Participative management is defined as a management style in which leaders place emphasis on employees’ involvement in the management process. This management method is also known as employee involvement or participative decision making, and it presents many potential benefits to the companies that choose to encourage it. This is usually accomplished by providing employees with ample opportunities to become involved in the processes of setting goals, making suggestions, improving company operations, and solving problems. The basic premise for participative management is to shift the burden of decision making from the sole shoulders of managers and supervisors onto the entirety of the company. This provides a number benefits to various types of businesses.
First, participative decision making instills a sense of pride in employees. This benefits the employee by making their work seem more rewarding and by creating a sense of accomplishment, and this, in turn, benefits the company as a whole because it helps to promote increased productivity. The sense of employee pride created by participative management also benefits the company by increasing employee retention rates. Any business would be concerned with low employee retention rates, but employee involvement creates the positive environment and sense of workplace pride that discourages employees from leaving the company.
A participative management style can also benefit companies by encouraging communication among all levels of the business. An increase in communication usually results in an increase in productivity, as well as faster and more effective resolution of problems. More communication between the different levels of an organization also results in a wider view of the company and more teamwork among employees, as opposed to the narrow, departmental view in which many employees commonly become trapped. Companies that encourage a participative management style and more communication also find that their employees are more receptive to changes in the workplace, which helps maintain a satisfactory degree of productivity through even the most drastic of adjustments.
Creativity and Innovation
Finally, a company which employs a participative management style is a company in which innovation and creativity can flourish. By promoting employee involvement, these companies are allowing their employees to speak freely and openly, which fosters resourcefulness, originality, and vision. This enables employees to solve problems practically and effectively and often results in some unexpected and inspired ideas for the direction of the company. When employees experience the freedom for innovation and creativity that results from participative management, it helps to create a motivating environment.
Despite the benefits of participative management, it is important to remember that not every type of business strategy, participative decision making included, is equally effective for every company or employee. Motivation and productivity are not things that can be successfully forced on employees; rather, they must be encouraged and fostered by creating the right environment. Implementing participative management is just one example of how to create a motivating environment at work. Additionally, participative management is not limited to simply creating a suggestion box. In order for it to work effectively, managers must be willing to relinquish some control to employees. While this does require a great deal of trust, the rewards can be immense.