Employee participation is an effective way to give leadership and a voice to the employees of a company. The more employees are involved in the daily affairs and the decisions made about the company, the more they will identify with the company and find job satisfaction. A democratic organizational structure provides employees with the opportunity to share their thoughts, concerns and needs with the leadership. This structure encourages open communication, questions and suggestions for improvement. Use different forms of employee participation to gather valuable information.
Use group discussions to talk about changes before they are implemented. Break the employees up into small groups of around 10 people and assign a facilitator that will guide the discussion and record the main points. At the end of the discussion, the facilitator sends a report to the leadership documenting the feedback gathered. Group discussions need to be intentional in subject matter. For example, if leadership wants to know how employees would feel about changing a policy, the discussion subjects need to consistently point to that policy.
Use surveys to obtain an objective perspective that you'll be able to compare with other results. It’s one tool that allows employees to participate in a universal assessment of the company, policies or personal satisfaction. A survey is developed with statements that are rated by the employees from one to 10, one being “strongly disagree” and 10 being “strongly agree.” After they’re filled out, they are tallied up and the results are assessed by the leadership. Leadership evaluates them for areas of weakness and strengths. It also provides leadership with insight into issues they would otherwise be unaware of.
Voting is an effective form of employee participation. When there is a decision that needs to be made, employees can be given the opportunity to govern themselves via voting. Hold a company-wide meeting that presents both sides of the decision that needs to be made. Provide paper and pen for each employee to vote for the resolution he thinks is the best decision for the company.
Delegate tasks to various individuals and teams as another form of employee participation. In this structure, the leader gives full reign of a specific task to a person or group and removes herself from the process. The team is able to make their own decisions without approval. The leader returns at the close of the task to evaluate the outcome.