Is it time to raise the volume of the employee voice?
By Andrew Penker Chartered FCIPD, MSc and the Founder of XSectorMentor.com and an independent HR Consultant.
As we continue to navigate our way out of the pandemic, the pressure to change our workplaces should not be a surprise. The digital transformation of the 4th industrial revolution had already set a trajectory of change in our future working lives which the pandemic has accelerated, and created other considerations i.e.4-day week, 60/40 hybrid working split, and collaborative ‘studio’ offices.
Thrive or Survive?
Remote working became a necessity during the last year and provided a new perspective for workers to experience freedom from the daily commute, and the captive office-based work schedule.
Our need for social closeness after an extended period of physical distancing, during which the stress of remote working and feelings of isolation were identified as the highest risks facing the health and wellbeing of remote workers, are leading companies to consider how they connect their companies and their people to build back better and level up opportunities.
Recently I engaged 8 high-profile companies who confirmed the Top 3 people and business pain points they need to solve if they are to thrive in the future:
- Up-/Re-skill employees to build organisational capability and wisdom
- Build employees confidence and self-esteem
- Place humans at the heart of their future business, with reciprocal knowledge and idea-sharing
We identified that the approach to solving these issues required the following:
- Connecting employees ‘beyond the bubble’ of their own company
- Enabling employees to ‘learn without leaving’ their company, and
- Extending their company and employee networks across companies, professions, and sectors.
The technological tail should not wag the organisational dog.
Enabling human-friendly uses of technology, developing skills relating to communication and collaboration, and developing psychologically safe and trusted spaces where employees can connect, share, and develop regardless of their background, are key to thriving in the future.
More than resolving problems and conflicts, the employee voice enables employees to engage and participate constructively in organisations and is a core part of the Industrial strategy in the UK that places good work at its heart to drive success, wellbeing and prosperity for individuals, companies and for society.
Improving information-sharing, encouraging cross-learning, and enabling the application of our gained wisdom is how to build organisational capability, develop confidence and self-esteem, and engage employees effectively.
The greatest opportunity presents itself when companies commit to a reciprocal approach to raise the volume of the employee voice and provide more accessible channels for employees across companies, professions, and sectors to engage with each other for the mutual benefit of the company and its people.
If you believe that mentoring that connects professionals from across sectors and professions to share knowledge and ideas and develop professionally could benefit your company, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.