Who’s listening? From Measurement to Meaning. An Update on the Report

Howard Krais, Mike Pounsford, and Dr Kevin Ruck
Spring 2021

The Listening Project, and this third ‘Who’s Listening?’ report, is about how organisations listen to their employees. It is not about listening as an interpersonal communication skill. We are not suggesting this is not important, it is just that our focus is on helping organisations to get the maximum benefits from listening to their people. Individual listening skills play a part in this, but we are concerned with the practices, processes and outcomes that distinguish great listening within organisations.

Our previous reports explored a number of issues about why and how organisations listen to their people, and we highlighted practices from businesses with a track record of listening excellence. We identified core themes around listening processes, psychological safety and social justice, and principles that underpin good listening.

Now, we have extended our research to gather input from organisations across the world delving deeper not just into how organisations listen but also to the outcomes they achieve as a result of the way they listen.

This report explores the findings and the implications. Our thanks go to more than 500 participants who mostly work in or with large organisations. They represent every region with a majority in the UK. Their responses provided hard data and extensive written comments that provide the backbone to support the insights reported here. (See the appendix for a breakdown of the respondents.)

We conducted this work during the COVID pandemic. Organisations were forced into rapidly adopting new working practices during this period of great uncertainty. It meant businesses needed to provide regular information on progress, and it also increased the need to listen to how people were coping. While this has flavoured the feedback, we think the insights are timeless. The data provides some hard-hitting conclusions about the need for many organisations to rethink how they listen if they want to improve the way they manage change and develop new working practices.


Download the report here:

Listening Report 3

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