Posted by: healingtheworkplace | February 14, 2013

Engaged Employees Have a Voice

I think that we can all agree that we need proactive workers and that the most engaged employees are also the most proactive.

Proactive, engaged employees know that when they speak up to challenge the status quo they will be listened to.

This is called “voice behavior” which is an academic term. Basically it means that when people have a voice and use their voice” they constructively challenge the status quo with the intent of improving the situation rather than just criticizing. “LePine and VanDyne

According to LePine and VanDyne, we are more likely to speak up in certain conditions:

 Our boss listens to us and acts on what we say
 We are rewarded for speaking up
 Our self-esteem is good
 We work in small groups

Perhaps the key here is having a boss who listens and is not threatened by employees eager to share their ideas about how to make things better.

I introduced you to Mitch McCrimmon’s 4 Levels of Employee Engagement in my previous blog. Level 3 Employee Engagement requires that managers/leaders stop needing to be right all the time and instead become more of a coach or facilitator.

McCrimmon describes Level 3 leaders as “engaging leaders” who encourage employees to speak up and suggests soliciting ideas from employees using the following questions:

What do you see as the main issue?
What do you see as options for dealing with this problem?
What is your preferred option and why?
What are the benefits, costs, and risks of your preferred option?
Who else needs to be involved?
What will it take to execute your plan?

Innovation is critical for the long-term survival of our organizations. Innovation involves challenging current practices and ways of doing things and generating new ideas for improvements.

Innovation is more likely to happen if employees know that they are listened to and that their ideas are taken seriously.

Employees who work in these situations are more likely to be engaged and to provide leadership.

Happy Valentines Day!


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