Having a voice at work is crucial, for organisations as much as for the individual employees. Feeling listened to is consistently cited as the most important factor in determining how much employees value their organisation. Voice is a key enabler for employee engagement and engaging with the workforce will be the best way out of the current economic difficulties. From producing goods and services quicker, to anticipating shifts in customer demands, ultimately, for the organisation, listening to employees is vital.

The IPA and Tomorrow’s Company have therefore joined together to explore in more depth the nature and importance of voice, working with some of the UK’s leading organisations. The Coalition Government has asked David Macleod and Nita Clarke to build on their work on employee engagement in their 2009 report ‘Engaging for Success: enhancing performance through employee engagement’ with a national taskforce to further develop and spread the engagement message.

The aim of this joint piece of work is to stimulate debate and new ideas on the future of employee voice in delivering sustainable value. The project wants to understand why voice is necessary and what value it has for employers as well as employees. Based on preliminary research, case studies and Forum meetings, a model is being built to help chart these influences, which will be tested and refined throughout the course of the project.

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