Are you listening to your employees? 

Are you listening to your employees | Are you listening to your employees? 
By Caroline Gammon | 8th August 2022 | 4 min read

Fast-changing work environments, competitive employment markets and increasing economic uncertainty – the world of HR is becoming incredibly challenging. 

Balancing these challenges and getting your everyday work done can be quite overwhelming and before you know it there is no time for what’s most important: your employees. 

Yet, listening to your employees and taking their needs into consideration should be a priority. 

Why is listening to your employees so important? 

A recent study by HR specialist Qlearsite revealed that a company's KPIs are directly related to how they listen to their employees.  

Companies who do not effectively listen to their employees and their needs are two times more likely to suffer from attrition.  

On the other hand, companies empowering their employees and including their feedback in decision making are able to create a competitive advantage, experience higher levels of engagement and achieve high revenue growth. 

Employee listening – it’s more than just a survey 

Feedback surveys have become a popular tool used by HR professionals to understand their employees’ feelings and concerns. While they are an essential part of employee listening, there’s a lot more to it. 

According to Qlearsite Co-Founder and CEO, Alex Borekull, employee listening is an “active process and not just passive listening”. 

It’s about creating a culture of two-way feedback, collecting the right information, following up with actions and then communicating this back to employees as addressed and resolved.  

Three tips to designing an effective listening system 

An effective employee listening system requires thought, planning and time to prepare. 

Although it can seem daunting at first, especially in a remote working environment, it’s the foundation for organisational success and will pay off in the long run. 

To help, here are a few of tips to start the process: 

1. Find out what’s a good fit for your company 

What tool should I use? How frequently should I collect feedback? 
The answer is simple: it depends on your resources. 

Some companies may have the capacity to send out surveys' multiple times a month and others may only be able to do so a couple of times throughout the year. 

Employee listening is an ongoing process and only collecting feedback once a year isn’t enough – circumstances are changing too frequently. 

However, I suggest you to be realistic with your resources or you may end up being unable to follow up to your employees’ feedback with the appropriate actions. 

A good estimate, according to Alex, is to align feedback collection with your goals.  

For example, if you set quarterly goals for your company you may wish to collect feedback every quarter. 

This way, you can ensure that you follow up with actions by including them in your strategic goals and set the right expectations. 

If you feel like you don’t have the resources to send out surveys on a regular basis, try focusing on one specific problem and do a deep dive on this issue instead. 

2. Get your employee’s buy-in 

Giving feedback and criticism can be quite daunting from an employee’s perspective. 

There’s a couple of measures you can take to ensure you receive the most honest feedback. 

First, make sure that all data is handled anonymously and  privacy is guaranteed. 

Second, and this is a bit of groundwork: create a culture, in  which employees feel like they can openly express their feelings without having to fear any consequences.  

Communicate to them, how important their feedback is and openly embrace what they tell you. 

And third, make sure your senior management level is on board.  

Senior managers are gatekeepers for implementing strategic goals and without their buy-in, employees may doubt the effectiveness of giving feedback. 

3. Include employees in the action plan 

According to the Qlearsite study, a supportive and inclusive work environment may lead to higher growth for companies. 

That also means, including your employees in an action plan based on their feedback. 

Once you’ve obtained the results, make sure to share them with your teams and let them participate in brain storming sessions on possible actions to take. 

One of my top activities for inclusion is getting together employee focus groups, presenting the results in an easy and understandable manner and working collaboratively on possible solutions. 

Final thoughts 

From motivating and engaging employees, retaining talent, and meeting business objectives; the key to overcoming these critical challenges lies in how well you can listen to your people. 

If you found this useful and want more insights into this topic, listen to the free on-demand webinar here.