Building a Continuous Employee Listening Strategy

MX Bites / May 24, 2024

Do you really know how your employees are feeling? There’s likely no more effective method to obtain a valid answer than by implementing a continuous employee listening strategy. The emphasis is on the word ‘continuous,’ as employees cannot be thoroughly understood through one-time or infrequent communication.

Many companies have created a culture of taking annual surveys or interviews with employees to improve their structures; however, that no longer works as it does not communicate importance to the employees or allow them to freely give an honest opinion in that sense. Even if honest responses are gotten, if the purpose of employee listening is misaligned, the feedback will not be used to effectively enhance the employee experience

Through a continuous listening process, business leaders could measure the pulse of the organization, extract insights from the feedback to restructure or mend broken features, and improve the whole organizational experience in general. We recognize how instrumental this strategy is to business organizations; hence, we built holistic products to satisfy this need. Follow through on this article for more context on the importance of continuous employee listening.

Why does continuous employee listening matter?

The effectiveness of employee listening is revealed in its purpose and frequency. The following highlights the importance of continuous employee listening:

  • Improved employee engagement and proactive team members: In a work environment that places importance on how employees are feeling and seeks to give them a positive experience, the employees grow to become physically and emotionally invested in the organization. They willingly take on new tasks, spot areas to make improvements, and challenge themselves to develop new innovations that could become the next big thing in the market.
  • Proactive problem-solving for an enhanced employee experience: As long as people are involved in a function, problems will surely arise at specific points during the process, and they may happen more frequently than expected. Hence, there is need to collect feedback as frequently as possible to measure employee sentiment and take immediate action in response before it escalates. Addressing issues promptly keeps the work environment healthy.
  • Improved rate of retention: Usually, employees desire to be in an organization that listens to them. Even in non-organizational settings, it’s hard for any person to thrive in a place where communication does not flow. In organizations where employee’s opinions do not count or are not respected, they are more likely to leave. Employee attrition is usually a great loss to organizations, as the organization both loses their investment in the employee and also spends more on training new employees for the vacant role. Therefore, every effort put into employee retention, including continuous employee listening, is worth it.
Steps to Building a Continuous Employee Listening Strategy

The following are sustainable metrics on the strength of which communication thrives in an organization:

    1. Establish clear goals and objectives: Before building anything, the goals and objectives should be clearly defined. In building a continuous employee listening strategy, companies should first identify their lagging areas and structure goals along those lines. For instance, a company experiencing a high rate of employee turnover will create goals to reduce this drastically. In that sense, they can build structures to ensure that this goal is achieved. Clear objectives guide the development and implementation of your strategy, ensuring that all feedback collection and analysis activities are aligned with your overall goals. 
    2. Foster a culture of open communication: Employee listening cannot thrive in a work environment that does not endorse freedom of speech or expression. When a work atmosphere is tense and every employee is made to live on their toes, they are likely to hold back from giving feedback or even becoming fully invested in the organization. Therefore, fostering a culture of open communication and encouraging employees to speak up encourages them to continuously give constructive feedback.
    3. Utilize multiple feedback channels: When the atmosphere is set for expressive communication, it is expected to also provide channels for collecting feedback. Use different communication channels, such as survey forms, one-on-one meeting schedules, focus groups, and suggestion boxes, to collect feedback from employees. Creating these channels is also a way of communicating to employees that their opinions matter and that you are willing to take actions that improve their experience in the organization.
    4. Implement feedback tools and communication: Invest in software that allows for regular pulse surveys, feedback collection, and data analysis. At Hoick, our data analysis tool, Employee MX, has helped improve the employee experience in many industries by using a feedback collection and analysis strategy. In large organizations where it could be difficult to give priorities to each employee, feedback and communication tools can be used to effectively gather and act on feedback.
    5. Act on feedback promptly: Change is only impacted when action is taken in response to the feedback collected. It’s even more effective when actions are taken immediately. Many of the issues that persist in organizations today are due to the infrequency of feedback collection and the hesitation to take action. Therefore, it is important that actions are taken as feedback is collected. 

As actions are taken, regularly measure the effectiveness of your listening strategy using various metrics, such as the rate of employee turnover, employee engagement, and productivity level. 

Following these action steps based on a clearly defined goal will increase trust, loyalty, employee engagement, and retention, as employees are more likely to thrive in organizations where their feedback counts and is used to make positive change in the organization. Also, building a culture of open communication and continuous listening can drive innovation and positive improvement within the organization.

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