Making sure your employees feel heard

Employees who feel heard are engaged employees, and engaged employees make great employees.

making employees feel heard

Did you know that 74% of employees report being more effective at their job when they feel heard, but 86% of workers feel that their colleagues aren’t heard fairly or equally? Essential workers, younger workers, and parents are the most likely to be overlooked and go unheard in the workplace, and those are pretty scary statistics that HR leaders and internal communicators need to pay attention to.

When an organization encourages a company culture of openness and shows interest in what employees have to say, and considers any feedback moving forward, it provides many incredible benefits for the company, including:

Increased employee engagement

According to a Gallup study, companies show 23% greater profitability, 81% less absenteeism, and a significant decrease in turnover when employees feel engaged. But with only about 34 percent of U.S. workers—and 13 percent worldwide—reporting that they are engaged at work, companies need to ensure that employees feel heard and valued to be more engaged.

Elevated innovation and ideation levels

Where does your company get its newest and greatest ideas from? Your employees have insider knowledge of what your company is doing right, what they may be doing wrong, and what they could do better. Engaging more often with employees and encouraging them to be innovators is one of the most valuable methods for your organization to grow and succeed. 

Higher retention rates

Never mind the Great Resignation; retention efforts should always be important for HR departments. 64% of organizations indicate their greatest talent challenge is attracting talent in the first place, so make sure your employees feel valued, appreciated, and heard to retain them before you have to search for their replacement. 

Download this free report for the latest from IT, HR, and IC leaders on recruiting and retaining in today’s volatile climate.

If you want your employees to be engaged and productive, you must empower them to feel heard by coworkers and leaders. Here are some tips on how to start.

Encourage participation in meetings

Everyone knows who is always the loudest voice in the room at work, and many workers won’t feel comfortable speaking up when they feel the spotlight is always on someone else. Encouraging those more quiet employees to have a voice in every conversation, even with slight nudges like “Susan, what’s your opinion on this matter?” goes a long way to making everyone feel like their opinions and ideas matter. 

Utilize employee surveys and listening programs

Not using employee surveys to take the temperature of your workforce? You may be missing out on key indicators of how engaged they are feeling. 

In our post, 3 ways to a meaningful employee listening program, we showed how having a meaningful employee listening program gives you data-driven insights into your employees’ experience, allowing you to make decisions that drive engagement.

If you’re looking for some ideas for great questions to ask in surveys, check out 33 employee feedback survey questions you need to be asking.

Respond to and act on received feedback

To get employees to open up more, they need to feel safe enough to offer ideas and give feedback on things they feel strongly about. But possibly even more important, that feedback should be acted on in one way or another. Whether by addressing the feedback then and there or putting a plan in place to deal with it later, leaders need to ensure employees feel heard and respected. 
Creating a company culture that encourages open, two-way communication is vital.  

Learn the 5 steps organizations can take to increase employee engagement and improve communication satisfaction, regardless of the location:

Recognize employee efforts

Employee recognition refers to how companies recognize employees’ value and contributions to the company, no matter if it’s for achievements, ideas, or project completions. 

Organizations need to let employees know that they are heard and that their efforts are appreciated, which leads to a more positive employee experience and stronger retention and engagement rates.

Make introductions when necessary

Especially important in large companies when it comes to different departments collaborating on projects, coworkers don’t know each other and have never met. So when meetings are held across departments, or new employees are onboarded into teams, make introductions with names, jobs, and maybe even a fun bit of info like “3 fun facts about yourself” to take the edge off. 

Conclusion

According to Forbes, one of the top reasons for employee turnover is that employees are tired of being overlooked. As an HR leader or internal communicator, a major part of your job is to make sure every employee is heard and feels appreciated. Heard employees are engaged employees, and engaged employees make great employees. Make sure to do your part to make sure everyone feels valued!

Related resources

David Quilty

David Quilty

Dave Quilty is a Content Marketing Specialist at Firstup, with more than 16 years of experience in digital content initiatives. Before joining Firstup, Dave has been featured in The New York Times, Staples.com, The Albany Times Union, NPR, and Richard Branson’s Virgin.com blog.

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