4 Main Methods of Securing Worker’s Participation in Management

Such association with management should gradually give place to labour participation in management. The principle of participation seeks to meet the psychological needs of the workers, brings them closer to the management, promotes their interest in self-education, gives them an insight into the economic and technical conditions and purposes of the undertaking where they work and serves to bridge the gulf between the management and the workers.

Methods:

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1. Co-partnership

2. Suggestions scheme

3. Joint consultation

4. Employer Representation on the Board of Directors.

1. Co-partnership:

Co-partnership makes the workers shareholders in the company for which they are working. In this way, the workers become part-owners of the concern and acquire some hand in its internal management. They may be able to elect their representatives to the Board of Directors and participate in the management of the concern.

2. Suggestions Scheme:

To arouse and maintain employee’s interest in the problems of their concern and its management, suggestions scheme can be used with advantage. The management may invite suggestions from the workers for improvement in the existing set-up and agree to pay suitable sums of money by way of rewards to the workers whose suggestions prove really useful.

The payment may bear some proportion to the value of the suggestions in terms of improvement brought about or profit reaped. Such schemes are useful because they provide not only some new ideas to the management but also feeling of importance to the workers. Experience has shown that many of the suggestions thus made by the workers prove quite useful.

3. Joint Consultation:

Joint consultation involves the setting up of joint committees comprising the representatives of management and workers to discuss various matters concerning working conditions of the workers.

The decisions of such joint committees are usually advisory in character though the management will have little reason to reject the advice because it is the outcome of deliberations between the representatives of the management and labour.

Generally, questions relating to wages, bonus and piece-rates are excluded from the scope of the committees. These matters are considered to be the subject-matter of collective bargaining.

The long list of matters dealt with by joint committees includes accident prevention, management of canteens and other questions of physical welfare like meals, drinking water, safety, first-aid, issue and revision of work rules, avoidance of waste of time and materials, absenteeism and lateness, questions of discipline, training of apprentices, improvements in the production set-up, removal of grievances, adjustment of festival and national holidays, administration of welfare and fine funds, etc.

4. Employee Representation on the Board of Directors:

The measures which have been outlined in the foregoing pages imply some measure of participation in an association with limited parts of the management of the affairs of an industrial undertaking. Ultimately, however, full- fledged participation of workers in management can be ensured only through their participation in the chief organ of management.

In the long run, the workers would be satisfied with nothing short of their representation-on the body responsible for managing the affairs of the concern in all aspects, i.e., the Board of Directors.

The practice of allowing workers’ elected representatives to sit on the Board of Directors has been adopted in several countries of the world. On the other hand, many others believe that the workers’ representatives of the Board of Directors can serve to create an understanding of the problems of a going concern. It is claimed that the management will be able to inspire confidence in the minds of the workers in this way.