Storm trooper talking to therapist

When it comes to speaking up in the workplace, it can be a touchy subject for many employees (and that should not be the case!) In fact, 87% of employees feel disengaged in the workplace. Whether it be due to having their ideas dismissed or a lack of confidence to contribute ideas, that is not the work environment you want to create for your employees. Especially since one of the top reasons employees quit is because they are tired of being overlooked and ignored.

As a leader, it is important to understand the real benefits of hearing your workforce out. Giving your employees a voice increases productivity, success, retention, and allows for positive change and growth. It can be hard to self-reflect and understand whether you're really listening to your employees and whether your decisions are truly employee-informed. John Izzo, author of Stepping Up: How Taking Responsibility Changes Everything, found that 64% of working professionals polled that “leaders making decisions without seeking input” was the biggest problem in their organization.

Bottom line is, people want to be heard and feel valued in the place they contribute to every day. How can I create an open environment for my employees in order to encourage them to take initiative? What steps should I take to make sure my employees are being heard? Let’s explore!

Recognition

As human beings, we long for recognition. A lot of leaders fail to understand how important recognition is when it comes to employee satisfaction and success, especially when they put their heart and soul into something. A recent survey found that 55% of employees who were planning to switch jobs were due to lack of recognition.

As your organization tracks KPIs and monitors performances, highlight exceptional employees. Choose to acknowledge their exemplary performance and efforts both privately and publicly in order to encourage others at the same time. Small wins are just as important as big wins, celebrating your employees on small occasions such as in daily announcements or routine emails will boost morale and keep your workers motivated. Remember, the more you give, the more you get.

Listen

Just saying you’re going to start listening to your employees usually amounts to nothing changing and is ineffective. Have a strategy where you can accommodate all types of characters and personalities in order to ensure everyone feels comfortable using the communication methods you’ve implemented.

Workhub provides online communication tools such as Surveys, Suggestions, and Polls.

These tools were created as a hub where not only management can check for employee input, but also allows for other employees to vote on any suggestions made, as well as routinely keep up with employee feedback, input, ideas, and satisfaction.

Having an effective platform and strategy for feedback ensures your employees are aware of an established practice put into place to ensure they feel comfortable communicating their thoughts and ideas

Take Action

Companies that value employee contributions and ideas operate on the belief that employment is a two-way relationship. It is not only about what the employee can do for the company but also what the company can do for the employee. Whether it be suggestions on improving workflow or increasing employees’ motivation, it is important to understand that implementing those good ideas will benefit the organization as a whole.

Follow-up is vital. After implementing or giving honest feedback on an idea, engage with your employees to ensure they are seeing the change they were hoping for.

No one wants to be unhappy at work and employees tend to stay quiet, not because they are afraid, but rather see no use in contributing since they don’t believe management will take steps to make changes. Make it a priority to embrace your hard-working employees that carry your organization daily and make your workplace a positive and open environment that your people are happy to step into every day!

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