What is “Participative Leadership?”
Managers are faced with a number of approaches in how to implement and arrive at decisions in the workplace. Each method has benefits and disadvantages with widespread ramifications in the workplace. In participative, or democratic leadership, employees are invited to become part of the decision-making process. While a leader assumes the final decision making authority, the employees are contributing participants in every stage. Changing management style to participative leadership proves to have numerous measurable benefits to any workplace in a multitude of areas.
In allowing employees input in a decision-making capacity, each individual employee feels ultimately more personally involved in the company. They can directly observe and examine the manner in which they influence and contribute to company policies. The members of the staff are more willing to readily accept and implement policy changes if they believe they have contributed to it. With a personal stake in the success of the company and decision making policies, employees are motivated to act in the interests of both themselves and the company as a whole.
Employees appreciate the chance to participate in the decision-making processes of the company they work for. Everyone is encouraged to participate, and each member feels they have a personal contribution to company success. Employees will engage in participation more actively knowing that their opinions are important, respected and appreciated in policies that affect them directly. Feeling appreciated and having a vested interest in the workplace policies will change how an employee feels about their contribution.
There are obvious benefits in productivity achieved through employee motivation and morale alone; however, by implementing participative leadership, managers can increase the effectiveness of their own performance. By having each member involved, often a stronger end-result can be derived. By throwing around multiple points of perspective, unforeseen creative ideas and suggestions can be generated that may be otherwise overlooked.
While there are arguments to be made for each different ‘type’ of management style, it appears the most effective type to engage and increase employee effectiveness is by employing participative leadership strategies. With almost immediate observable benefits to employee motivation and morale, the effectiveness and productivity of the workplace as a whole will measurably increase. Even leaders and managers can find their own ideas and policy positively influenced through encouraging employees to participate in the process. Overall, everyone involved wins.