Why Employee Involvement?

Any time something new is undertaken, such as involvement, there are expectations that accompany these new endeavors. Some of the expectations are as follows:

  • • Improved workplaces and work environment
  • • Improved working relationships
  • • Positive, cooperative approaches
  • • A compromise for mutual interests, versus self-serving interests
  • • A true team approach
  • • Sharing of information, thinking, and substantive decision making
  • • New/fresh ideas
  • • Increased participation and involvement

Why Are Employee Outcomes Important?

A study done by the Work in America Institute lists some of the outcomes that can be expected when a company has functional joint labor/management initiatives. According to this study, both labor and management stand to benefit from joint undertakings. Some of the benefits include the following:

  • • Economic gains: higher profits, less cost overruns, increased productivity, better quality, greater customer satisfaction, and fewer injuries and illnesses. Working together, workers and supervisors can solve problems, improve product quality, and streamline work processes.
  • • Improved worker capacities, which more effectively contribute to the improvement of the workplace.
  • • Human resource benefits.
  • • Innovations at the bargaining table.
  • • Committee member growth.
  • • Workplace democracy.
  • • Employment security.
  • • Positive perceptions.

Other outcomes that will, in all likelihood, arise from employee involvement are as follows:

  • • Shared responsibilities
  • • Increased individual involvement
  • • Company and labor being proactive with each other
  • • Better communications between company and labor
  • • Employee ownership of ideas, goals, activities, outcomes, and the company
  • • Union leadership and members being more challenged

Employee involvement can address specific workplace issues, such as the following:

  • • Monitor the safety and health programs
  • • Inspect the workplace to identify hazards
  • • Conduct and review accident investigations
  • • Recommend interventions and prevention initiatives
  • • Review injury and illness data for incident trends
  • • Act as a sounding board for workers who are expressing safety and health concerns
  • • Become involved in designing and planning for a safe and healthy workplace
  • • Make recommendations to the company regarding actions, solutions, and program needs for safety and health
  • • Participate and observe workplace exposure monitoring and medical surveillance programs
  • • Assure that training and education fully address safety and health issues facing the workplace
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