After reading this article you will learn about:- 1. Objectives or Necessity of Worker’s Participation 2. Types of Worker’s Participation 3. Conditions for the Success.
Meaning and Objectives or Necessity of Worker’s Participation:
Worker’s participation in management can be in any shape, from establishing work-committee to auto-management by the employees. The aim of management is to get work through others. Workers, if they are permitted to participate and involve themselves in some of the decisions relating to work situation, etc., perhaps more effectively the company objectives can be achieved.
Objectives or Necessity:
The objectives or the necessity of permitting workers to participate in management can be:
(i) To achieve industrial peace and harmony.
(ii) To develop internal motivation in the workers.
(iii) To boost the morale of employees.
(iv) To raise the levels of the employee production, productivity and product quality.
(v) To satisfy workers by making them feel that they have their voice in the management.
(vi) To give workers a better understanding of their role in the working of industry.
(vii) To develop better mutual understanding so that the workers do not resist a change for the betterment of the concern (e.g., introduction of work study, etc.).
(viii) To reduce labour turn-over, absenteeism and tardiness.
(ix) To minimize the number of grievances and therefore industrial disputes.
(x) To make managing the subordinates easy.
Types of Worker’s Participation:
Worker’s participation in management may take many forms, e.g.,
(a) Formal participation.
1. Ascending participation
2. Descending participation.
(b) Informal participation.
(a) Formal Participation:
It consists of some plan for labour-management cooperation, i.e., to some degree, recognised as a modus operandi between management and workers, frequently through a union.
Workers and management may work together on such plans as:
i. Accident prevention.
ii. Elimination of waste and defective work.
iii. Attendance & Absenteeism.
iv. Employee insurance plans, etc.
In Ascending type of participation, the elected representatives of workers participate in managerial decisions at higher levels such as in the board of directors of the enterprise. In Descending type of participation, workers participate in the planning and deciding their own work on the shop floor.
Collectively, workers can participate in:
(i) Works Committees which are meant for promoting measures for securing and preserving amity and good relations between workers and management. A works committee comments upon matters of common interest and attempts to settle any material difference of opinion between the two parties.
(ii) Joint-councils of workers and management may decide the issues on which interests of management and workers are identical, e.g., accident prevention and safety measures, determination of production standards, worker’s training, welfare measures etc.
(iii) Information sharing in which workers are told about certain aspects of the company, e.g., plans for expansion, financial position of the company, etc.
(iv) Employee’s director, i.e., an elected representative of the (employee’s or) worker’s is one of the Board Directors.
Individually workers can participate in management through:
(i) Suggestion System.
(ii) Delegation and job enlargement in which workers plan and decide their own work.
(b) Informal Participation:
It is more typically at the work-group level, where the foreman develops the opportunity for the group of workers to take part in a problem-solving or decision making process. Typically, the matters on which decisions are taken are those within the prerogatives of the foreman or supervisor.
Conditions for the Success of Worker’s Participation in Management:
(i) There should be an atmosphere of cooperation and trust between the management and the workers.
(ii) Workers those who are participating must be capable of understanding the problems, their complicacies and interactions.
(iii) The participating workers should be able to express themselves to their own satisfaction.
(iv) Workers should be permitted to participate in the decision on maximum of company matter, e.g., introducing new machinery, newer methods of operation, etc.
(v) The participation of a worker must not adversely affect his status or role.
(vi) Discussions should be frank and free and without any reservation.
(vii) Besides caring for the immediate interests of itself, both the parties should respect each other’s interests also. For example, workers need not remain solely interested in their wages and welfare and employers in raising efficiency and reducing cost of production.
(viii) It is generally commented that “most of the relatively rare successes of such consultations seem to occur where an unusually progressive manager is blessed with unusually competent union officials”.