Tuesday, 12 November 2019 08:58

An Employee Voice – Eliminating the ‘Them and Us’ Culture

With managers under growing pressure to increase productivity and look after profit margins it is all too easy to overlook one of the most important areas within an organisation, the staff culture itself.

Culture can be difficult to define and influence particularly as the dynamic between employee and employer is changing.  Employees are beginning to become more vocal about their needs, goals and objectives. This two-way dialogue between employees and their employers is critical for employee engagement. When employees are engaged, it often results in better performance, productivity and employee retention.

However, Senior Managers have a heavy workload, often pulled in lots of different directions. On top of that they must also find time to engage with employees to ensure relationships are maintained.  Employees naturally want their opinions and concerns heard at all levels.

Managers who do not provide a platform for employees to speak up may unwittingly drive a culture of 'us and them' at work and cause employees to seek other channels to express their feelings about work such as social media platforms.

One of the simplest ways to improve employee engagement is by providing them with a voice.  Employee voice conveys and helps shape an organisation’s culture and is a major enabler to cultural change.    

Employee voice is an established term used to describe the extent employers enable and empower employees directly and indirectly to contribute and even influence organisational decisions. It covers the provision of opportunities for employees to raise concerns about how their business is run.  The term does not differentiate between an employee reporting wrongdoing or an employee sharing ideas for quality improvement or operational changes.

For these channels to work effectively the organisation must shift the view that employees who report wrongdoing are troublemakers who do not have the best interests of the business at heart.  Many employees feel strongly about their organisation, genuinely care about achieving results and are loyal to their bosses. 

An effective way to encourage an employee voice is to educate employees at all levels to understand that speaking up in the workplace is a positive process that allows their employer to resolve employee concerns, resulting in a better working environment for all.

Allowing employees to talk openly displays a level of trust which leads to employees feeling more valued and more connected to their organisation.  It is essential therefore to understand how your employees feel, so remind them often that they can speak up and voice ideas and concerns.

When employee voice is encouraged by all levels of management it can drive positive cultural change by:

  • Improving performance
  • Driving innovation, productivity and creativity
  • Providing an early warning system for identifying potential risk
  • Increasing employee commitment to their work
  • Identifying training needs and improving skills
  • Improving employee retention

For more information on how SeeHearSpeakUp’s confidential reporting services can enhance your employee voice programme call our sales team on +44 (0) 1224 049 782.

Key Contact

Looking for reliable whistleblowing services?