Why Employee Voice Is So Important for New Hires

Topic(s): training, turnover
Publication: Human Resource Management (2011)
Article: Does voice go flat? How tenure diminishes the impact of voice
Authors: D. Avery, P. McKay, D. Wilson, S. Volpone, E. Killham
Reviewed by: Allison B. Siminovsky

Employee voice refers to the ability to speak up, provide suggestions to the organization, and feel that one’s input has some sort of effect. When little control is perceived, the employee will work hard to gain control and the use of voice is one possible means of achieving this goal. However, if an employee has been around for many years and feels his sense of control is compromised, to what extent does he continue to use his voice to impact the organization?


This study addressed this issue utilizing results from surveys of conducted with a variety of workers regarding their perceived voice opportunities at their organizations, their tenure, and their intentions to remain with their organization. They found that, while any employee, regardless of tenure, values the opportunity to have his or her voice heard, newer employees are more likely to see these opportunities as a means of gaining power and control over their work environments. As more tenured members of the workforce do not feel such a need for control and have higher self-esteem related to the workplace, they do not rely on voice as strongly as do newer employees to gain power.


Since it is clear that voice opportunity seems to help rookies adapt to new workplaces, organizations should make a point of incorporating such opportunities into new employee orientations and similar programs. Effort should be made to allow new employees to express their concerns, opinions, and ideas on a frequent basis during the initial period of their employment in order to encourage them to stay on. By granting new employees voices, an organization can help solidify their footing and gain a dedicated workforce. And at the same time, it is important to ensure that the voices of more tenured employees are consistently heard as well.


Avery, D. R., McKay, P. F., Wilson, D. C., Volpone, S. D. and Killham, E. A. (2011), Does voice go flat? How tenure diminishes the impact of voice. Human Resource Management, 50: 147–158.