Throughout this blog series, based on Dr. Jack Wiley’s paper Suggested Actions for Human Resources to Create a Better Employee Experience, we have explored the different dimensions that are at the heart of the employee experience and provided strategies for incorporating this RESPECT framework into your organization’s daily practices.This series has shared how the number one reason employees seek work elsewhere is lack of recognition and that exciting work contributes directly to employee retention. It also discussed the importance of ensuring a strong person-organization fit in to cultivate a sense of security, the need for clarity about earning potential and fair pay and the value of providing opportunities for individual education and career development. Most recently, we learned about the consequences of adverse working conditions and the benefits of fostering a positive work environment for your employees. Throughout each step of this journey, the blogs have been filled with words encouraging honesty, transparency and effective communication, so it’s appropriate that it culminates to find us here, evaluating the dimension of truth.
It should come as no surprise that there is a place for truth in this science-backed RESPECT framework, as telling the truth is one of the first lessons we learn as soon as we develop a vocabulary that allows us to form complete thoughts. It can also be one of the more challenging concepts we encounter throughout each stage of our lives, as sometimes the truth can be uncomfortable for one or both involved parties. Aligning words and actions can be tough, and when moral values or ethical principles become a factor, that challenge can increase tenfold.
When it comes to the workplace, we know that employees would rather hear the truth, even if it is met with discomfort. Without truth the rest of the framework holds little value – for example, there is no real security or authentic recognition if the foundation is not built on truth. Here are some of the suggested actions for HR leaders to ensure that best practices around truth are being instilled and implemented.
Train leaders on how to deliver feedback. Provide leaders training on how to give useful and purposeful performance feedback to employees. This feedback should be frequent and cover employee expectations, recognition for what the employee is doing well, and how he/she can improve.
Organize town hall meetings. Schedule regularly occurring town hall meetings between management and employees. These meetings are crucial for disseminating information, improving transparency, and encouraging collaboration and communication across the organization. Leaders should listen to employees’ ideas, comments, or concerns and make employees’ feel valued for their contributions.
Encourage senior management honesty and transparency. Work directly with senior leaders to establish a sense of trust with employees. Help get leaders’ communications out in front of employees and make sure they share clear and consistent messages. HR can reinforce the messages from senior management through a variety of mechanisms such as email, the company’s social channels, or one-on-one and/or group meetings.
Good or bad, employees want to know the truth about their organization’s future and their own job performance. Employees crave honest and transparent communication from leadership. They want leaders to share the goals and direction of the company, as well as outline clearly defined roles and expectations. Not only do employees want to be accurately informed from their leaders and the organization, they also want to know how they’re doing on the job and have their voices heard in dialogue with their supervisors.
No two dimensions of the RESPECT framework are mutually exclusive, and it takes intentional action to fortify an organization using all these principles. When HR leaders place an emphasis on their employees’ experiences, the ROI is invaluable. They’ll see increased employee engagement and retention, a boost in productivity and an improvement in business objectives and the overall bottom line. Those are outcomes that deserve RESPECT.
NOTE: Be sure to check out the other parts of the RESPECT series:
Part 4: Seeking [Job] Security
Part 5: Fundamental to Work: Fair Pay