear their own clothes and relax a little more, speaking more openly about what it is that’s bothering them. If you can organize workplace drinks every now and then, and a night out once a month, you’ll be able to poll the informal and uninhibited views of your employees without concerning them with repercussions. This will enable your team to bond together more effectively, and your managers to get the intel on some of the issues that you might not otherwise find out about in your day-to-day working lives.
These four tips will help open up employees’ voices to the whole company, setting your business up as one with modern values and progressive practices.