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Employee Participation

What is Employee Participation? The definition

Employee Participation, or co-determination for staff, refers to activities and measures taken to get employees to participate together in an initiative to achieve a common goal.

What is Employee Participation? The definition

Employee Participation, or co-determination for staff, refers to activities and measures taken to get employees to participate together in an initiative to achieve a common goal.

Sometimes this is taken a step further, and denotes the process in which employees are actively involved in the decision-making process.

Instead of the manager making all the decisions and the employees following his or her orders, the group as a whole makes the decisions. Participation in decision-making is becoming increasingly popular and is part of what is known as employee empowerment.

Employee empowerment involves slowly decentralising power within a company, shifting it to individual decision-makers lower in the organisation’s hierarchical structure.

Increasing this kind of participation is crucial and proves to be a major challenge for many managers and professionals.

In particular, feedback and suggestions are important methods in this regard. It is not that employees are not willing to make these suggestions, but that is often because they feel they are not in the right position and environment to share them.

Benefits of Employee Participation

Below you will find an overview of the benefits of increased participation. The benefits are clear and are worth considering for many companies.

Proactive community

When all employees in a company actively participate in decision-making and often share suggestions and ideas, the company as a whole benefits.

Employees who feel that their opinions are valued and actually acted upon feel happier in the workplace and are more motivated to work for the success of the company.

Employees then continue to engage well because the quality of the product and their delivered results are important to them.

Communication barriers are thus removed

Communication and assertiveness are important in business. This is another great benefit.

When employees can effectively share their thoughts and suggestions about the company, they are also more likely to point out bottlenecks in a workflow in their daily work and come up with new, innovative ways to improve things.

Personal health

Increased participation also helps the (mental) health of employees, although of course this is no guarantee. Other conditions for a good workplace must also be respected.

In particular, stress is lowered by applying participation in organisations. This is because they can express uncertainties regarding their performance and business changes.

If stress is prolonged too long, it can have negative effects such as increased blood pressure, lack of motivation and concentration, and headaches.

Productivity and quality

The benefits that this kind of participation brings in terms of productivity and quality stem partly from those described above. Employee productivity improves in a number of ways, including less stress, a more efficient work environment and motivation and dedication resulting from a safe working environment.

In addition, increased employee participation also benefits the quality of the services or products produced. If employees are better informed throughout the organisation, they can better communicate ideas to the customer.

Employee participation vs. employee involvement

Employee participation refers to participation: the employees take part in business activities. Employee involvement refers only to the degree of input employees have on the business activities they perform. Although the two concepts are similar, they are two different elements.

Employee participation requires a team approach. A group of employees works together to achieve a common goal. Employee engagement, however, is more about the direct connection between employees and management to promote open communication and empower employees.

Both methods and approaches can create the same sense of commitment among employees.

Employee Participation methods

Different techniques and ways to encourage employee participation have been discussed above.

In addition, here are some examples of other ways to increase employee participation:

  • Naming competition for new projects or initiatives
  • Establish a direct connection between higher and lower management and the shop floor
  • Provide employees with a fun working environment
  • Initiate discussions

Employee Participation can be applied at various levels:

  1. Participation at the administrative level
  2. Participation by ownership
  3. Participation through collective agreements
  4. Participation through job enlargement
  5. Participation through quality circles

Employee participation tips & tricks

The articles linked to the tag employee participation are about the various methods and ways to promote employee participation in the workplace.

Read more about the advantages and disadvantages of various methods and get to work on increasing employee participation yourself.

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