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Employee Participation in Decision making

Employee Participation in Decision making

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Published by razaalv
This paper to help you understand the topic not for other use
This paper to help you understand the topic not for other use

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Published by: razaalv on Jun 15, 2011
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The High Performance Toolkit
 Your Guide to Managing a High Performance Organisation
3.1
Workplace consultation: Employee participation in decision making
Strategies to encourage employee involvement through participatory, consultative and cooperative workplaces havebeen widely promoted since the 1970s. High performance workplaces promote employee participation in decisionmaking because they understand that employees have a legitimate right to be involved in decisions that affect their  working lives, and that positive gains also accrue to business. These gains include:improved employee performance resulting from greater motivationa positive workplace culture as an outcome from greater information sharing, andimprovements in productivity when employees are consulted over changes to job design and work practices.
How to use this fact sheet
 This fact sheet aims to help your organisation move However one thing is certain. In order to successfullyto a style of decision making that involves and move to a more participatory organisation, changeincludes all employees. It includes ideas on how youmust be led from the top and be based on agreementmight achieve this, as well as examples from other and consensus between all involved – managers,organisations where employee participation strategies employees and any representative body suchhave been successfully implemented. as a trade union. While there are some broad principles or guidelinesSuccessfully implementing employee participationthat can be used to enhance employee participation,requires a step by step approach and this fact sheetit is important to remember that each organisation sets out a three-stage process to assist. And althoughis different, so the tools and techniques that work this fact sheet focuses on employee participationmay differ. You will need to tailor any ideas to your in decision making, it must be seen in the contextown unique situation.of the other strategies canvassed in related fact sheets.
Industrial Relations Victoria
Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development
1
 
First stage – starting out
Best practice organisations ensure they maximise all resources. This includes their key resource – their employees.Organisations are successful because they are good employers. They attract and retain the most skilledemployees. They involve employees in decisions impacting on the business and they actively encourage employeeparticipation in decision making.
Ideas worth trying
Encourage discussion around work-related issues.Spend time getting to know employees and maketime to listen to problems, ideas and aspirations, while retaining the right to take action or not.Strategies to encourage participation could include:•regular staff meetings in which each employeeactively participates. These need not be long,but regular meetings keep people in touch with each other and the work being done•discussion between individuals or groups ofemployees with immediate managers withinthe context of regular performance reviews,reviews of training and developmental needs•arm’s-length arrangements that enable individualemployees to express their views through a‘third party’ such as their union representative,a counsellor or advocate or through attitudesurveys and suggestion schemes, and•regular communications such as newsletters.Unions are a key channel to greater employeeparticipation in decision making. They provide theopportunity to canvass ideas and to obtain feedback. Work teams also provide a good opportunity for meaningful participation at the workplace level. Researchindicates that self-managed teams have greater motivationthan individuals or loosely connected groups.Everyone won’t want to, and in fact cannot, be involvedin every workplace decision. A collective voice througha more formal mechanism such as a joint consultativecommittee can ensure that employees’ views are takeninto account.
»
Good practice
Hazelwood Power management has adopted apolicy of ‘openness and honesty’ with staff andunions and has put in place an open email system whereby any employee can address questionsto the CEO.
»
 Avoid
Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Always respond to ideas, and if theycan’t be implemented, explain why.
Industrial Relations Victoria
Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development
2
 
Second stage – moving forward
 An organisation that values and encourages employee participation in decision making must be proactive. As employees become more aware of and confident in their ability to impact on decisions, they will anticipatethat their decisions will be acted on. Organisations that value employee participation place as much emphasison doing as they do on listening.
Ideas worth trying
Occupational Health and Safety, Equal EmploymentOpportunity and Environment/Risk/ProcessImprovement are just some of the joint consultativeand employee-based groups that can further the goalsof the organisation. Many organisations also set upcross-functional and/or temporary teams to tacklespecific problems; for example, arrangements for moving to new premises.Enterprise bargaining provides a framework for employeeparticipation around issues. A consultative committeeformed to undertake the enterprise bargaining processcan have a broader role in ongoing decision makingthrough the overseeing of projects rolling out fromthe enterprise agreements.Cross team participation can be encouraged via:team leader meetings, andinformal discussion sessions.Email and electronic discussion groups can be usedfor quickly getting information out to the workforceand back again.Responsive action and recognition, as well as feedback on outcomes, encourages employees to put forwardideas and suggestions.Set up an employee/employer committee to oversightorganisational change projects at the initial decisionmaking stage.
»
Essential
Set an example from the top. Senior managementneed to be seen to be listening and actingon views and decisions of employees
»Good practice
 The HR philosophy at Symex Holdings is aboutgetting employees to have ownership rather thanbe bystanders. It is about giving employeesthe skills and knowledge, and providing thesympathetic structure to enable people to act.
Industrial Relations Victoria
Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development
3

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