Listening to employees is critical for a myriad of reasons including employee retention, motivation, inclusion, and commitment. A new study examined the state of listening in U.S. organizations and found several areas in need of improvement. Findings show that female and non-management employees did not perceive that they were being listened to by management in their organizations. In addition, employees identified barriers to listening in their organizations, such as a lack of training in analyzing insights from employee listening.
An online survey of 300 U.S. employees was conducted in July 2020, in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The results showed that both managers and non-management employees perceived that their leaders were not genuine in their interest in listening to employees and that “the organization only listens to what it wants to hear.” Managers should take action based on employee feedback to show that they are listening. Even if it is only an acknowledgment, employees want to know that their input matters – otherwise, they may decline to offer such input in the future.