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Why the employee voice is critical for business growth

The employee voice has always been important. The more involved employees are, the happier and more productive they become. David Somers of Workday Group, and Phil Chambers, co-founder and current GM of Peakon at Workday, share their vision about why listening to employees is so important for organisations.

ToTalent on December 08, 2021 Average reading time: 3 min
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Why the employee voice is critical for business growth

Employees are every organisation’s most valuable asset. Providing employees with a positive employee experience and being agile in the face of quickly shifting needs has been critical. Technology is crucial to support these goals: it helps organisations understand employee concerns and feedback, get better insights in their sentiment, and take impactful action.

Phil Chambers

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned employees into first-class stakeholders in their own engagement. “This is exactly what we aim to achieve with Workday Peakon Employee Voice”, Chambers says about his newly rebranded service. “We turn insights into actions on topics including engagement, diversity and inclusiveness, health and wellness. Organisations can achieve this through conversation tools, personal dashboards, team collaboration, and contextual learning resources.”

The importance of being heard

In a time of large-scale digital transformation, listening intelligently allows you to get great insights into what’s going on with your employees, which can be invaluable for organisations. It helps you get ahead of challenges by identifying them early so you can reduce the risk they may create. It can also help you reduce churn and attract new talent in today’s tight labor market  “You can truly listen to your employees, hear what they’re saying, benchmark that information, and respond in real time”, says Somers, General Product Manager of Workday Group at the Office of the CHRO. “It’s more important than ever.”

Organisations that invest in employee experience outperform peers by 147% in earnings per share.

A recent KPMG survey shows that ‘organisations that invest in employee experience outperform peers by 147% in earnings per share.’ Somers: “Your people are your biggest opportunity right now: by retaining and training them, helping them understand your dot on the horizon, recruiting new talent, and by encouraging and promoting a culture of belonging and diversity.”

A two-way data street

In March, Workday completed the acquisition of Peakon, a smart listening platform that helps translate feedback into action. Rebranded into Workday Peakon Employee Voice, it enables intelligent listening for companies of any scale, by using machine learning to collect and analyse confidential feedback from employees in real time. The platform lets organisations continuously collect employee feedback and, more importantly, provides a way to turn that feedback into dialog and action.

“Companies typically have tons of applications at their disposal that sends data downstream. But there is a lack of options that allow for meaningful upstream data collection.”

That upstream data collection is key to any successful people-centric strategy. “Companies typically have tons of applications at their disposal that sends data downstream. But there is a lack of options that allow for meaningful upstream data collection, which prohibits them from setting up a real-time feedback loop. Without this constant feedback, you’re at a real disadvantage,” says Somers.

A holistic overview of employees

This disadvantage isn’t limited to the C-suite. Managers benefit from employee listening as well, since their teams execute based on their example and guidance. When managers have the tools that allow them to better listen to their teams, and use that feedback to get better at what they do, everyone’s a winner.

This toolset is what Workday offers through the Peakon platform. “Our platform lets organisations accurately and contextually merge demographic information and data that is related to perception, such as employee engagement, sentiment, and productivity”, Chambers adds. “This provides a holistic overview of your employees.”

Change is the name of the game

David Somers

In true ‘eat your own dog food’ fashion, Workday rolled out the Peakon solution internally across over 13,400 employees. “The results so far are quite positive”, Somers says. “Engagement levels are up, and numbers such as employee loyalty, job satisfaction and advocacy are high. That’s based on 81,000 comments over a mere eight weeks. And nearly three quarters of our people leaders have acted on these comments, which is so important to make sure employees realise their voice matters.”

Organisations have to become more resilient and adapt to constantly changing needs.

In today’s market, change is the name of the game. This means organisations have to become more resilient and adapt to constantly changing needs. To remain successful, organisations must be able to shift without friction. And they simply can’t do this efficiently without a workforce that is engaged, safe, empowered – and heard.

This article was written by Workday and curated by the ToTalent editorial staff. If you are interested in partnering up to create unique, insightful content about total talent acquisition & management, please reach out to us. 

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