Voice of employee: Definition
Voice of Employee (VoE) is defined as employees expressing their ideas, grievances, suggestions at the workplace. These can be to the management team, HR representatives, their managers, etc. VoE can be about improving employee experience (EX), improving workplace culture, boosting productivity, refining business processes, raising concerns, etc. It is extremely crucial for employees to be able to voice what they feel and want.
Voice of employee at the workplace has become increasingly important to the leadership and management of any organization today. Most organizations firmly believe that it is important to give employees that upper hand where they can communicate and express their concerns freely without having to fear the repercussion of it.
According to a study conducted by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Voice of Employee ranks number seven at workplace trends. Asking employees for feedback through a systematic process is a way to give employees a voice. To effectively give employees a voice, organizations must fulfill the following three criteria:
- Provide a structured channel for feedback, surveys work the best.
- Create a culture, where feedback is an integral part of that culture.
- Let your employees know their feedback matters.
Top 20 Questions for your Voice of Employee (VoE) Survey
When it comes to collecting employee feedback and addressing their concerns nothing works better than documenting these concerns via an employee survey. In most organizations, this is the trend when it comes to collecting feedback.
Your voice of employee survey should be precise and to the point. Stuffing the survey with unwanted questions leads to an increased dropout percentage. One of the most important aspects of a survey are the survey questions. Make sure to incorporate questions that help you gather meaningful insights. Here’s a free sample survey template for 360-degree performance feedback that you can use.
Here are the top 20 questions you need to ask your employees to understand and acknowledge their perspective:
- Based on your overall experience with the organization, on a scale of 0-10 how likely are you to recommend the organization to your family/friends?
- How proud are you of working in this organization?
- How happy are you with your roles and responsibilities at work?
- How motivated are you to complete your work assignments on time?
- Do you feel aligned with the organization’s goals?
- Do you appreciate the role of leaders within the organization in achieving the goals?
- Are you aware of the organization’s expectations from you?
- Do you have access to resources and tools to successfully complete your tasks at work?
- Are you satisfied with the time given to you to finish the tasks at hand?
- Do you feel inspired to come to work every day?
- Do you feel this organization is a good please place to develop your career?
- Do you see yourself in this organization two years from now?
- How clear are you about your career path in the organization?
- Do you feel your manager values your opinion?
- How often does your team have meetings?
- How often does your manager provide performance feedback to you?
- Do you enjoy working with your team?
- If you could change one thing about this organization, what would that be?
- What do you like the most about this organization?
- What are the organization’s greatest strengths and weaknesses?
Importance of Voice of Employee
Organizations are now realizing VoE helps update their people processes and improve organizational performance. Let’s look at VoE aspects that help organizations get agile, making it an essential part of their people strategy.
- Improves customer operations: Employees directly interact with customers at various levels. These interactions help gather insights on customer expectations, satisfaction levels, etc. Having VoE programs that delve into customer areas will help improve customer processes at various levels of client management. Organizations need to understand employee experience (EX), and customer experience (CX) are intricately linked and act accordingly.
- Identifies training needs: Upskilling and re-skilling are essential for employees of all organizations, now more than ever. Changing workforce, team dynamics, and customer expectations have highlighted the need to update oneself regularly. Through VoE, management can understand what sort of training needs employees have and how to meet them. Meeting employee training needs is crucial and influences positively their intent to stay.
- Provides leaders with updates: VoE helps managers, senior leaders understand an organization’s internal developments. These can be about employee behaviors, culture changes, infrastructural concerns, etc. This brings to the fore issues that managers and leaders otherwise may not know or find out. This helps take corrective action and necessary measures for improving employee experience.
Benefits of Voice of Employee
VoE programs cannot be designed and deployed overnight, it takes time and continuous improvement. You need to set up a team and come up with a plan to build one. Here are some benefits of having Voice of Employee programs in your organization.
- Improved employee retention: VoE directly impacts your employee retention numbers. If employees feel they will be heard, and necessary measures will be taken, they stay with organizations longer. This is crucial to arrest your employee churn numbers. According to a study conducted by Gallup organization, organizations that have multiple channels of communication for their employees have improved employee retention rates. Retaining employees is crucial in saving future talent acquisition costs.
- Increased level of employee engagement: Increased level of employee engagement is a direct benefit of giving voice to your employees. It is critical that employees are heard and their suggestions or feedback implemented. Employees are your best critics when it comes to improving organizational policies. With better policies, your employees stay happy and focused, and in return their level of engagement improves. Engaged employees have higher productivity levels and are better team players.
- Job satisfaction: Higher levels of job satisfaction have been reported when employees tend to have regular meetings with their supervisors or managers. This way they receive continuous feedback and are also involved in giving feedback to improve the overall process. When employees feel valued they tend to show an improved percentage of job satisfaction. Satisfied employees are proactive, contribute significantly to organizational success, and are more aligned to company goals.
Voice of Employee: The process
Having spoken about the importance of VoE, it is time you know how to implement the process in your organization.
1. Start from the top
For any change to be successfully implemented in an organization, you need to start from the top. When the management and leadership of the organization are supportive, decisions are taken and implemented faster. Their involvement and support lets the employees know that they are taken seriously, and their concerns will be addressed.
2. Audit existing programs (if any)
Most organizations have one or the other existing form of collecting employee feedback. Before you implement anything new, make sure you have audited your previous programs thoroughly. If the previous programs have failed, only then implement a new one.
3. Set your goals
The only thing worse than no information is too much information.
From the very start, an organization should set its goals. They should know what they want to achieve by collecting feedback from its employees. You should know what you want to do with the insights offered.
4. Ask specific questions
Numerous studies have found that survey results are diluted if the questions asked are not precise. To overcome survey fatigue and dropout it is important you ask the right questions to your employees to get the correct feedback.
5. Make it a regular process
Collecting feedback one time is not going to solve the purpose. You need to collect feedback at regular intervals, more importantly, you need to record the feedback to benchmark year after year and to keep track of your employee sentiments.