Workers Participation in Management


In today’s world, the concept of participative management is globally accepted and well-established. The idea become much popular among organizations The business organization is adopting and implementing the workers participation in the management approach because, it encourages free expression of thought and ideas, open communication, and healthy cooperation, which not just help the company to grow, but also ensure transparency in the company’s operations.

Workers’ participation in management implies the practices that encourage or result in increasing the scope for employees’ share of influence in decision-making at different tiers of the organizational structure.

Today after reading this article, you get a complete insight about-

  • What is Workers’ Participation in Management?
  • A different definition of workers’ participation management?
  • Scope of workers’ participation management
  • The objective of  workers’ participation management
  • Importance of workers’ participation management

What is Workers Participation in Management?

In simple words, workers’ participation in management is defined as the mental and emotional involvement of workers in the management of an Enterprise.

Workers’ participation is also known as ‘labor participation’ or ‘employee participation or ‘Industrial Democracy’, ‘Employee Involvement’ as well as ‘Participative Decision Making

Workers’ participation in management is a process by which subordinates or employees, either individually or collectively, become involved in one or more aspects of organizational decision-making within the enterprises in which they work.

The degree of workers’ participation in organization management varies from mere voluntary sharing of information by management with the workers to actual participation of workers in decision-making.

Generally, workers’ participation at each level of the decision-making process is not at all harmful but many instances rises where employees misuse their freedom of expression and participation in decision-making. If the management or HR managers function efficiently, do direct communication, and try to coordinate and controlled through sincere and honest efforts this problem can be solved and the operations of an organization can be taken to the next level.

  • Worker participation may broadly be taken to cover all terms of association of workers and their representatives with the decision-making process, ranging from the exchange of information, consultations, decisions, and negotiations, to more institutionalized forms such as the presence of workers’ members on management or supervisory boards or even management by workers themselves (as practiced in Yugoslavia). – ILO
  • Participation in Management gives the worker a sense of importance, pride, and accomplishment; it gives him the freedom of opportunity for self-expression; a feeling of belongingness with the place of work, and a sense of workmanship and creativity. – Walpole

  • “It implies a situation where workers’ representatives are, to some extent, involved in the process of management decision making, but where the ultimate power is in the hands of the management”. – Clegg

  • “it is a mental and emotional involvement of a person in a group situation which encourages him to contribute to goals and share responsibilities in them” – Dr. Davis

Objectives of Worker Participation in Management

The objectives of worker participation in management are as follows:

  • To increase the motivation level of workers.
  • To develop ties of understanding leading to better effort and harmony.
  •  To act as a tool to check-balance the powers of managers.
  • To act as a tool for solving industrial relations problems.
  • To encourage harmonious relations between the company’s management and workmen.
  • To promote mutual trust and understanding among the company’s management and worker.
  • To increase workers’ job satisfaction and promote a sense of importance among workers.
  • To provide an opportunity for the workers to freely express their views towards the company’s goals, rules, policies, and laws.
  • To promote teamwork which helps in increasing production.
  • To provide welfare and social justice facilities to workers.
  • To maintain the work-life balance.
  • To decrease labor turnover and absenteeism because it provides an opportunity for workers to express their concerns.
  • It also gives freedom of expression to the employees. Moreover, it also increases job satisfaction among the employees

Also Read : What is Job Satisfaction?

Importance of Workers Participation in Management

Workers’ participation in management is very beneficial for both organization and employees. Some important benefits of WPM are listed below-

  • It strengthens democratic participation in decision-making.

  • It enhances employer-employee collaboration.
  • Due to higher commitment and dedication of employees towards the achievement of goals which increase industrial efficiency.
  • It promotes a higher level of health and social justice measures.
  • The employees easily connect themselves with the organization, which results in improved performance.
  • It increases the job satisfaction of employees
  • It reduces conflicts in the workplace.
  • It strengthens good communication and sharing of information.
  • It ensures the participation of employees in the company’s policies and decisions.

With the adoption of Workers’ participation in management, the employees get an opportunity to share their ideas, suggestions, and feedback regarding the company’s policies and decisions. Also, promote a sense of importance among workers because they are responsible for the achievement of organizational goals.

Scope of Workers Participation in Management

The main objective behind adopting Workers’ participation in management is to bring a sense of belongingness to the employees through ideas, suggestions, and complaints. The whole procedure is backed by a strong and comprehensive reward policy that encourages employees to perform better each time.

The scope of workers’ involvement in managerial decision-making may extend to social, economic, and personnel decision-making depending upon the requirements of the organization.

Let’s discuss the scope of WPM in any industrial establishment are-

✔ Social Decision-Making

Social decision-making considers with social or job security purpose of the employees. It involves decision-making regarding hours of work, rules and regulations at the workplace, working conditions, welfare measures, workers’ health, safety or sanitation, and employee welfare.

✔ Economic/Financial Decision-Making

WPm also encourages employees to participate in various financial or economic aspects of organizational operations such as the methods of manufacturing and production, cost cutting, inventory, capital structuring, technology and automation, shut-down, mergers and acquisition, lay-offs, etc.

Organizations inviting ideas or suggestions from employees on various issues like how to cut down the operating cost can work wonders.

✔ Personnel Decision-Making

The WPM plays a key role in personnel decision-making. Workers involved in various management processes including recruitment and selection, training and development,  work distribution, placement, promotions, demotions and transfers, suspension, grievance handling, voluntary retirement schemes, remuneration, and so on.

Participation of workers in these kinds of functions or processes protects their interests and motivates them to work hard for the betterment of themselves as well as the organization.