Search
Advice » In the Workplace» Workplace Issues » Make Your Workplace More Democr ...
Make Your Workplace More Democratic

Make Your Workplace More Democratic

Initiate Change from the Bottom (or Middle) Up

By Traci Fenton

Imagine a workplace where relationships are peer-to-peer, where management transparently shares financial data, where you have a say in the decisions that impact your work and you feel 100 percent engaged each day. Sound utopian? 

Actually, I'm describing characteristics of a democratic workplace, and some of today's most successful companies -- such as Great Harvest Bread Company, Whole Foods, Linden Lab and Southwest Airlines -- already operate like this. They realize it's a powerful way to attract and retain top talent, stimulate innovation and boost the bottom line.

Admittedly, organizational democracy usually begins at the top. But what about those of us who are junior or midlevel employees working in companies that aren't democratic? Can you bring democracy to your workplace, too? You may not have the power (yet) to turn your company democratic overnight, but there are some things you can do now to start creating change.

10 Principles for a Democratic Workplace

After a decade of research, here are the 10 principles I've discovered that all democratic companies practice, along with ideas for how you can implement them in your organization.

1. Get Naked

Be as authentic, open and as transparent as possible. In your next meeting, don't have a "hidden agenda." Be open and share what you might otherwise keep secret. Watch how it helps build trust with others.

2. Have a Conversation

Don't perpetuate the dysfunctional silence that characterizes most companies. Invite people to engage in a dialogue about the issues that matter.

3. Loathe Rankism

Treat others fairly and with dignity. Forget the high school clique mentality of treating people like "somebodies" or "nobodies."

4. Understand the Meaning of Life

Understand what your purpose and vision is for your life and make sure it's aligned with the work you are doing. If it's not, think about changing or finding a new job.

5. Point Fingers

Not in a blaming way, in a liberating way. Get crystal clear about who is responsible for what and then hold yourself and others accountable.

6. The Individual Is as Important as the Whole

Each person has unique gifts. Overcome the feeling of being a cog in the machine by recognizing the value each person plays in achieving collective goals.

7. One Size Doesn't Fit All

Do what you can to make sure you and your colleagues have a choice regarding the kind of work you do and the schedule you work. Choices keep people from feeling trapped.

8. Have Backbone

Integrity is the name of the game, so make sure all work is done ethically. Freedom takes discipline.

9. Be Vain

Commit yourself to looking in the mirror each day and asking, "How can I be better?" Reflection leads to improvements that help you and your company perform on a whole new level.

10. Say No to Pyramid Schemes

Although there are times where we all want to pull a power-trip, don't. Do what you can to empower your colleagues by distributing power rather than hoarding it.

Get a buddy, start practicing these principles and watch the results. The best way to win at work is to create an environment in which everyone can thrive. Find a way to make progress in a democratic direction each day, and your workplace will never be the same again.
  
[Traci Fenton is the founder and CEO of WorldBlu, a business design studio specializing in organizational democracy.]

Latest Jobs

Ashley Furniture Industries
Posted: 12/20/2014
Colton, CA, 92324
Private Practice
Posted: 12/20/2014
Columbus, OH, 43215
Precision Castparts-US
Posted: 12/20/2014
Wickliffe, OH, 44092
Securamerica LLC
Posted: 12/20/2014
Colorado Springs, CO, 80921
T-Mobile
Posted: 12/20/2014
Oakland, CA, 94601

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile

 
 
 

Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
ArtBistro
Create and connect.
Excelle
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships
Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Education.org
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military.com
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.

Interviewing

100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2014 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2014.11.10.17-221
eTrustLogo