Engaged employees are necessary for a company’s success. Many organisations have now realised that their employees are their biggest asset and have begun to implement initiatives to in the hopes of improving engagement and retention.
Voice of the Employee or VOE measures employee experience and engagement. It can be defined as employees expressing their ideas, grievances and suggestions at the workplace.
What is a Voice of the Employee Program?
The Voice of the Employee program is a system that is designed to gather information about the issues that matter to employees and use that information to make valuable changes. Voice of the Employee programs can improve the employee experience, improve workplace culture, boost productivity and refine business processes. These programs typically use a variety of methods to collect employee feedback, some of the most common are:
Annual Engagement Survey
The traditional annual engagement survey is still used in many organisations for VOE. For VOE the annual survey questions are generally tailored to suit organisations own culture, departments and teams. The main issue with the longer annual survey is that employees may experience survey fatigue if there are too many questions to answer. This will hinder the response and the survey does not give an accurate overview of the levels of engagement within the workforce.
Pulse surveys can be used to gather feedback from various touch points within the employee journey. These surveys can be administered following any major changes made within the organisation, such as a new onboarding process or a new training program. These shorter more specifically targeted surveys generally receive much better response rates. Pulse surveys provide actionable insights that can be valuable for internal procedures.
Asking employees for continuous feedback creates a environment where inputting ideas for improvement
is an integral part of that culture. Providing a structured channel for employees to input their suggestions for improvement is an effective way to give employees a voice. A system where employees can easily input their ideas to management and track them along the way as they are reviewed and implemented. This shows employees that their voice is heard, and their feedback is valued.
Benefits of a Voice of the Employee Program
Identifies Training Needs
VOE can help management understand the training needs that employees have and what they can do to meet them. Upskilling and reskilling is essential for employees now to be kept up to date and feel fulfilled in their roles. Meeting employees training needs is necessary and has a positive impact on the employee experience.
VOE can directly impact an organisations levels of retention. When employees feel that they are being heard and can see that action is being taken because of their feedback, they will be more willing to stay in an organisation for longer. Research by Gallup has found that organisations that have more open channels of communication with their employees, see higher employee retention rates.
Increased employee engagement is one of the main benefits of implementing a VOE program. Employee engagement levels improve dramatically when employees know that they are being heard and their improvement ideas are being implemented. When employees are directly involved in creating better policies and improving processes, they stay happy and engaged. Workforce’s with higher levels of engagement have higher levels of productivity.
Improves Customer Experience
The VOE program helps to engage employees and in turn employees then engage well with their customers and deliver reliable customer service. By allowing employees a channel for submitting innovative ideas for business improvements, they can contribute to better quality customer service. Engaged employees also make improved connections with the customers, accomplishing better profitability and driving customer loyalty.
The Voice of the Employee represents a change in the way businesses interact with and listen to their employees. However as important as having the tools in place to gather employee feedback is, it is just as important for organisations to act on the results of the feedback. It is important for employees to witness their feedback being considered. Acting on the results is a visible way to build trust, increase engagement and enhance the VOE program.