At the recent TruLondon5 unconference we participated in an enlightening and thought provoking session led by Miranda Ash (Global Director at Wordblu, a workplace democratisation consultancy) on the benefits and advantages of creating democratised workplaces.
It was a session that energised the participants – inspiring many ideas and talking points – and we were pleased to capture the essence of it in a livestream discussion that you can watch below.
Joining Miranda in the Jobsite studio were Felix Wetzel (Strategy Development Director, Evenbase) and Gareth Jones (Community and Social Engagement strategist) – and the key points to look out for are:
(1m 10s) Democratic workplaces are based on an established set of principles:
- Purpose and vision
- Fairness & Dignity
- Reflection & Evaluation
(1m, 45s) They empower their workforce, allowing more freedom to work, which results in employees being more trusted
(2m, 35s) Democracy in the workplace isn’t primarily about votes but about consensus based decision making, which has been shown to be more effective. The example given was from a global technology business, based in India and employing 90,000, that had to save $100m expenses. The situation was put to the workforce who were able to collaboratively source 76 ideas to be implemented – resulting in $260m savings and no staff layoffs.
(5m 43s) Another example was given of a company in which there is an annual vote amongst the workforce to elect the CEO.
(6m, 25s) The key to democratised and engaged workplaces is trust, enhanced by social connectivity creating a shift towards weak ties and peer to peer trust
(8m 10s) Although these principles may cut across traditional perceptions of leadership, control and hierarchies, companies with a higher level of trust have been shown to perform better
(10m 55s) A recent survey showed that companies with greater levels of engagement had a 73% lower recruitment budget as all employees were effectively diplomats, advocates and marketers for the business – and therefore recruiters, attracting people to join the company
We hope you enjoy the debate…let us know if your workplace embraces any of the principles discussed by the panel…
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