Schlagwort-Archive: Participation

What is wanted

The modern workplace is moving. Globalization, information society and digitalization are transforming the working environment powerfully as at the advent of the steam engine. Manual labor shifts globally to where it is the cheapest. The physical values are replaced by informational. Digitalization virtualizes business processes. The remaining jobs provide expensive skilled or precarious less-educated activities. In both cases, the money is no longer sufficient in order to hold the people at work. The management thinks that the workforce desires good remuneration, a safe workplace, promotion and growth, good working conditions, interesting work, compassionate help with personal problems, loyalty to the employees, visible recognition, tactful discipline and active participation. Are these things really what is wanted?

In the following you find some criteria that are relevant for each of us. It is based on these ideas.

  1. Visible appreciation
    The ability to perform is in every employee. Additional amplifiers are praise, acknowledgment and respect. The biggest impact will be achieved, if the appreciation is visible to all. There are always appropriate occasions – at meetings, at the end of a project, at celebrations.
  2. Promotion and growth
    Especially the young workforce is motivated by career perspectives, which have a relatively long effect. Staggered programs that take several years increase on the one hand the operational ability and maintain on the other hand the tension. This includes certificates, education with popular coaches, training courses that interest the employees, and ultimately continuous growth through promotion.
  3. Active participation
    If the decisions are made over the heads of the employees, this dims their performance. Through employee participation, everyone is shaping the future. This reaches e.g. from capital to profit sharing to the joint designing of workflows and working conditions, like continuous improvement processes, quality circles or the learning organization. Important building blocks are the elements of self-organization – the joint development of the strategy, the structures and the processes, as well as participation in decisions that affect one.
  4. Good working conditions
    The working conditions are determined by various factors. The subjective ones are influenced by physical, intellectual, and mental states, which lead to a personal attitude – e.g. positive view, exhaustion, dislike. The factual aspects result from the available technology, the attractiveness of the workplace as well as the official regulations regarding the breaks, flextime or vacation.
  5. Good remuneration
    Even if payment does not have a long-term effect, it represents an important basis for employee satisfaction. In principle, the split in fixed and variable remuneration provides an additional motivator in the form of salary, holiday / Christmas money, and bonuses. It is favorable, if the distribution depends to a large extent on the individual performance. „Socialist“ levies on the basis of total success, without consideration of the personal contribution, rev the individual not so much up.
  6. Compassionate support with personal problems
    The most important relationships in everyday life are found in the work environment. This leads to the fact that personal problems are becoming visible over time. If the company offers a trustworthy environment that allows the employees to get advice in case of personal problems, to receive support from the supervisor or even from the HR department, then the workforce is intrinsically committed to the company.
  7. Interesting work
    Interesting tasks are especially encouraging for the particularly powerful employees. For this purpose, the challenges should fit with the interests of the individual, have a certain degree of difficulty or promise additional status. In conjunction with visible recognition, the employees are motivated for a long period of time.
  8. Loyalty to employees
    Active employee retention measures ensure loyalty. For this, you only need fair basic conditions, an open communication culture, backing and, for example, a visible appreciation. Poor personnel management is a central reason for the lack of loyalty. If the company does not realize this loyalty loss, they are surprised by the termination of the employee.
  9. Safe workplace
    Jobs will be safe, if you remain physically and mentally without harm and the place, where you work, is not dangerous. The potential threats of the workplace are overshadowed by the danger of not having one. The flexibilisation of the working world has become possible due to powerful IT programs. The simplified selection and administration of personnel has opened the door for flexible working hours and diverse types of employment. The results are precarious jobs, part-time work and increasing fluctuation.
  10. Perceived self-efficacy
    The freedom that is available for improving the work creates the self-efficacy that motivates to collaborate. As soon as you make intrinsically changes and prioritize the necessary tasks, you take ownership of the improvement. The necessary self-discipline and the respect for each other determine the working environment decisively.

Bottom line: What is wanted in the working day is once again moving. Today’s attitudes challenge tightly organized companies. The workforce wants visible recognition, active participation, compassionate help with personal problems, a safe workplace, good compensation, interesting work, promotion and growth, loyalty to the employees, good working conditions and tactful discipline. The different understanding of what the workforce really wants is reflected in the different prioritization of the management (see in the first section) and the employees (see in this paragraph), e.g. the importance of an interesting work, active participation, or the desire for compassionate support with personal problems. Once the executives take into account what is wanted, the company’s performance will increase – see more here !!

From nothing simply nothing comes

Common sense tells us that anything adapts to what already is there. Spheres, not cubes, come out of a sphere. In closed systems, it is unlikely that something new will emerge on its own. Except: energy is added from outside. The same is the case in human communities – working groups, departments, and firms. If something has to be changed, it needs a push to get momentum. From nothing simply nothing comes.

The following aspects outline some stimuli that the leaders can give in terms of energy supply.

  • Adaptability
    The persistence in the existing of individual people needs a framework that provides the necessary space for the new. In an appropriate atmosphere that gives employees the chance to make things flexibly on their own, to cooperate across borders and to apply new ideas without any effort changes happen. The customer’s needs are adequately addressed that way. If then the willingness to try new things is encouraged by stress-free, fault-tolerant attitudes and openness, collaborative learning takes place. Thus, all are able to adapt.
  • Participation
    Once you understand that the group creates many more opportunities than individual geniuses, you have to take care to put the team in the position to make decisions at the point of action. This requires that the relevant information is available and that, at the same time, all know that they can and are allowed to contribute positively as well as to plan jointly. This puts the team at the center – with all its objectives, distributed balance of power and group processes. The development of appropriate skills is crucial for the employees, as well as for the leaders, who must give up part of their ego. The contributions through participation of all members cumulate to a larger sum than the sum of individual results.
  • Consistency
    The interaction of many interests leads naturally to a wide range of solutions, which even contradict each other in the worst case. For this reason, conditions have to be created that reduce the divergence of the parties to a healthy degree. The well-known fish that stinks from the head has an important exemplary function. Above all, the desired manners have to be put on paper. This applies to the culture with its convictions, values ​​and the collaboration styles, as well as for the established ways of making decisions and agreeing. To ensure that the described behavior is also put into practice, the executives have the responsibility to take ownership of their expectations and to continuously act accordingly. In addition, they affect personally the employees by consistently expressing the common perspective and by coordinating the involved people accordingly. The consistency of statements, behavior and decisions prevent resistance.
  • Mission
    Eventually the clarification of the mission is the formal element in order to be able to cross the door to the new. The formulated snapshot of the future that describes the targeted final stations, shows the raison d’être of the company. Everyone will then develop its idea of the way to the destination. In the interest of joint collaboration, concrete milestones define reference points, which will again and again realign the forces to the common goal. The more the vision, the mission and the strategy are sharpened for the target group, the clearer they lead the employees. The formulated and accessible mission reduces the interpretation space to a minimum.

Bottom line: Even if the world seems to alter on one way or the other, change that is to be done more quickly or more fundamentally, needs efforts in advance. All those affected people must be able and be permitted to adapt themselves. Platforms for participation have to be created. All aspects of the business must be harmonized in a way that uncertainties concerning the right approach are avoided. And above all, a clear direction must be given. However, this has changed nothing yet. But without these aspects changes are almost impossible. Responsible for creating these basic conditions, which are an effort in advance, is the leadership team. Thereafter the actual change follows. From nothing simply nothing comes.

Who’s afraid of change?

Always the other people – right? Fear is a natural reflex that enables us in the case of danger to react appropriately. We learned in our development as humans to be afraid of snakes, abysses or darkness. Situations that are imminent, intimidate us. There are the uncontrollable moments that frighten us. Not to forget the souvenirs, which are deeply entrenched in our memory. And all these aspects are also in a change – the uncertainty about what happens after the change, which we apparently do not have under control and which created so many negative examples in the past. Who’s afraid of change? We all, as soon as we consider a change as a threat and not as an opportunity.


This brings us into the vicious circle of change. If we look at the world with open eyes, then there is no area in the society, economy, technology and the nature that is not continuously changing. In business we have today a general division of tasks between the executives and the employees. Surprisingly, both, the one and the other, develop fear, as soon as new products, new markets, new technologies and new procedures change the usual business.

Executives are scared by an uncertain future that they have to steer with their decisions. It begins, if not enough or too many aspects enable contradictory decisions or prevent the look into the future. Eventually the influences change every second and lead to a dramatic volatility of the solutions. The dealing with these risks is a crucial ability of the leaders. The fear increases, if the uncertainties step into the foreground in the case of decision. It even does not emerge, if the risk is classified positively.

The employees frequently feel their existence threatened – loss of the work and the routine, the lack of new abilities, and the uncertain future. It starts, if the staff recognizes that something is happening, without knowing what. This includes announced changes without showing the effects on the employees. And it reaches to the implementation when the individuals face the new without being sufficiently informed what to do, what is permitted and what they are accountable for. The fear increases, the less clear the changes are. It does not emerge, if the employees are involved in the transformation from the beginning.

The success of a change depends on, whether the participants get involved in the transformation. However, it would be a too high expectation that all are happy with the upcoming without ifs and buts. The commitment to change is the crucial condition, in order to accomplish the transformation. For this reason, all elements that release fear should be avoided. The following measures defuse the pressure of change.

  • The early participation of the concerned people leads to more readiness for change.
  • The trustful exchange of opinions and facts prevents exaggerated half-truths.
  • The determined structure of contents and the procedure creates orientation.
  • The continuously shown sympathetic endorsement by the decision makers underlines their conviction of where to go.

It remains one hurdle for the executives, i.e. their conviction that the guidance of the employees is their core competency. For this reason they have difficulties to admit that they need support. They do not want to show their bareness of not being able to achieve it by themselves.
Support is available from independent third parties. They are helpful pioneers, who concentrate on the goal and make change possible. They are free from personal dependencies, skeletons in the cupboard and the typical interests of the business unit that make it difficult for the concerned people to go for the new.

Bottom line: The way out of the fear is, not letting emerge anxiety. In the course of this the service providers are helping, who are coming from the outside and are doing change as daily business. Everything that it takes is decision makers, who are not making a fuss to accept external help. They will get thereby a positive perspective and effective measures, which also convince the concerned people. Fear of change is avoided and momentum is brought into the realization of the new through the appropriate initiatives.

Rules rule rules that rule rules

In times of increasing bureaucratization it becomes more difficult to oversee the innumerable rules that must be followed. Since the employees act autonomously and each detail cannot be regulated from the top, they need a clear set of rules. In order to provide the best possible directions, the enterprises use for example COSO and COBIT as a guideline, i.e. standards for implementing the Governance. The trend to a constantly growing number at standards is foreseeable. Let’s remember the different standards in Project Management. Do we have to adjust ourselves to the fact that in the future rules rule rules that rule rules?


A common denominator in the rules is the fact that they follow certain rules. The following aspects define the quality of the Governance.

  • Transparency
    In this case the decisions, the decision path and the principles of leadership should be made accessible to the employees. They should always be able to understand, for what reasons the top management deploys certain rules. At the same time they should understand the point of control for their own influence.
  • Economy
    In order to create a reasonable handling of scarce means, the procedures should be designed accordingly. These definitions prevent an uncontrolled growth of rules and procedures. Beyond that, they reduce the expenditure for the introduction of guidelines and enable over time an improved use.
  • Participation
    The employees are motivated by personal sharing and participation in the designing of the enterprise. They receive with the regulations the right and the obligation to participate in the decision making and the implementations. For this reason clear points of control for the participation of the employees are inserted in the procedures.
  • Competencies
    Through clear assignments of authority and responsibility defined tasks prevent Muda and friction losses. All areas are considered as well as the overlap of authorities and mutual obstructions are prevented. The employees know through the transferred rights and obligations, what they have to do – and what not.
  • Rule of law
    Through the bindingness to the rules for all, without exception, the individual is reinforced. In order to get a functioning interaction, it must be guaranteed that that all are equally treated. For this purpose it needs in case of conflicts a clear procedure as well as an independent board of arbitration that can be called by everybody.
  • Justice
    Through an adequate and demandable reconciliation of interests, the justice offers a general framework that goes beyond the detailed rules. The values of the enterprise need a common, fundamental understanding about what is right and what not. A respective understanding avoids a variety of detailed regulations.

In order to guarantee that the Governance is adapted to the respective conditions, a clear control model is required for the enterprises. Thus, COSO offers a framework for the financial reporting and Cobit for the IT. The Governance can be introduced correctly at the right place with these frameworks.

Bottom line: The build-up of a control system, the Governance, is an effective means, for steering enterprises or departments. Standards facilitate reliably the implementation. It is however important to resist the regulation craze. More is not necessarily better. Rules rule rules that rule the rules is the end of effective rule sets.

The biggest mistake in Change management

The world changes the Homo sapiens and the Homo sapiens changes the world. And for sure these alterations happened with pain. Who really knows how many people burned their fingers with the discovery of the fire or struck their fingers painfully in the invention of hand axes. Innumerable humans paid with their life the spreading and the changing of religions and political systems. If today enterprises introduce huge changes, many employees are concerned. Nevertheless the leading team makes again and again the largest error in Change management.


Everything starts with change pressure. This results from the will for change or the psychological strain of the management team. Depending on whether the decision makers want to new or away from unwanted procedures and behavior, they have to overcome different hurdles.

Heading for new shores contains much positive energy. This eases the definition of the direction. The way out of problematic routines has to overcome more negative energy, in order to find its way. In both cases it is important to bring the strategy into a structure, so that the concerned people of the involved areas understand what has to be achieved.

The participation is an important pre-requisite, so that the new ideas have at all an opportunity to be realized. For this purpose, the integration of the people, who have to change, is crucial at an as early as possible stage. The transformation, in which the target group participates in the development, can be easier realized.

Change always happens in the mind of individual people. The proverbial „Nuremberg funnel” unfortunately does not exist. Everybody has to achieve the transformation by themselves. Managers have no other chance than ensuring attractive perspectives for all people.

Some management teams believe that it is sufficient to define the direction. The employees have no other choice than going along with the change. Unfortunately this is not the way it goes. The resistances that unfold unnoticed in the daily business can prevent the complete initiative.

Many limit themselves to lavish marketing and communication measures. They hope that the prepared messages convince the employees to join in. For an inexplicable reason, they however avoid the direct contact to the target group. Therefore it is important to establish feedback channels that allow determining difficulties before they grow and than will only be dissolved with very large expenditure.

Effective Change management worries about the smooth operational sequence of the activities. For this purpose the direct contact to the working groups and the target people is important. The biggest mistake in Change management that the leadership team can make is to stay away from the target group during the changes by only involving representatives. That way you do not get the necessary feedback that would facilitate to adapt oneself to the new world for all involved people.

The following aspects lead to hurdles and abysses that overload needlessly the transformation.

  • Too little information,
  • Too little participation,
  • Too little cooperation and
  • Too little listening to the concerned people.

Bottom line: The biggest mistake in the Change management is not to consider the target areas. Frequent publications and official endorsement by the decision makers as well as an intact mutual exchange of opinions and mental states are the basis for successful changes.