Vivid Event Group

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Giving employees a voice

4th June 2019

Growing Internal Communications teams have a job on their hands these days. Keeping everyone informed with good comms across the organisation requires almighty focus and skill. With increased responsibilities falling upon the shoulders of these teams from the ever-growing list of both global and local factors being a concern for every employee, the pressure for organisations to motivate and retain their good people is almost tangible.

One way to harness motivation is by opening up a channel, not only for employees to have a voice but to be actively involved in decision-making. According to a recent survey, by The Centre for People, Work and Organizational Practice at Nottingham Trent University, as referenced in CIPD report for February 2019,

"half (50%) of employees are satisfied or very satisfied with the amount of involvement they have in decision-making at work"

For large organisations in particular, this figure reduces to 32% being satisfied with their level of voice, leaving the majority feeling they have no opportunity for input.

What if we created environments at events, whether town hall, team away days or company-wide conferences that embraced this notion of inclusion for those individuals who feel they have a voice? What would that look like? How could that improve the above statistics? How could it be curated to ensure that the session doesn’t become swamped with far-fetched ideas, but carefully constructed to pave the way for innovation and gain greater buy-in from the business?

We’ve discussed this concept in planning sessions with clients for their upcoming conferences and successfully curated this in conference break-out sessions to positive effect (click here to view case study). There are many techniques that can be deployed for those brave enough to embrace a culture of inclusion and openness. To avoid getting over-ruled by a senior manager is to ensure that any proposal for open discussion formats include clarity in the following five areas:

  1. Clear objectives – set out what the issues/challenges/problems are that you want to address. Keep it simple and don’t overload yourself with too many items. Think quality and depth to ensure you stay on point.
  2. Appropriate format – depending on who the participants will be, there’s a whole host of creative formats to shake up the session and encourage involvement (click here for eventbrite’s Top 20 Creative Formats)
  3. Experienced facilitator – more often than not it’s someone from the training team or an experienced manager. It’s not always as straight-forward as you might think, but a skill that can be learned by any enthusiasts keen to learn the art of facilitating and managing and fleshing-out multiple opinions.
  4. Participants – audience selection is vital to drive a constructive level of collaboration. Whether a departmental team, horizontal sector or whole business section, they key is ensuring the topic is relevant to that particular group of participants to maximise value from the session.
  5. Agreed ownership – it’s all very good introducing ideas, but transforming them into tangible results from a viable project to benefit the business, requires commitment and accountability. Asking for keen volunteers to take on key project roles is a good way to start.

What are you waiting for? If you work for an organisation where you feel that you could add more value by getting your opinion heard, try suggesting the above. Owners of businesses love nothing more than committed employees who care about the business they work for as they know that highly engaged teams are 21% more productive (according to Gallup).


Charlie Hepburn, MD BE Vivid

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