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Employee Involvement Programs: Impacts to Organizational Behavior

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  • 0:06 Patrick's Big Idea
  • 0:58 Employee Involvement Programs
  • 3:34 Representative Participation
  • 4:27 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: John McLaughlin
In this lesson, you will learn how some companies use employee involvement programs to motivate their workers and the benefits these programs provide for the employees and for the companies who use them.

Patrick's Big Idea

Patrick works in the shipping department for Flying Pig Industries, a manufacturer of porcelain piggy banks. Patrick's job is to pack the fragile banks in cartons so they can be shipped to customers all over the world. One day, Patrick had a big idea. Patrick noticed that the offices were throwing away hundreds of pounds of shredded paper every day, and his department was buying shredded paper to pack the piggy banks. 'This makes no sense,' Patrick thought. 'Why not use our own shredded paper to pack these boxes? It would save the company a lot of money.'

What will happen next? Will Patrick's big idea be implemented by Flying Pig Industries, or will Patrick keep his big idea to himself and continue packing the porcelain pigs with purchased paper? Let's find out.

Employee Involvement Programs

The answer to this question depends a great deal on the management style in place at Flying Pig Industries. Is Patrick expected to just show up, do his job, and go home every day, or is there a system in place for Patrick to share his ideas and observations with upper management in order to improve the efficiency of his department and contribute to the organization's success?

Companies that include their workers in the management process do so through Employee Involvement Programs. These programs involve employees in the decision making process in areas that affect their jobs in order to make the company more efficient and to encourage increased commitment from employees to the organization's success.

By involving workers in the decision making process in areas that affect their jobs, employee involvement programs aspire to give workers more control over how they perform their jobs, which leads to greater motivation and job commitment by the employee.

In addition to having more motivated employees, organizations that use employee involvement programs realize many advantages over organizations that do not involve their employees in the managerial decision making process. These advantages include:

Increased motivation: Employees who feel like they are contributing to the decision making process feel like they are an important part of the company.

Increased productivity: Employees take ownership of their jobs and work harder to implement strategies that they helped establish.

Increased job satisfaction: Employees are happier with their jobs and feel like a part of the organization.

Improved quality: When employee input is taken into consideration, few details go unnoticed, so quality improves.

Cost savings: Just like Patrick's big idea, employees who do the same job every day are the best source for ways to do their jobs more efficiently.

Participative Management

One type of employee involvement program is participative management. This is a process in which subordinates share decision making power with their immediate superiors. Participative management gives every member of the organization a voice in the decision making in all areas that affect their jobs. But this is not always practical. In order for participative management to succeed, employees must have the ability to communicate with upper management, and significant time must be allowed for this process to take place.

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