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Employee Participation And Industrial Democracy

 Work councils

  • These are groups made up of Employer and employee representatives
  • They meet to discuss company wide issues.
  • Although they do not deal with issues such as pay, which are generally dealt with in discussions with trade union representatives.


European Work councils

 These are set up for larger companies which operates in 2 or more EU countries.  A European works council is made up of at least one representative from each country plus representatives of central management. 

The issues of discussion include:

  • Corporate structure
  • Economic & business situation
  • Investments
  • Employment situation
  • Major organisational changes
  • Health and safety
  • Acquisition transfers of production or cut backs or closures


 Employee shareholders

  •  Employee shares schemes are a common way to develop a sense of purpose and motivation to employees.

  • Companies such as Uni-Part and ASDA have made all employees shareholders to encourage motivation.
  • It works by offering employees of the company the chance of buying a share of the company.
  • This is to encourage them to be interested in the overall performance of the firm as well as their own personal performance.


 Autonomous work groups

  •  This consists of a team of people who are given a high level of responsibility for their own work.

  • The idea behind autonomous work groups is that job satisfaction and hence employee morale can be enhanced if employees work together in groups to achieve common goals.
  •  Although autonomous work groups have be proven to be ineffective over a long period of time.

  • Thus giving workers more responsibility gives them a sense of purpose and thus increases their production output.


 Team Work advantages

  •  Leads to more efficient and effective production

  •  People will often respond positively to working with others as this will satisfy their social needs

  • It will also meet their self-actualisation needs
  • Teams also allow individuals to gain from the strength of others. There could be some areas where one may be strong at, and others are weak at, and vice-versa.
  • It could also allow individuals to change their jobs, that will give a variety at work.


 Team Work problems

  •  Because there are more people there may well be a conflict of personalities, or perhaps they may believe that their own performance would be better than the other members of the team.

  •   Many disagreements between members of the group which may slow down the process of decision making.

  • If people don’t have an open mind members of the team may still not accept others views and still think they are right. This will lead to many arguments

Team Work’s impact on motivation

 If there is GOOD participation by all team members this will lead to:

  • High motivation
  • High efficiency
  • high productivity
  • Greater profit
  • Higher morale for the whole work force

 If there is BAD participation by all team members this will lead to:

  • Poor Motivation
  • Low morale
  • Higher labour turnover
  • Eventually employees will lose their initiative, which would result in low efficiency, which could lead to lower revenue therefore lower profit 


E-mail Steve Margetts