Does your company’s employee experience encourage employees to speak up?

Many don’t. It’s common for employees to feel that the penalty for speaking up outweighs the benefit of sharing opinions. That often leads to businesses missing important information and leaving performance on the table.

Gallup’s data reveal that just three in 10 U.S. workers strongly agree tdhat at work, their opinions seem to count. However, they’ve found that by moving that ratio to six in 10 employees, organizations could realize a 27% reduction in turnover, a 40% reduction in safety incidents and a 12% increase in productivity.

On top of that, Google’s Project Aristotle shows that psychological safety is directly tied to team performance. Their 2-year study of every team at Google showed that employees’ feeling safe to share their opinions was the single factor displayed in every one of their high-performing teams.

But how do you build psychological safety into your company culture? How can you encourage employees to speak up? Create an empowered employee experienceEmployee Experience.

Five tips for creating an employee experience where employees speak up

  1. Define a purpose. Whether it’s at the corporate level or a team level, having a sense of common purpose helps teams to move towards the same goal. It gives employees a context for expressing opinions and ideas that is crucial for psychological safety. Plus, our research shows that having a purpose motivates employees to show up for work, stay in jobs longer, work harder and be more creative about finding ways to improve company performance.
  2. Use regular, effective recognition. Using a platform to enable real-time, peer-to-peer or manager-to-employee recognition helps emphasize the positive actions that happen every day. When peers recognize each other for small but important actions – it builds a feeling that the team can count on each other. See our checklist for effective employee recognition for ideas on giving effective recognition.
  3. Set the rules for engagement. Teammates may have different communication styles or cultural backgrounds. Getting teams to work together to agree on guidelines for communicating and doing projects together can go a long way towards creating a culture of respect. That respect builds trust and a sense of safety.
  4. Celebrate small failures. When employees know that taking actions with good intentions will be respected – even if the result turns out differently than they expected – it encourages them to make decisions and take risks. By celebrating the act of taking small, calculated risks – employees are more likely to offer suggestions that lead towards bigger success.
  5. Practice continuous listening. Surveys offer a great tool for giving employees a voice. Whether it’s an engagement survey, pulse survey, or net promoter score (NPS), doing regular surveys allows companies to gauge employee sentiment and collect employee feedback. One tip? Acting on what employees tell you encourages them to speak up. See our webinar on making employee feedback more effective for more tips and best practices on using surveys.

    These five tips will help employees feel safe speaking up so you can get more innovation, more productivity, and ultimately – higher engagement levels.

    About YouEarnedIt

    YouEarnedIt is the employee experience platform powered by the science of motivation and the mission of improving the lives of employees everywhere, one company at a time. Founded in 2013, YouEarnedIt grows company culture and improves bottom-line performance metrics through its robust engagement platform that delivers recognition, rewards, incentives, and team insights. Named to Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of Best Company Cultures in 2017, the Austin-based SaaS company and its technology platform are built on the four pillars of employee experience: connection, meaning, impact, and appreciation. To request a demo, visit www.youearnedit.com/demo.

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    Susan Mack