Listen like you've never listened before

By Dr Kevin Ruck, PR Academy

June 16, 2019 

COVID-19 has sped up the rate at which organisations are adopting new, online ways of listening to employees and listening will continue to grow in importance to connect people to organisations.
In an update to the ongoing ‘Who’s Listening?’ research our latest, free to download, report published on 16 June includes a set of revised good practice principles and a review of a wide range of tools for listening.
The latest report also includes case studies that we explore in interviews with winners of IABC Gold Quill Awards. 
The project was supported by the IABC Foundation and builds on research carried out in 2019 where we reported that organisations have lost the balance between ‘receive’ and ‘transmit’. With the growing use of video, social media and an explosion of channels the danger is that organisations forget that good communication starts with the ability to listen. In fact, listening is now more important than ever. Leaders will be judged by how they listen to and care for their people.

The five principles for good listening are:
1. Openness: good listening requires an open mind
2. Planning: thorough planning across the organisation
3. Distributed leadership: listening needs to be led at multiple levels in the organisation
4. Empathic and creative: creating impactful and emotive feedback approaches
5. Human: understanding how people think and feel

Our hope is that anyone wanting to devise new and innovative ways to listen to employees will find inspiration in the report, as well as advice on the tools that can be used. 

The report also sets out how organisations can assess their maturity in listening against a spectrum of approaches.

Passive: more opportunities for passive listening to check what people are thinking and feeling
Active: leaders showing that they are aware and responsive to needs of employees 
Sensitive: opportunities for people to talk about how they are feeling
Deep: listening exercises that can result in a change in the way that the organisation does things
An organisation that has processes in place to listen to employees right across the spectrum is going to experience better levels of engagement, advocacy, trust, innovation, resilience, learning and wellbeing. 
Mike and myself are running a brand new online course for anyone interested in learning more about how to implement good listening practice. 

Download report

Course details:

Full information on the July course are available on the PR academy website via the link below

Listening to improve employee engagement

Photo by Malte Wingen on Unsplash