New management practices should be based on maximizing employee contributions. When employees are underutilized, isolated from decisions, and not empowered the organization suffers from a lack of efficiency and innovation. Processes that should work smoother don’t because employees have no stake in the outcome. Thus developing employees and raising their expectations becomes a crucial element to success.
Imagine an organization where poor management abounds. Managers don’t ask employees for their input on projects, don’t give them recognition when they do well, and don’t share information with these employees. These employees will likely not be involved in the success of the business. They will come to work and leave without ever really contributing. In most cases you will find they are wasting hours of time acting like children instead of being responsible adults.
Certainly such an organization that works so poorly is likely to have lots of disciplinary problems and won’t be working at its full potential. Thus, the business might experience high turn-over, lots of disciplinary issues, lack of profits, poor decision making, and general slowness to respond to market problems. In a global world where every dime counts such a business will likely face bankruptcy.
Imagine for a moment that your employees generated a solid stream of innovative improvements to your products or services, they showed up at work on time, were interested in the success of the business, and needed a minimal amount of supervision. When processes are developed they tweaked these processes naturally to make them more effective. Both management and employee are guiding toward the greater good of the organization.
Such a company will likely continually regenerate itself to a higher standard. New concepts, products, and services will be developed which help to keep income streams flowing. Such companies would operate more efficiently and be able to retain top talent which again improves their organization. In the end the organization is beating out its competitors.
Management should try and tap employee knowledge as much as possible. This can be done through formal meetings, empowering employees to express themselves, and giving recognition where recognition is due. Managers are there to help employees work at their highest potential versus employees being there to help their managers get promoted. The commitment shown and expressed by the employee can only be fostered through participative leadership.
Because we live in a global world many countries and companies have competitive advantages that the U.S. can no longer claim. For example, in China low cost manufacturing and minimal government interference helps create an environment right for a price conscious consumer. Without productive businesses within the U.S. it isn’t likely we will be able to compete. Therefore, moving organizations to a higher level of employee participation is necessary for success and competitive advantage.