Our recent blog focused on The Good Work Plan (GWP), what it is and why it was implemented. We continue with the GWP, focusing in particular on the founding principles of employee voice and autonomy, which ensures employee engagement experience remains at the forefront. In this article we investigate the true value of the employee voice, and what we can do to improve this within our businesses.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) produce an annual report called The Good Work Index, which provides insights into the working lives of UK workers across 7 dimensions, including Employee Voice.
They further state giving employees the voice and choice they need to shape their working lives is a key part of a quality job, and a driver of employee engagement.
The Psychological Contract, (Schein 1988), highlights three unwritten expectations of the employee:
Security and certainty;
Fulfilment, satisfaction and progression within their role.
The expectation of being treated fairly typically carries with it, the expectation of being heard – The Employee Voice. According to the CIPD UK Working Lives Survey, healthcare associates scored the highest in terms of employee voice across this industry, whilst skilled construction scored the lowest. Additionally, hybrid workers report higher scores in employee voice than those working from home all the time.
(CIPD practical guidance to effective hybrid working, focusing on people management, recruitment and induction, inclusion and fairness, health, safety and wellbeing).
The Value of Employee Voice
What employees expect and how it can be achieved is heavily supported and evidenced by the CIPD and relevant theory, but how can promoting and enabling the employee voice help your business?
Employees with a voice are more likely to have positive wellbeing, less stress, insomnia, and anxiety.
Higher quality work is demonstrated when employees have the ability to speak up about barriers in their workdays and feel motivated.
Reduced Employee Turnover; valued and engaged employees with higher job satisfaction are less likely to leave.
Company reputation can be improved through encouraging feedback surveys.
Talent management and attraction can be improved through positive internal and external reviews.
Engages employees are more likely to demonstrate loyalty, hard work and commitment, with higher levels of productivity.
Promoting Employee Voice
Robinson, Perryman and Hayday (2004) suggest different drivers for engagement, which all link to the employee voice and how it can be achieved:
Involvement in decision making;
Freedom to voice ideas, to which managers listen;
Feeling enabled to perform well;
Having opportunities to develop the job;
Feeling the organisation is concerned for employees;
Health and well-being.
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Effective voice contributes to building trust with employees, innovation, productivity, and organisational improvement. Businesses who focus on employee value and the employee voice are on the right path, and there is so much additional insight and evidence available to further support you in your approach.