This research sought to establish whether skills training in employee voice encourages employee voice utilisation in a one-on-one performance discussion and whether such utilisation has an effect on the employee‘s relationship with their line-manager. Organisations need to understand how to encourage the utilisation of employee voice, to ensure their employees remain engaged in the organisation and as such, the organisation remains competitive.
Ninety seven participants were divided into control and experimental groups, with the experimental group receiving skills training in employee voice. A pre-test and post-test experiment research design was used and the results were statistically analysed. Qualitative analysis supported these quantitative results. Qualitative analysis entailed collating comments received by the employees from their completed pre-test and post-test questionnaires as well as feedback from semi-structured, line-manager interviews.
Skills training was found not to be significantly related to employee voice utilisation, the line- manager relationship or satisfaction with the performance discussion, but as one composite measure were significant. A model was developed to accommodate the business environment and employees‘ personal attributes in addition to skills training to explain employee voice utilisation. The forum for which employee voice would be most effective may not be the one-on-one performance discussion.