Management by Democracy is an effective form of management used by many successful businesses. Some of the best run companies is the world use this form of management instead of resorting to other methods.
What makes Management by Democracy so effective is it is a total authoritarian method of management camouflaged as group participation. Here is an example of how Management by Democracy works.
As a manager, you need to change something in the way business is done. Perhaps when the business was smaller, all employees went to lunch together. Now business needs demand a change to this. The company is larger and having one lunch times has become a major hindrance in day to day operation.
Customers are calling and no one is answering the phone. Work is not being completed in a timely manner because all employees are at lunch together. In short, the business is not meeting customer needs and this is a problem.
It is easy to declare a new lunch break policy where half of the workers will go to lunch at a predetermined time, and the second half will go to lunch when the first group returns. The problem with this is employee emotions.
Even though employees ‘know’ something needs to be done, they do not want to break up the tradition of going to lunch as a group. If the manager declares a new policy, there will be hard feelings and resistance to change.
Management by Democracy works around this by holding a employee meeting to find a solution to a problem. In this case the problem is of all employees leaving for lunch at the same time. As the manager, you have already determined what the correct solution is, splitting the group into two parts for lunch.
From a management perspective, how this happens is of no matter, as long as half of employees are working during the lunch period. The employees will work out how they want to implement the lunch break change. Management’s concern is getting the correct result.
Before the meeting is held, let the employee’s know there will be a meeting and what the meeting will be about. Identify how much time will be spent on the meeting. This gives employees time to process emotion and understand this change is required.
Hold the meeting. Field ideas waiting for the correct solution to be brought up. Let the group know this solution (the predetermined solution), sounds feasible and move the group to how the changes can best be accomplished.
Field all possibilities directing the group to your solution. Finally, have the group set an implementation date of when the new changes (not policy) will start. Thank the group for their input and clever solution. Followup with the standard notification procedure of the what the ‘group’ has decided as a fix for the problem.
Most of the employees will feel they were responsible for fixing the lunch break problem, and will take personal ownership for the fix. A few employees may have some anger over the change and that is to be expected. The group as a whole will quell the anger because it was a ‘group’ decision and had to be done.
The outcome is in exchange for time spent in a meeting, the objective was met, and the employees are taking ownership as they feel they were responsible for coming up with the solution. The manager or business owner will experience a rise in productivity because employees feel they have a stake in how business is done. A win win for all.