PurposeA review of previous studies on the voices of employees and knowledge workers clarifies that paying attention to employees' voice is critical in human resource management. However, limited studies have been conducted on it, and much less emphasis has been placed compared to other human resource management activities such as human resource planning. Therefore, the voice of knowledge employees has been one of the critical issues that have attracted a great deal of attention recently. Nonetheless, there is no evidence of various comprehensive and integrated voice mechanisms. As a result, this study aims to design knowledge workers' voice patterns in knowledge-based companies specialising in information and communication technology (ICT) in Iran in May and June 2020.Design/methodology/approachThis study is a qualitative grounded theory research. We collected the data from a target sample of 15 experts in knowledge-based ICT companies using in-depth semi-structured interviews. Since all the participants had practised the employee voice process, they were regarded as useful data sources. Data analysis was also performed using three-step coding (open, axial and selective) by Atlas T8, which eventually led to identifying 14 components and 38 selected codes. We placed identified components in a paradigm model, including Personality Characteristics, Job Factors, Economic Factors, Cultural Factors, Organisational Policies, Organisational Structure, Climate Of Voice in the Organisation, Management Factors, Emotional Events, Communications and Networking, Contrast and Conflict and, etc. Then, the voice pattern of the knowledge staff was drawn.FindingsThe results showed that constructive knowledge voice influences the recognition of environmental opportunities and, additionally, it helps the competitive advantages among the employees. By forming the concept of knowledge staff voice, it can be concluded that paying attention to knowledge staff voice leads to presenting creative solutions to do affairs in critical situations. The presentation of these solutions by knowledge workers results in the acceptance of environmental changes, recognition and exploitation of new chances and ideas, and sharing experiences in Iranian knowledge-based companies.Practical implicationsStrengthening and expanding the voice of employees in knowledge-oriented companies can pave the way to growth and development towards a higher future that prevents the waste of tangible and intangible assets.Originality/valueCompanies' ability to engage in knowledge workers is a vital factor in human resource management and strategic management. However, the employee voice has not been involved integrally in the context of corporate.