How to Get Your Employees Involved in Decision Making

June 14, 2022・6 mins read
How to Get Your Employees Involved in Decision Making

Managers find greater success when they do more than just hand down decisions and instructions to employees. A focus on employee involvement results in a collaborative, caring, and sharing work environment. One where both your team leaders and employees work together toward company success. A McKinsey and Company report mentioned that 61% of respondents reported ineffective utilization of their decision-making time. Delegation is an important part of the decision-making process. A single employee or a small team can effectively handle most low-risk, day-to-day decisions. When you get your employees involved in company decisions, this gives them a sense of ownership and is more likely to pay off in the long run. Discover the importance of involving employees in the decision-making process — and learn how to build an actionable strategy to do it.

The benefits of involving employees in decision making

There are plenty of reasons to get your team involved. Here are the top advantages of enabling more employee involvement in the decision-making process.

Increase employee engagement

The key to fostering a successful business lies in creating a team of active participants, not passive spectators. Engaged employees feel valued, trusted, and respected at work. Yet, according to a 2021 Gallup poll, only about 34% of employees in the United States were engaged in the workplace.

Your employees have different skillsets and talents they can use to solve various problems in the workplace. When you actively involve your team in the decision-making process, this increases engagement levels and gives them a sense of responsibility and purpose.

Enable collaboration and communication

When you involve employees in decision making, you are creating a chance for workers to collaborate and learn from one another. Successful collaboration skills employees can learn from this process include:

  • Active listening
  • Analyzing problems
  • Delegating tasks
  • Brainstorming solutions to problems
  • Being open to new ideas

When team members work together towards a common goal, it encourages the sharing of ideas. This collaborative work environment can improve productivity, enhance employee satisfaction, and help your business grow.

Save time and money

Involving your workers in decision making allows them to contribute to the success of your business. This, in turn, gives them a sense of empowerment. Rather than contract with expensive freelancers, make use of employees who are already familiar with your business model, policies, and processes. Tapping into the knowledge and experience of your team members means you can allocate fewer resources to outsourcing.

Stop defaulting to majority rule

Many team leaders defer to the majority opinion to avoid conflict. But submitting to the consensus is almost like giving up. Successful organizations need to stay innovative by encouraging new ideas and opinions. Instead of inviting feedback from the same people all the time, reach out to other departments. When decision-making groups contain people with different skill sets, job duties, and ideas, this leads to a more diverse and well-rounded team.Inviting feedback from employees with socially diverse backgrounds and cultures can lead to breakthrough innovations. This can help spark creativity, new thought processes, and fresh solutions to tackle routine tasks.

4 ways to involve your team in the decision-making process

Involving employees in your company's decisions has clear benefits. But how do you do it? Learn the top 4 ways to empower your team to get involved.

1. Conduct employee surveys

Employee surveys still work when administered in a way that encourages feedback. Instead of requiring respondents to fill out their names, let them remain anonymous. You’re more likely to receive honest responses from your team when they don’t have to identify themselves. Don’t forget to read through the results of the surveys, though. Surveys with no plan of action can lead to lowered employee engagement. This has the opposite effect of what you're hoping for.

2. Use a suggestion box

Surveys don’t always work if you are asking the wrong questions. A physical or virtual suggestion box is still a great way to let your team speak up on issues that matter most to them. Suggestion boxes let each member of your team voice their opinion on how to improve products, services, or internal processes. And as with company surveys, you can let your staff remain anonymous if you’re not getting many suggestions. Check the box on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis to see if there are comments that need immediate action. You may even want to hold a regular town hall meeting to review the suggestions in an open forum.

3. Let them set performance targets and goals

No one knows the career goals of your workers better than the individual members of your team. Yet, a recent Gallup poll found that only around 50% of workers actually know what is expected of them. With a bit of guidance, you can help your employees get involved in setting performance targets that fit within larger company objectives. When employee goals align with both their personal needs and the needs of the organization, performance has been shown to improve up to 22%. This sense of autonomy can even include flexible work schedules including an in-office, remote, or hybrid approach. Letting them decide when and where to work — while aiming at a pre-determined goal — gives your employees better work-life balance.

When employee goals align with both their personal needs and the needs of the organization, performance has been shown to improve up to 22%.

4. Plan brainstorming strategy days

Implementing strategy planning days goes a step beyond surveys and suggestion boxes. It lets your employees work together collaboratively as a team and gives a jump start to the decision-making process. The goal is to brainstorm ideas and potential solutions to any pressing challenges. You could also break out into smaller groups to work on specific initiatives and business goals. Keep in mind that the success of any strategy meeting depends on timely follow-through.

Continue improving the decision-making process

A great way to improve company morale is to let your employees know you value their opinion. When management involves their teams in the decision-making process, your entire organization benefits. Many small and mid-sized businesses are moving away from an IT-focused model to a people-focused model. In people operations, the emphasis is on putting the employee first. This includes things like improving engagement, retention, and getting your team involved in the decision-making process.

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