The importance of employee voice in the workplace cannot be overstated. A new generation of workers, known as Gen Z (born between the late 1990s and early 2010s), is entering the workforce with unique perspectives and experiences. To harness the power of Gen Z and other workers, it is critical for employers to listen to their feedback, implement their suggestions, and customize communication strategies to their preferences. By doing so, organizations can create a more engaged, connected, and productive workforce. In this article, we will explore the importance of employee voice and provide some innovative techniques that employers can use to effectively communicate with and harness feedback from Gen Z and other workers.
What Gen Z Wants
In Deloitte’s 2022 Global Gen Z and Millennials Survey, which connected with more than 14,000 respondents, what they found was that Gen Z and Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) aren’t afraid to speak up to ask for change, but it’s critical for employers to listen to their people and implement their feedback. The survey found that while just over half of the respondents feel their organization does a good job of empowering them to drive change, roughly a third don’t feel empowered to do so. This suggests that organizations have work to do to ensure all professionals feel empowered to speak up and drive change within their workplaces.
Gen Z individuals want workplaces with less rigid hierarchies, where they feel they can speak openly with their employers and be part of shaping their workplace’s culture. When people feel their voices are heard, they tend to feel more connected and loyal to their organizations. This can have a tremendous impact on improving work lives and worker engagement, deepening organizational culture, increasing business results and financial return, as well as enriching personal lives.
Harnessing the Power of Employee Voice
Forward-thinking employers are harnessing the power of not only their Gen Z workers’ voices but rather all generations in the workforce. They realize the importance of segmenting their workforces and using communications tools and feedback channels to obtain a wide perspective from all worker segments. Different age groups offer unique perspectives on organizational structure and governance, while younger generations offer a fresh perspective on new product development and marketplace trends.
To effectively communicate with all workers and harness feedback, leading-edge employers are using innovative techniques. Here are some examples:
- Videos from leadership: Videos make it easier to get workers’ attention and help them retain information longer. They are faster than having workers read long internal newsletters and are a great way to personalize communications from leadership.
- Workforce experience apps: Workforce experience apps are a great way to share information and gather feedback from remote workers as well as those with no direct computer access.
- Short-message-service (SMS) communications: SMS communications are a viable solution for connecting with workers, who may well be dispersed across different locations, time zones, and parts of the world.
- Interactive emails: Interactive emails are a new way to both communicate with workers and allow them to share feedback with pulse surveys, comment boxes, and smart links.
- Virtual focus groups: Virtual focus groups can be set up anytime for team building or obtaining worker viewpoints about a wide variety of topics. These groups can be ongoing, with online bulletin boards embedded in to obtain longitudinal information.
The Importance of Customization
No longer does a one-size-fits-all plan suffice when it comes to communicating with all workers or when harnessing feedback. To effectively communicate with and harness feedback from Gen Z and other workers, it is crucial to customize communication strategies to the preferences of the target audience. According to recent research, Gen Z prefers to communicate via messaging apps rather than face-to-face. Another key insight into Gen Z is that they grew up with personalization, so customization is important when communicating with this workforce segment.
The Importance of Accountability
It is also important to hold employers accountable for following through with feedback that has been given. There is still a place for traditional surveys, but they should be short, concise, have a purpose, and be followed with communications conveying what actions are being taken. This creates trust and allows organizations to build credibility with impacted workers, if indeed key findings are acted upon.
Takeaways and Taking Steps
The important takeaways here are to consider listening early and often, meet workers where they are if you want them to help improve the workplace experience, and harness diverse viewpoints. And finally, make a point to act on their feedback to improve business performance, create trust, and increase the likelihood that they will respond the next time you ask them.
The power of employee voice in the workplace cannot be overstated. To harness the power of Gen Z and other workers, it is critical to listen to their feedback, implement their suggestions, and customize communication strategies to their preferences. Innovative techniques such as virtual focus groups, workforce experience apps, SMS communications, and interactive emails can help employers communicate with all workers more effectively. By doing so, organizations can create a more engaged, connected, and productive workforce.
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out my international bestselling books available globally on all Amazon sites and Kindle via the following:
- The Employee Handbook: A Practical Guide for Managing Your Career
- The Manager Handbook: A Practical Guide to Managing Your Team
- The Talent Acquisition Handbook: A Practical Guide to Candidate Experience
- The HR Handbook: A Practical Guide to Employee Experience
You can also connect with me on social media for more content and updates by following the links here:
And don’t forget to visit my website at LeeNallalingham.com for hundreds of free articles like this one. Thanks for your support!