football-coachThis last week has resembled a general election as, one-by-one, police forces across the country have declared that they have received calls from individuals who claim to have been sexually abused by their trusted football coaches.  While most of these accusations are historical, some of the accusations involve club members who are still involved in the game today.

What is remarkable is how long it has taken for this issue to come to light, and yet there are hundreds (probably the top of the iceberg) who have suffered over a period of many years.  Once the cork has popped; however, the flow is constant.

Unfortunately it would seem that football is one of those sectors where  there is no conversation on certain important topics and certainly no one is listening when key issues are raised (as seen by the payment that Chelsea made to one of their former players that made an accusation quite recently).

Continuous conversations are still not commonplace in organisations as highlighted by a recent poll conducted in an Employee Voice seminar that we conducted in conjunction with Engage 4 Success and IBM Kenexa.  Only one individual out of 46 indicated that continuous listening was happening in their organisation, and some indicated that no listening was taking place at all.  What was encouraging; however, was the appetite to have them, based on an increased awareness of the need and significant benefits to ‘tuning in’ to the ‘Employee Voice,’ on an ongoing basis.

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For those that  continue to claim that it is ‘simply too difficult’, the reality is – it isn’t!  The science and technology behind continuous listening is now sophisticated and readily available.  The bigger challenge is still the appetite of senior management to want to engage.

Sooner or later our history catches up with us (as illustrated in football today).  Hopefully other sectors will waken up and realise that this form of communication is vital not just for the protection but also for the benefit of our organisations.  The time for ‘tuning-in’ has definately arrived.

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