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Worker participation

Worker participation refers to the influence that workers had on decision-making at management level. Representative workers of influence achieved this through their work on the various management-employee committees.


Advocate workers of influence used formal, individual meetings with management to influence their thinking. Informal workers of influence give input to management thinking in informal arenas such as articles in the newsletter and informal discussion where they exchange information with management.

Participation requires that management share information about the operation of the plant, the marketplace and the needs of customers and suppliers.

Worker participation, is defined as

a situation in which workers have obtained or been given the right to take part in managerial decision-making

It includes management seeking worker input to decision-making and workers offering input to managers for consideration in decision-making.

Benefits of workers participation

Worker participation, may be expected to have the following benefits

  • Effect of dampening employee grievances
  • Lower labour turnover
  • Improved motivation levels
  • Increased Productivity and efficiency
  • Less conflict between management and employees and thus better employer-employee relations
  • Contribution to decision making

 Ways of Participation

One view is that workers or the trade unions should, as equal partners, sit with the management and make joint managerial decisions.The other view is that workers should only be given an opportunity, through their representatives, to influence managerial decisions at various levels.I

In practice, the participation of workers can take place by one or all the methods listed below:

  1. Board level participation
  2. Ownership participation
  3. Complete control
  4. Staff or work councils
  5. Joint councils and committees
  6. Collective Bargaining
  7. Job enlargement and enrichment
  8. Suggestion schemes
  9. Quality circles
  10. Empowered teams
  11. TQM
  12. Financial participation



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