Listen to your team!
I can’t express the need to listen to your team enough. I was reminded when it was reported (rightly or wrongly) that employees at Dreamworld had expressed safety concerns for a period of time prior to the horrible unfortunate recent incident.
This also happened with another high media case at the Bundaberg Hospital some years ago with Dr Patel. Staff had also apparently raised concerns but they were not listened to and look what happened then! Now, I did not look at the details of this case at all but I am lucky enough to know and sit on the Advisory Board of the Centre of Work, Organisation and Well-Being at Griffith University with Professor Adrian Wilkinson, who did research this case.
Professor Adrian Wilkinson’s research is on employee voice and their attempts to have a say, to express their views and opinions at work – it highlights that it’s important to take notice and take action, otherwise you might not hear the voice again. For further information on his research please see here
Employees who know they have a voice, and are listened to, are more engaged with the organisation. Employees will usually try to give their input even when not asked, which is great, but if they are not listened to, they will get to a point where they will say, ‘I’m not going to bother anymore. It will never change’ and I have no doubt you’ve heard that before, because we have! Remember also, that although employees’ views and / or opinions might be negative or positive, but either way they are close to your customers, operations, other colleagues and competitors and can make you aware of problems so that you can rectify them before it’s too late. They may also provide input for improvements so either way it is worth listening to your team – then taking action! Especially, if you want them to continue to give you input. These are the voices that I like to hear in my organisation – input, ideas, contribution, innovation, feedback, thoughts, warnings and so on, bring it on I say!
Even if you consider your employees’ voices from purely a compliance perspective, that requires it to be consultative, particularly when it comes to workplace health and safety, so even if it’s simply to discharge your obligations, why don’t you listen? In terms of employee engagement, organisational innovation, productivity and performance, you need to listen because employees are a wealth of information about YOUR business.
We have seen organisations where employees have constantly and continually tried for their voice to be heard. I think that although they are often listened to, there is a lack of action for various reasons. This has led to poor culture, poor engagement and therefore poor performance and productivity.
The most important thing to start with however, is to – Listen to your team!
At HR Business Direction, we can help your employees to have a voice within your organisation that is listened to and results in action being taken.