On the 13th of March, 2018, the Centre hosted an HR Forum inviting practitioners from various organisations to attend and discuss the outcomes of the first phase of the CIPD funded research on employee voice. Instead of merely disseminating our findings in front of a PowerPoint, it was decided that we would use a World Café methodology. This method is a simple, effective, and flexible format for hosting large group dialogue and facilitates active participation from everyone involved. To get everyone in a state of mind which was focused on employee voice, we developed a simple diagnostic tool using some of the concepts we tested for in the main regional survey, such as promotive voice, human voice, and silence. Attendees were asked to compare their own scores against the person sitting next to them, and discuss the context which they believe might have been the cause of their scores, such as seniority, tenure, and sector.

Next, the World Café began in earnest and attendees moved around the venue to talk about specific aspects of voice and underlying questions. Some of these included ‘My voice – how can i increase the likelihood that my voice influences change at work?’ and ‘Promotive voice – how can leaders prevent the burn-out associated with promotive voice?’. Overall, we felt – based on both our experience and attendee feedback – that the format worked well. Practitioners expressed strong interest in keeping in contact with further updates, and some organisations initiated talks about being part of further research on voice.