Voice as a fundamental aspect of ‘Good Work’
The Matthew Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices highlights the importance of effective worker voice for creating good work. We believe that having a meaningful voice is critical to better experience and outcomes of work, and therefore welcome Taylor’s inclusion of the CIPD’s viewpoint that ‘having a voice is essential not just at the moment of entering an employment relationship, but as it progresses, too.’ The review outlines several purposes of voice in the workplace, from raising concerns to influencing business decisions, and discusses the role of trade unions and Information and Consultation of Employees (ICE) regulations in employee representation.
We know that voice has a positive impact on outcomes like employee engagement and job satisfaction, but the CIPD view is that it also has intrinsic value to individuals, which is currently not considered by organisational voice mechanisms. Employers tend to see employee voice as being valuable if it’s constructive and positively contributes to the organisation’s goals and objectives – i.e. if it has some instrumental value. We argue that the outcomes for people should be considered alongside the outcomes for the organisation, in order to create environments for people to have meaningful voice at work.