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Ask your employees they say...

🤔 Asking employees is generally a great way to improve employee experience, but what are we asking employees for?

Samantha Gadd and Jenny Busing

🤔 Asking employees is generally a great way to improve employee experience, but what are we asking employees for?

Throughout my career I have seen organisations commonly seeking employee feedback, while the value of employee input is often over-looked and under-utilised.

In many organisations, employee feedback is the primary method of gathering insights, but few organisations truly harness the power of employee input. While feedback focuses on the employees being asked about what they think about (and generally how they rate) specific and predetermined ideas, employee input is driven by a genuine interest in involving employees in a co-design process.

Embracing employee input and involving employees in co-design, is a win-win-win.

🔥Win #1 - Employees love to be genuinely asked for input, the process alone provides a positive experience for employees

🔥Win #2 - Leaders dont need to have all of the answers (they dont anyway!)

🔥Win #3 - The organisation ends up with a solution truly fit for purpose because it has been designed with, not for employees

Employee input provides leaders the opportunity to actively involve employees in co-design, where their ideas and expertise shape the organisation's products, services, or experiences.

Employee input goes beyond feedback to tap into the collective intelligence of employees, fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation

One of the biggest fears I have seen in my career is that if you ask for employee input you will be met with unrealistic expectations. I think we need to give employees much more credit. I believe employees are genuinely good and want the best for their organisation. 💜 Of course for input to be truly valuable, leaders play a pivotal role in providing strong context. Leaders must provide clarity about organisational objectives, constraints, and considerations. Clear communication helps employees understand how their input can contribute to decision-making, reducing the risk of unrealistic expectations and input that may not align with the organisation's strategic direction.

One of the core beliefs behind taking a human-centred approach is believing 'the solutions we seek lie in the population we serve'. Dont you think it is exciting for us to know whatever challenges exist in our organisations, we have the collective intelligence of our people right in front of us to help find solutions?

So, what are the risks?

With employee feedback, be careful of confirmation bias - the risk is that we seek feedback only to confirm what we already believe to be true. Use feedback to unlock other possibilities too, 'what if we are wrong?'

Additionally, be aware of employees hesitating to provide candid feedback due to fear of negative consequences, limiting your organisation's ability to address critical issues. 🤐

With employee input, be aware that collecting and managing employee input can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. Without proper mechanisms in place, you may face challenges in reviewing, prioritising, and implementing the large volume of input you may receive. You might consider to start with seeking input from a representative group of employees first.

Manage expectations and provide transparent communication regarding the feasibility of implementing employee input is essential. 🫥

The reward 🤌

Organisations that embrace employee input and involve employees in co-design enjoy substantial rewards. Employees feel valued, engaged, and empowered when their ideas are sought and incorporated. This collaborative approach fosters a culture of innovation and ownership, resulting in enhanced employee experiences and improved outcomes. Leaders, relieved from the pressure of having all the answers, can tap into the collective wisdom of their workforce and foster a more inclusive and supportive work environment.

While employee feedback is common, organisations can unlock untapped potential by embracing employee input and involving employees in co-design. I strongly believe valuing employee input, means our organisations can drive success in even the most challenging environment.

#employeeexperince #employeefeedback #employeeinput

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