A new study conducted by HR software provider Ciphr has revealed that a significant proportion of UK employees feel unheard and lacking a voice in their workplace, potentially impacting their job satisfaction and engagement.

According to the survey of 1,000 UK workers conducted by Ciphr, a staggering one in four employees, or 25 percent, do not feel they have a voice within their organisations.

This finding raises concerns about the extent to which these employees’ opinions and feedback are being considered in organisational decisions that directly affect them.

Do you have a voice?

The study indicates that just over half of respondents, precisely 53 percent, believe they have a voice within their company. However, the remaining 22 percent, which translates to over six million people, are uncertain about whether they have a voice or not, suggesting that a significant portion of the UK workforce may indeed feel voiceless.

Female employees seem to be less likely than male employees to believe they have a voice in their organisation, with 50 percent of surveyed women thinking they do, compared to 57 percent of surveyed men.

The feeling of voicelessness is particularly pronounced among younger employees. A third of women aged 18 to 24, or 33 percent, reported not feeling heard in their organisation, while only 17 percent of men in the same age group shared this sentiment.

Ciphr’s research highlights a direct link between feeling voiceless at work and experiencing a negative employee experience. Employees who do not feel listened to and heard are less likely to remain with their organisation and tend to be less engaged and satisfied with their work.

Among those who feel voiceless, only 29 percent reported enjoying their job, 26 percent felt engaged and motivated at work, and just 51 percent intended to stay in their current job for at least the next year. In stark contrast, 81 percent of those who believe they have a voice in their organisation reported job satisfaction, with 82 percent planning to remain in their current positions. These employees also expressed higher levels of loyalty to their organisations (79% compared to 25%) and feeling included in decision-making processes (78% compared to 17%).

The study also found that employees are generally less positive than their employers about their organisations’ diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts.

Additional key findings from the survey included:

  • One in four (25%) of 18- to 24-year-olds do not feel confident or comfortable being themselves at work, compared to 12 percent of those over 25 and 4 percent of senior managers.
  • Nearly a fifth (18%) of all respondents, with 21 percent of men and 15 percent of women, rarely or never feel like they belong at work.
  • Approximately 17 percent of junior and middle managers do not believe that discriminatory or inappropriate behaviour is adequately addressed at their organisations.
  • Only 60 percent of employees believe their leaders lead inclusively, compared to 77 percent of those in leadership and senior management positions.
  • While 79 percent of senior managers believe their organisation’s policies consider diverse needs and situations, only 63 percent of non-managers agree.

Ann Allcock, Head of Diversity at Ciphr and Marshall E-Learning, urged employers to consider the survey results and take action to enhance inclusion and belonging in their organisations. She suggested steps such as conducting bespoke surveys within organisations, ensuring marginalised identities have a voice, and reviewing recruitment processes to attract diverse candidates.

“Inclusion is about being proactive,” Allcock stated. “Employers would be well advised to consider what these survey results mean for them and signal their commitment to delivering inclusion through training and policies.”

 

 

 

 

Avatar

Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.