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Communication, a Two-Way Street

Successful companies encourage employee engagement at every level. Think innovation and the brightest ideas come only from top level executives? Think again! Consider Brian Dunn, who started with Best Buy as a sales associate back in the 80's. There were only a dozen stores operating back then. He was named Director and CEO in 2009. The same path was taken by William Weldon who started his career in sales at Johnson & Johnson in 1971, fresh out of college. He was named Vice Chairman and CEO of the company in 2002. This general workforce to CEO trajectory isn't unique. CEOs from hugely successful companies such as Harley Davidson, UPS, Xerox and General Electric all started from the bottom with ideas and genius that propelled them to running the company.
The question then, is how can an employee’s ideas, creativity, and innovations actually be heard?
CEOs often discover that the greatest obstacle to hearing employees comes from a roadblock within upper management. Innovation is unintentionally squashed by a hierarchal work culture of management who dismisses, or simply doesn’t take the time to listen, to the company’s most valuable asset – its ground level personnel. Who, after all, has the most interaction with a company’s valued customers? It is most likely the sales force or customer oriented staff that are engaging clients daily. Those with the greatest amount of customer contact will have the best insight on what the customer actually wants. This feedback must be free flowing; it is invaluable! Just as important, CEOs must have the ability to effectively communicate from the top down. This communication must trickle down to the entire team without dilution. The sincerity and value of corporate correspondence is often lost due to the formality of mandatory meetings, memos, or a clutter of emails with a long list of CCs. The Woices App paves the way to this essential two-way communication. Woices allows employees from all levels to provide ideas, suggestions and feedback to someone from top management instantly. This communication can be discreet if desired and can be an easy and effective way to pass on valuable insight. Woices takes away the hurdle of relaying potentially great ideas to the people ultimately responsible to making decisions. “Listen more and talk less,” is a mantra of many leading CEOs. To make this work however, the employees must know that he or she is receptive to input. A common complaint with traditional feedback and employment engagement models is that nobody is actually listening. By welcoming and valuing what others say, the leader knows what’s going on in the company and more importantly, the market. Active listening also helps management of all levels build trust with their team members. The old leadership style of do what you’re told is not only outdated, but isn’t welcomed in today’s workforce. Millennials particularly express the need to be heard and valued as individuals. Not having a voice simply doesn’t work anymore. Good employees are much more likely to stay at a company when they feel appreciated, valued and heard. Study after study demonstrates that employees value recognition and appreciation more than money. Just as antiquated as the command and control leadership style, is the overly formal flow of communication within companies. Technology has revolutionized the way we communicate now. Innovative companies are leveraging this mobile culture by integrating technological solutions. Woices removes the rigidity of corporate communication by making it second nature. Instead of a stuffy meeting or official memo, it becomes as simple as writing a text.
“This makes the third time today that a customer has complained about our wait time for product support. Has been much slower recently. Maybe we should look into that?”
“I was talking to a customer who used to work for DHL. He asked why we weren’t combining our retail routes with our nightly warehouse runs? Makes a lot of sense! Has anyone thought of this?” – Mike Ramey, Shipping
This allows a real-time flow of information and ideas in an informal and receptive format. Conversely, it provides management with the ability to respond and keep a pulse on what’s going on. David Abney, Chairman and CEO of UPS, considered communication so vital that he went on a “listening tour” to actively open up the dialogue from all levels of the company. Fostering an atmosphere of genuine listening is becoming the norm of successful businesses. Woices provides the platform to achieve this in an unobtrusive fashion. It can be setup and enabled for a company in a matter of hours and easily configured to allow employees to send messages to chosen members of management, even anonymously if desired. Additionally, Woices supports two-way chat along with image, location and other attachments. Encouraging participation at every level of a company is key to innovation, growth, and employee retention. Woices makes it easy for everyone to be heard!

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