Employee voice is increasingly important in the modern workplace. Having a voice is crucial, for the organisation as much as for the employee. But employee voice remains both little understood as a concept and under-utilised in the world of work.
The IPA and Tomorrow’s Company have therefore joined forces to explore in more depth the nature and importance of voice, working with some of the UK’s leading organisations. Building on our initial report, ‘Rethinking Employee Voice’ This publication gives an early summary of findings from one part of the research, a survey of employers.
The survey looks at employers’ understanding of voice, their approach to accessing it, the factors that enable and inhibit the expression of voice and the perceived benefits associated with it.
Our findings show that organisations believe voice to be important in delivering both employee engagement and sustainable business success. There are a wide array of approaches to facilitating and measuring voice with significant differences by industry, sector and size of organisation. The results demonstrate the shift from ‘representative’ forms of employee voice such as trade unions, to more direct channels but there is widespread unease about how to manage employee voice on social media. Employers see the main barriers to accessing voice as coming from staff themselves, in terms of overcoming cynicism and getting their buy-in. They recognise that when accessing employee voice it is vital both to get manager buy-in, to respond to the opinions of staff, and to be open and honest.
We want the report to be as interactive as possible. The survey data is available online through Orgvue, an interactive data visualisation tool. You can access the data here.
These early findings will contribute to the full report, due for release in early October, which will include further analysis and recommendations.