It is that time of year again when we get to have a day or two off work to spend time with loved ones and share a Thanksgiving meal. If your meal is like most others in America, the conversation around the turkey will turn to your job and how you feel about your role there. Some loved ones will complain, some will give a lukewarm response, and maybe a few will say how much they love and appreciate their employer and the work they are able to do.
Think about how you usually respond to that conversation and why you feel the way you do.
Does your organization know how their employees feel about their work? Do they even care about how their employees feel? Do they know how to make sure their employees enjoy their work and appreciate their employer? If the answer is yes to these questions, then you are likely the family member who does love their job. If the answer is no, you likely do not or are lukewarm with your thoughts and feelings towards your job and employer and are even more likely to be disengaged and ready to find another job elsewhere.
Those employees who love their jobs are usually those who are also appreciated by their employer.
A strong and reliable way to create the conditions where employees feel appreciated is by seeking out their opinions on matters effecting their job. This is referred to as the Voice of the Employee. The Voice of the Employee gives employees the opportunity to offer ideas about how to improve the workplace, express concerns about the workplace policies, and to have influence in the decisions that are made in the organization.
Think about if for a second. When someone is intent on hearing your opinion and making sure your opinion is used when making decisions, you will feel more connected to that person. Your relationship with your employer is no different.
When companies give employees the opportunity to express opinions, concerns, and ideas, they have the advantage of strengthening the relationship between employer and employee, thus creating more engagement and a longer retention timeline.
If your organization would regularly provide the channels where employees can share their thoughts on how to create a better workforce and utilize those thoughts in changing policy, employees will feel like they are a vital piece of the puzzle and that their employer truly does care about what they have to say.
So this year, when your cousin Eddie asks you about your job you can happily say how much you enjoy working there because they see you as a valuable and insightful employee who is needed within the company.
Farndale, E., Van Ruiten, J., Kelliher, C., & Hope-Hailey, (2011). The influence of perceived employee voice on organizational commitment: An exchange perspective. Human Resource Management, 50, 113-129. doi: 10.1002/hrm.20404
Spencer, D. G. (1986). Employee voice and employee retention. Academy of Management Journal, 29, 488-502. doi: 10.2307/256220