How to stop stifling your employees’ voices

Surveys are great—if you don’t ignore them—but there are other ways to solicit feedback. Make sure you actively listen to your staffers and implement action plans to engage them.

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At a young age, we all learn the difference between “hearing” and active listening.

Think back to when your mom would nag you about cleaning your room or your teacher would drone on about something boring. Their words sounded like the muffled “wah wawwh wawwah’s” of the adults instructing Charlie Brown.

We heard what they were saying, but none of it actually sank in.

Now what about your employees’ voices? Are their words and feelings clear in your mind? Or do they sound more like white noise?

Even if you think you’re actively listening to the employee voice of your organization, your workforce probably doesn’t agree. A 2015 IBM survey found that although 83 percent of workers would participate in an employee listening program—for example, an engagement survey—38 percent of Baby Boomers and 22 percent of millennials don’t believe higher-ups would act on their feedback.

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