Creating opportunities for people to have effective voice at work is a fundamental aspect of ensuring job quality. But this is also important for organisational effectiveness. Having a means for eliciting ideas and operational insights from frontline employees, for example, can have significant benefits for the organisation.
Following on from our earlier research into the employee perspective of voice, we carried out a series of case studies to investigate how employee voice operates in various organisations and to capture their experiences as they sought to make improvements.
The organisations range from small firms with around 50 employees to large multinational corporations with thousands of employees. Five organisations completed the case study process and feature in the report, with two choosing to be anonymised. The full summaries of four of these case studies are collated here. They provide clear examples of employee voice operating within different contexts, including key challenges and initiatives in place.
Although the research was conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the lessons learned and shared here remain relevant and will help organisations steer their own course in strengthening their voice channels and listening to the diverse and valuable voices within their workforce.
These case studies were conducted and written up for the CIPD by Professor Daniel King (Professor of Organisational Studies), Professor Helen Shipton (Professor of International HRM), Dr Sarah Smith (Research Associate), Jack Rendall (Research Associate) at Nottingham Trent University, UK, and Dr Maarten Renkema, University of Twente, the Netherlands.
We would like to thank all the case study organisations involved in the research for working with us on the project. Taking time out among other pressing commitments to be interviewed can be challenging, and we are grateful for the openness and constructive, thoughtful dialogues we had with our interviewees.
This project was developed and run by the Centre for People, Work and Organisational Practice (CPWOP) at Nottingham Business School. CPWOP works with organisations and policy-makers to understand and improve how people are managed within organisations, particularly in the face of the critical challenges facing the economy and society.
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