6 Ways to Make Sure Your Employees’ Voices Are Heard

Last month, we posted about the importance of effective workplace communication. This time around, we want to focus on a specific part of what makes communication more effective: making sure your employees’ voices are heard.

Most employers are keenly aware of the critical nature of employee engagement – a measure of the emotional commitment workers have to their jobs. When employees are engaged, morale is high, and businesses are more successful. According to Smarp, an employee communication and advocacy group, companies with high employee engagement are 22% more profitable.

With all that in mind, here are some ways you can create an environment in which all employees have a meaningful voice.

1.      Give Employees Multiple Ways to Interact

For employee-management communications, consider both digital vehicles, like a periodic online survey, or pen-and-paper options including the venerable suggestion box.

2.      Use an Appropriate Voice

Work towards including more active voice and less passive communications. Confused as to which is which? Passive: “The active voice was used.” Active: “I used the active voice. Active voice is easier to read, but that’s not the only reason it’s preferable – passive voice gives the impression that whoever is responsible for an action wants to avoid taking that responsibility.

3.      Get Employees Active in Meetings

Meetings are more productive when everyone participates. To make this happen, try the following ideas.

  • Involve employees in setting meeting agendas.
  • Ask employees for their thoughts during the meeting and allow time for questions.
  • Offer small incentives for employees to speak up.

4.      Learn To Appreciate Feedback and Take Constructive Criticism

When you give employees opportunities to tell you what’s on their minds, expect that you’ll get some negative feedback. A certain percentage of these responses will be generally negative, but there will also be some legitimate, specific problems that need addressed. Take these as opportunities for meaningful interaction.

5.      Respond to Concerns

Of course, the interaction mentioned above can only be positive if you address the concerns your employees bring to you. Even if you can’t immediately rectify the situation, be sure to acknowledge reports of problems. If you show employees who express concerns that you’re listening to them, your overall engagement will improve. Of course, if you can fix the problem, the engagement bump will be bigger.

6.      Recognize and Reward

One of the most important ways you can communicate with your employees is recognizing them for a job well done. Make sure your praise is timely and that it spells out what employees did to earn recognition. If you can attach a tangible reward to your thanks, even better.

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