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Part III: Implementing Employee Perspectives

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ASPA as an organization.

By Scena Webb
August 8, 2018

Research suggests that effective leaders don’t just pay lip service to the concerns of employees but rather implement employee perspectives. Today’s article offers suggestions for doing just that — implementing employee perspective. Leading with an interest in employee buy-in is a method that creates a level of trust between leaders and employees. For example, organizational learning capability has been identified as one of the key elements to success. This means that inventions and evaluations of employees are being imbedded into the strategic goals of an organization and then evaluated, thus determining how the organization learns. Employees who are learning the organizational structure and actively engaging are contributing to corporate competitiveness.

Camps and Rodgriguez studied organizational learning capability in 2011 and were early pioneers in the discussion. From their work, I advocate that understanding and implementing employee perspective increases organizational learning.

“No leader can accomplish a mission without the willing efforts of the team.”

Consider the vision of the organization as a mountain. The goal is for as many employees as possible to want to increase their awareness and behaviors that will enable them to climb the mountain. Implementing employee perspectives on what they learn about the organizational culture presents an opportunity to tap into the synergy of the workforce. The learning support of an organization is one way to attract and retain talent among employees. As a leader, you can’t afford to go off and do great things by yourself thinking that your team understands your vision.

Here are a few ways to implement employee perspectives:

  • Increase opportunities for internal communication between employees and leaders in the organization by creating working groups that are cross generational, a mixture of ethnicities and employee job series.
  • Assist employees with growth and career opportunities by designing a portal or communication channel that allows employees to provide insights up to leaders.

Research suggests that when organizations invest in their employees, they are likely to reciprocate these corporate investments in positive ways. Review the article written in 2016 by Khoreva, Vaiman and Van Zalk where the discussion relates to various ways talent management can attract and retain high performing individuals.

You may wonder how implementing employee perspectives correlates to return on investment. Here’s the answer: the workforce is increasingly becoming more multi-generational. In prior articles, I’ve outlined the realities that today, most organizations, whether public or private, have at least five generations working. This cross-generational emergence may lead to several factors of workplace satisfaction. So, what’s the news? The news is that implementing employee perspective in some key strategic goals increases employee satisfaction that has a direct return on investment to retention of the multigenerational workforce.

Increasing communication from employees to leaders in the organization along with creating multigenerational workgroups that have a voice to senior leaders are not new concepts. However, these are actionable items that any organization can implement to increase learning the perspective of employees. As discussed earlier, there is a direct correlation to retaining multigenerational workers and return on investment for organizations. Try implementing these two recommendations as a part of the upcoming year’s strategic plan. Create ways to listen for and implement employee perspectives of the multigenerational workforce.

Remember, the perspectives and suggestions in this article are not intended for one organization but aimed at all organizations whether public, private, nonprofit or volunteer. Organizations are viable through the talent of employees who in turn create the momentum that produces results. Leaders in organizations lose nothing by hearing the perspective of employees but rather stand to gain a competitive edge. Don’t just take my perspective on listening, check out this article, “From Listening to Leading: Toward an Understanding of Supervisor Listening Within the Framework of Leader Member Exchange Theory” where the research focuses on the benefits of developing a leadership listening skill directly correlating this skill to increase employee satisfaction.

Author: Dr. Scena Webb is a military veteran having completed 21 years of naval service. She is the author of two books and owns a small business, Celebrate Incorporated, that offers coaching services for veterans and doctoral students. She is an instructor for Indiana Wesleyan University where she teaches graduate students in the Masters of Public Administration program.

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