Employers are failing to listen effectively to their employees, new research from workplace issues thinktank The Workforce Institute has revealed, who identified a ‘worrying gap’ between employee feedback and employer response.
This research showed that 83% of employees feel they are not heard ‘fairly or equally’ while just under half (46%) believe underrepresented voices are not effectively listened to. A further 60% believe their views and opinions are ignored in the workplace.
Chris Mullen, executive director of The Workforce Institute said there was ‘troubling inequality in the feedback loop’ and warned it could have a significant impact on retention rates.
Speaking to the media, he said: “employee engagement is an important part of the overall employee experience, and if employees don’t feel heard, then their engagement and sense of belonging at work suffers.”
Jeff Fox, principal at Aon said employers should consider using employee listening tools such as next gen surveys to help build a true and accurate picture of how staff are feeling.
“What people say is often very different to how people actually feel,” he said. “Traditional employee listening surveys can be flawed – they rely on employees saying what they’re feeling, but often that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Instead, next gen surveys like Aon’s Reflections looks below the waterline and uses neuroscience to really dig into how employees are feeling by measuring their response to a series of positive affirmations instead of asking them direct questions.”
Employer action in response to employee feedback is also important, Fox explained. “Often there’s the perception that nothing happens once feedback has been submitted. Employers should consider a ‘we heard you’ campaign, where they outline what the main feedback areas where and what has been done as a result.”
Employees need to see action has been taken, however small. Employer action is a big part of the employee listening piece.
Elsewhere, research from software company Advanced revealed that lack of communication from employers during the pandemic has made young employees feel ‘forgotten’.
Speaking to HR Magazine, Alex Arundale said HR teams have a ‘responsibility’ to find out how the pandemic is affecting younger employees and required employers to ‘actively listen and respond’ to concerns, then ‘working together’ to implement structures, process and tools.
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