More than half of U.S. employees were “not engaged,” according to a Gallup Poll. Why’s that important? Giving employees a voice leads to more engagement and greater success, says Keith Martino, a leadership expert.
“When we provide employees with access to the corporate microphone, the music can be instantaneous and breathtaking,” says Martino, author of the book Expect Leadership and head of CMI, a consultancy that customizes leadership and sales development initiatives. Capturing employee voice is a fast-growing workforce trend, he says. “Companies are constantly striving to please their customers, but the same vital attention needs to be given to their strongest asset, the employees. When employees are given a voice, it makes all the difference, building trust, bringing a higher level of performance and leading to success for all.”
1 Discovers hidden talent. “People who were buried deep in the organizational chart bring solutions with their fresh perspective and broadened roles,” Martino says. “Once viewed as disengaged, they are seen in a new light, now fully utilized and helping the company to prosper. By inviting more ideas, you’ve opened up a new world for your organization.”
2 Increases camaraderie, enhances culture. “The mood shoots up when everyone suddenly feels more valued by being heard,” Martino says. “You will be pleasantly surprised by the smiling faces and camaraderie that return to your employee base. Employees love working in an environment where everyone is really listened to and their ideas matter.”
3 Energizes, drives productivity. “A happier, more appreciated work culture leads to a more energized workforce,” Martino says. “When employees start feeling heard – seeing ideas implemented and knowing they have real input – it encourages buy-in and even more effort, so productivity goes up.”
4 Diagnoses, clarifies. “Getting to the source of problems means getting to the truth, and without repercussions in telling it,” Martino says. “This clears obstacles. And by bouncing ideas off others, hearing their concerns and perspectives, you stay true to company goals and improve the company’s way of getting there.”
5 Identifies future leaders. “Empowering everyone by giving them a voice inspires confidence, allowing leaders to emerge,” Martino says. “Some may not initially see themselves that way, but they will be self-evident by the clarity of their reasoning and the courage of their convictions. Good management unlocks potential, empowers it, and here is another example of that. The results of this dramatically improved communication between employer and employee are immediate and lasting. The relationship is enhanced in multiple, measurable ways.”