Ground Preparation for Participative Management

Participative management in itself does not ensure success and should not be seen as tool to create magic within no time. There is certain ground preparation required before an organization can decide for implementation of the management style.

The following things need to be taken care of:

  1. Clearly Defined Objectives: Each party to decision making called as the participants namely the management and the workers must have clearly defined objectives. Operationally there should be no clash between the objectives of the two.

  2. Clear Communication: There should be clear and timely communication between the management and the workers or the employees. This helps in building trust between the two parties. Workers also gain a sense of responsibility increasing their stake in their work and in the organization as a whole.

  3. Choosing the Representative: It is important for the workers to choose their representative from among themselves and not any person from outside the labor union. This is important for two reasons. First, the person is able to better understand the problems of his colleagues and report the same to the management. Second, the management is keener to talk and listen from a person who works within the organization.

  4. Training the Workers: Training and awareness regarding the usefulness of participative management is required to make it more effective. Further training is required to ensure that every person at every level knows his what contribution he/she has to make. For example, participation at the level of middle management is different compared to participation at lower or top level.

  5. Confidence: Both parties workers and the management need a trust to develop between the two. Participation should not be perceived as intimidation to the position of any. If workers think that their status will be adversely affected, they refuse to participate. Similarly, if managers suspect that they will lose their authority, they will decline to participate.

  6. Increasing Workers Participation: Workers participation needs to be increased at each level in order to encourage them to contribute meaningfully. Further, their suggestions and recommendations need to be treated with dignity and respect. Nothing can be more motivating than seeing your recommendation being put to practice.

  7. Legal Action: Since participative management requires structural and cultural change which takes time. There is resistance to change offered by the employees especially those who perceive it as a threat to their status and authority within the organization. If allowed to take shape a natural speed, it will take time to show results. Therefore, some legislative action is required against the erring employees.

  8. Ensuring ROI: Participation should not be at the cost of the values of the organization. It has to be carefully planned; employees should devote a certain time for participation and the rest upon their own specific area of work.

Participative management may be a solution for each and every type of organization. It is a big challenge in big organizations with big employee size. The implementation needs to be carefully planned and implemented gradually.


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