Learn about: Employee Involvement in The workplace

Employee Involvement in The workplace, How it Look Like?


   By John Wolf     

How to Involve Employees

Definition and Examples

Today’s organization that are technology-dependent are empowered team-based expect their employees a high level of self-management. The organization that wants to achieve self-management of its employees will have to clarify what is self-management, and what is the organization mission. Organizational justice, building a sense of community and placing people first by supporting employee development.

Employee engagement

Creating an environment where employees are involved, influencing the decisions and actions that affect their jobs at present and future.

A leader of an organization will look for the best way to make his staff do the best they know and can do. Employee involvement is a philosophy of leadership that can make the members of the organization contribute to the continuous improvement and success of their work organization.  What Are the Benefits of Practicing Employee Involvement & Empowerment?

Being involved in the management of their workplace means having a part in their future which is something people are worried about all their life. Let your employees feel good with your organization and contribute the maximum they can be essential for the future of the organization.

Methods for Involving Employees

Some ways can be used by you to involve your employees in the decision making and other activities that can improve your organization results in goal achievement.

Here we have some methods that you can use that can involve your employees in the organization management:

  • Suggestion system, There are the traditional suggesting boxes where employees can write their ideas to the management. More modern ways can be brainstorms, team weekly meetings or any other way that will be part of the organization’s culture.

  • Manufacturing cells can be a good place to look for involvement; the cell is made by a group that depends on each member performance to rich the maximum production, any one of them will like to suggest an idea that will make the cell productivity grow.

  • Work team will be doing recurring tasks, any one of the team will be able to suggest the team changes to improve the production of the team as a unit.

  • Continuous improvement meetings. You can implement periodical meetings about improvements.

  • Kaizan a Japanese way of continuous improvement

  • Corrective action processes

  • Periodic discussions with the supervisor. The supervisor will be the leading figure calling the employees to think and suggest new ideas about the department’s job.

Another way is training and mentoring on team effectiveness, communication, and problem-solving. Reward and recognition system, and sometimes a plan of sharing the gains of the effort made by the involvement of the employees.

 Total Employee involvement

  Employee Involvement Model

The model was developed by Tannenbaum and Schmidt (1958) and Sadler (1970). Their idea provides a continuum of leadership and employees involvement that increases the role of the employees and decrease the role of the managers in the decision-making process. The continuum is made of the following progression.

  • Tell: Tell is a complete order made by the manager with no space for the staff to give other suggestions.

  • Sell: The manager make the decision by himself but sell an idea to his staff, showing the positive aspect to have the staff accept his solution.

  • Consult: The manager invite reactions to his decision, listen to it but he takes the final decision.

  • Join: The manager invites his staff to make the decision together, having an equal voice with the staff.

  • Delegate: The manager let the staff take the decision.

Satisfaction Research

The Virginia P. Richmond, John P. Wagner, and James McCroskey study:

“The Impact of Perceptions of Leadership Style, Use of Power, and Conflict Management Style on Organizational Outcomes”

This study shows us the use of an instrument that measures employee satisfaction using this continuum (tell, sell, consult, join).

The research found that:

“the supervisor who wishes to generate a positive impact on satisfaction with supervision, satisfaction with work, and solidarity and to reduce communication anxiety should strive to get her/his subordinates to perceive her/him as using a more employee-centered (consult-join) leadership style.”

Using the concept save the manager from being seen by the workforce as abdicating his responsibility for decision making.

Also, the authors found:

“we believe there is a relatively straightforward explanation of this finding. Leadership styles which approach the employee-centered (join) end of the continuum greatly increase the degree to which subordinates are asked to participate in making decisions and/or make the decision themselves”.

Reference: Tannenbaum, R. and Schmidt, W. “How to choose a leadership pattern.” “Harvard Business Review,” 1958, 36, 95-101.

Examples of Stages of Delegation in Action

Here we have the examples of each stage of delegation in action.

  1. Tell. You should use the “tell” when you have to tell or order issues like safety, government regulation or other issues that can not be discussed or changed.

  2. Sell: When you need the subordinates to get your decision as it is because those issues are not related to their work but are company interest. You sell the idea instead of just give an order.

  3. Consult: Asking the workforce their opinion using their input to take a better decision by yourself.

  4. Join: You listen and let participate your employees, not necessarily taking your position as a final one and sharing the responsibility of the decision that was taken.

  5. Delegate: The decision making and its responsibility are passed to the reporting employees as a whole.

This is the “Employee Participation and Participative Management”


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