Working inclusively - Lesson 3: your reflections


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CIPD Staff

17 Jan, 2020 10:52

Welcome to the online community learning space for the lesson: Facilitating the employee voice. Use this forum to discuss the community reflective activity in the lesson. Read the contributions of others, ‘liking’ those you find helpful and add your unique reflections to the conversation by replying to this post. Click here to return to the lesson page at any time.

Community reflective activity:
Can you give an example where employee voice has improved an initiative, project or decision in your context? What was the key to achieving that positive engagement?  


    Our organization has conducted an Health, Safety and Environment survey consisting of 37 questions in 5 categories. The aim of the survey is to know the employees opinion on 5 categories and allowed them to rate on 1-5 scale.

    The survey itself is taken with a positive note by the employees by which they have an instant feeling that their voice was heard. The Survey results were published back and some actions are formulated to take actions by various managers which brought more trust in employees on management. Employees engaged more on raising quality issues as and when required and even shown many solution options for issues. 

    3 Keys for successful engagement

    1. Effective Management. The first is having good managers. In WeSpire's survey of 413 employees, 89% of very engaged employees feel like their manager cares about them.
    2. Transparency. Companies that clearly share information on their goals and impact give employees the sense of purpose they desire. The report says that "this sense of shared purpose is crucial, especially for younger generations."
    3. Choice and collaboration. Employees like to choose what programs to participate in, and they want to know about the efforts of the rest of the team. If possible, they like to collaborate with co-workers on projects.

    Source: https://www.inc.com/maureen-kline/3-keys-to-successful-employee-engagement.html

  • Having previously worked in a co owned business, forums for employee voice had existed for decades. In the last few years though it has been interesting to see how technology has been used to expand these forums, including capturing employee survey data, using webinars & giving information out : gathering it digitally through google communities. The improvement this has delivered in most initiatives, projects & decisions has often been arriving at conclusions faster & gathering more diverse views to make better decisions with greater buy-in
  • Last year we launched a brand new engagement survey, aimed at gathering our employees views and opinions about the Company and how they feel within their workplaces. The survey revealed that there were improvements to be made in communicating the Organizations strategic goals and news/updates and concerning rewarding and recognising our employees. From this, we developed and launched a number of schemes:

    - Quarterly magazine, detailing recent Company updates as well as case studies on individuals (both from a work and personal perspective).
    - The ability to send virtual e-cards to thank anyone in the business for their contributions.
    - An extra mile scheme, where employees progress through bronze to gold to earn a days holiday.
    - Quarterly nominations and awards for those that had excelled at work.
    - Online employee platform, where people can gain access to Company information, polices and procedures, manage their personal information and book holidays. We recently introduced and FAQ's section and ask HR function as well.
    - Re-vamped the employee noticeboards and undertook audits on this.

    The actions taken above appear to have been positively so far, based on the use and take up of the various schemes. I am looking forward to the next engagement survey to see whether we have been able to improve upon the previous metrics.
  • In my last role, seeking feedback was second nature in most aspects. This was either via anonymous survey, within one to one meetings, within management meetings or by inviting feedback after service was provided. This feedback was then used to forumlate strategy, usually around improvement actions. An example of this was giving the team the opportunity to review and discuss a service audit for themselves, and to have their say on its content. They were asked to consider actions that they might take from the results, as opposed to being told what to do, giving them complete ownership of their own service delivery which led to quicker and more inclusive thoughts / improvements.
    The key for me to achieve the positive engagement in this scenario is allowing autonomy, by giving the team a sense of ownership that they are in control of how they are viewed / perceived it motivated more pride in delivering it but also more confidence in making suggestions in the first place. I also believe it to be crucial that any feedback received is seen to be actioned on, or at least considered with further feedback returned back to the original person. There is nothing more demotivating than filling out survey after survey and seeing no change, or having your opinion (whether it is wrong or not) ignored by a manager.
  • We were rolling out a new training system for staff in a certain department, in order to address a power balance created by those gate-keeping knowledge which could and should be easily trained. Once the project was announced, we made sure that the gate-keepers were consulted, so that they could act as experts and feel like mentors to the project, and also those without the knowledge, so that they could put forward what and how they would best like to learn. This meant that we were able to implement this initiative without making either side of this hostile stand-off feel neglected.
    From this point on, we created an atmosphere of openness to suggestion, and made sure that the two extremes - the experienced, and the new - were never left to feel that they weren't going to be heard.