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How employee experience suffers without a listening strategy

Shannon Ah Tow / September 23, 2022

Having team members or employees who end up not listening to you can cause an uproar of frustration. Experiencing a sense of disregard in the workplace is never nice at the best of times, and if you have to deal with employees who are reluctant to listen to you, it can affect your confidence and can certainly create negative feelings that help no one. These are exactly factors that impact the overall team spirit, more so as they face daily challenges without hardly ever being heard, provided issues are voiced – let alone acted on.

When companies fail to listen to employees, the consequences are real and widespread, impacting every aspect of the organization. Not giving employees the opportunity to share how they’re doing, what they need to be successful, and what the company could be doing better on an ongoing basis can lead to adverse customer, employee, and business outcomes.

Just as CX aims to give voice to the customer, EX gives voice to the employee. Allowing employees to be authentic is critical to building a productive, happy workforce. Employees should be able to walk into work each day knowing their teammates will support them, even if they make a mistake. They should have the freedom to be vulnerable and honest without fear of consequences. 

What is a listening strategy?

Essentially, the techniques employed by managers, enable them to develop a concrete understanding of the key factors that affect morale, job satisfaction, commitment, and the overall wellbeing of their workforce. The goal: is to identify internal issues and, use reliable first-hand information gathered from front-line employees,  in order to take vital steps to address them before they develop into serious operational problems.

Why should it matter to have a listening strategy?

The goal of an employee listening strategy is to learn about your people’s wishes, concerns, and other things that matter to them so that you can act upon these as best as possible. This, in turn, helps the organization to better achieve its purpose and goals. The act of listening has positive effects on engagement within the organization, showing employees that they are being heard, concerns are relevant, and are valued.

A listening strategy is more than just “listening”

An employee listening strategy should also involve a continuous conversation between managers and their team members. In an earlier post, we listed the benefits of a listening strategy and how the effectiveness of integrating it within the workforce can boast tremendous results. 

Consequences of not listening:

    • You run the risk of disengaging staff
    • Potentially miss out on great ideas and insights 
    • Experience gaps may never be identified
    • You struggle to make change or improvement
    • The goals and expectations of your staffers may not be met
    • You may never identify issues experienced by frontline employees

How do employees fall short?

Organizations that don’t collect employee feedback run the risk of overlooking points of friction within the employee experience, such as persistent, systemic issues that are time-consuming, tedious, and frustrating for the employee. Not only do organizations end up losing top talent, but their employer’s brand reputation could also become tarnished as well. Employees who are having a rough time and don’t feel heard may open up about their negative experiences on platforms. 

Improve and implement an active listening strategy

The most crucial aspect of an employee listening strategy: acting on feedback. The longer the gap between receiving feedback and instigating change, the greater the likelihood that employees will think you’re ignoring their concerns and don’t value their opinions.

Employee-centric organizations make their employees a focus in their decision-making. They work hard to make changes based on their people’s feedback. Such organizations experience lower turnover, as well as greater engagement, productivity, and performance.

For companies to evolve and continuously improve, employee feedback will remain a crucial element. In times of complexity, short attention spans, and competing priorities, developing a solid listening strategy is critical to evaluate the effectiveness of how your team is being managed, alongside how and where to improve.

 

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