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Radio Show #438: What is a ‘listening culture’ and how can we engage leadership more in active listening?
25 April |5:30 pm - 6:00 pm BST
Special Guest: Mike Poundsford: Founder of Couravel; Howard Krais: President of UK Chapter of IABC; Kevin Ruck: Co-Founder of PR Academy
The three guests in this episode have worked together on the Listening Project since 2019. Their purpose is to promote listening to employees as an under-valued element in the communications mix, to challenge organisations to listen more and to provide practical tips and advice on how to listen well. We have published 3 reports now, the third of which is the write up of the global research. This is based on feedback from over 550 organisations – 57% in the UK. 5 key highlights include:
- A robust link between how well we listen to employees and how well we manage innovation, change, and the creation of a sense of fairness
- Leaders are significantly more important than line managers when it comes to delivering the outcomes from listening
- Surveys are by far the most dominant tool for listening while numerous other valuable approaches are used much more sporadically
- Digital listening in particular is overlooked and under-utilised
- Organisations think they listen better than they do. In other words we are in danger of thinking we listen well when we don’t. (This is arguably the most significant issue we have uncovered)
Howard Krais has worked in a range of roles during his career, both senior ‘in house’ and consulting / agency roles and is focused as much on helping to find great opportunities for communicators to develop and grow as he is about the power of great communications to positively impact change. For his day job, Howard leads communications for the Clean Air sector of Johnson Matthey, a role he moved into in May 2018, having worked in senior communication roles at global giants GSK and EY previously.
Mike Pounsford was an active pioneer of Employee Research in Europe for Willis Towers Watson (Towers Perrin at the time), applied insights from listening to help improve performance in retailing and banking while at Alexander Consulting Group and set up Banner McBride for WPP Group to help clients get closer to their people in order to build stronger brands.
He founded Couravel which works with clients to clarify and communicate purpose, vision and strategy, to design and deliver engagement programmes, and to develop the communication capabilities of leaders and managers. Clients include private, public and third sector organisations.
Dr Kevin Ruck’s interest in listening to employees stems from practice in BT where he instigated a series of listening events at a time of a major transformation in the IT division. His belief in the value of listening to employees was reinforced through PhD research which showed statistically significant associations between employee voice and organisational engagement.
Join us as we discuss the link between how well we listen to employees and manage innovation, change, and the creation of a sense of fairness
Host: Jo Dodds