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5 Reasons to Engage Employees in Decision Making

15th Jan 2017
Head of HR Direct Traffic Media
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Decision making is one of the toughest parts of running a business. But, it is the ability to make decisions that makes one feel like the ‘owner’, making it hard to do away with authority. However, experts say that at times it is important and often mandatory to engage employees in the decision making process. Sounds strange? Well, here are some reasons why you should listen to the experts.

1. Improves morale.

Getting employees involved in decision making is a sure shot way of making them feel important and boosting their morales. Low morale causes disengagement which results in high absenteeism and low productivity levels. According to a survey by The Gallup Organization, around 22 million employees are disengaged in their work, causing a loss of £292 billion per year.

Since high morale is influenced from top to down, the higher management has to do something about it, and giving employees a sense of power is a pretty good way to go about it.

2. More inputs.

The more brains working together, the more solutions you have. If you have a staff of 10, you will have 10 or more solutions from your employees, and you can easily pick the one out of them. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses. You cannot think the way your employees do, and as a result you might not have ideas that your employees might have, listening to them will open new doors for you.

Other than this, the company would get to know about its employees’ strengths and weaknesses, and also their needs. You would get their feedback which you can use to change policies and improve work environment.

3. Teamwork.

Working together in groups and coming up with a solution will help improve relationships. Graeme Donnelly, CEO at Quality Formations, the leading company formation agents says, “We encourage our employees to work in groups and take decisions collectively. It teaches them to be responsible and understand that at the end of the day they’re all working for one common goal.”

This will also eradicate the blame game. When people work in teams and take a collective decision, they cannot blame the top management for the outcome. As a result, the overall working atmosphere is friendly.

4. More Responsibility

Employees will feel more responsible when they have a say in a decision. Think of this situation, you run a poll asking employees to suggest if they should be allowed to work longer shifts to have an extra day off.

If more people choose ‘longer shifts’ they will be willing to put in extra hours since they will feel responsible for it, compared to the management announcing the change in policy without listening to what the employees have to say. In such a scenario, even a large portion of employees who would have voted in favour in case of a poll would feel dejected since the decision would look forced.

5. More Time in Hand

You will have more time in hand to concentrate on other tasks when you have employees take decisions on your behalf. Decision making can be a tough process. It involves taking care of a lot of things, most importantly your employees’ reaction, especially when a decision concerns them.

Conversely, when you have employees taking decisions, you do not have to do the homework or worry about what they would have to say on it. You are getting them involved in the process, and the end result is you have more time to spend on other activities.

Something to Remember

When we talk about getting employees involved in the decision making process, we do not mean to invest all the authority in to your employees. It means to hear their opinions and to consider them while taking a decision. They only have a say in the decision, and cannot decide for themselves.

In addition to this, employees do not have to get involved in all kind of decisions. Ideally, they should have a say in decisions that directly or indirectly impact them. These include policy and contractual changes. Other than this, employees should be heard when it comes to creative work, since you need more brains to come up with a solution.

However, the whole process can be tricky. When you ask people for opinions, they want to be heard and see their solutions implemented. And if this does not happen, they may feel dejected. Managers have to handle such situations with care and ensure that employees do not feel ignored even if their suggestions are not fully considered. This can be done by talking to them and highlighting how company’s decision was in everyone’s benefits. The keyword here is communication, if employees are communicated the reasoning neatly, they will not feel low.

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