Talent Management

How to Remove Traditional Decision-Making Hierarchies and Better Engage Employees

By | 4 min read | Published

Learn why you need to engage employees in decision-making

Traditional decision-making hierarchies are mainly top-down, where top management and team leaders make decisions and disseminate the information to employees. However, with so many shifts happening in the workplace related to how, where, and when employees work, employers need to remodel the hierarchy and empower employees to participate in company dialogue.

Businesses make better, quicker decisions when they involve their staff in the decision-making process. Businesses that encourage employee participation in decision-making see these benefits:

  • Increased employee morale, which leads to increased engagement and satisfaction with their job.
  • Improved teamwork and relationships between employees.
  • Increased commitment to the success of the decision.
  • Higher success rates for decisions and projects.

Here are four practical ways to incorporate your employees into the decision-making process:

1. Challenge employees to innovate, be creative, and take risks

Employees who are self-driven, motivated, and risk-takers are more productive. It’s important for companies to harness a growth mindset among employees, challenge them to be innovative and to take risks, and embrace a culture of inclusivity.

Incorporating and challenging creativity among employees might mean being open-minded to divergent ideas, tolerating ambiguity, and inviting an attitude of questioning. Allow your employees to question decisions and the status quo, and ask them to try something new and bold.

Organizations that challenge employees to grow harness a culture of loyalty and encourage participation and the free flow of ideas.

2. Use surveys and other feedback mechanisms

Challenge employees to share ideas on cost-cutting, safety issues, and management in order to promote a healthy working culture and increase a sense of social responsibility on your team.

In order to encourage employees to share ideas and information, you need to set up channels for them to do so, and for you to give relevant feedback.

Survey tools can help capture different ideas around employee performance and overall business productivity. These surveys should have clear objectives and be issued at short and regular intervals to enhance and challenge change while reducing the build-up of issues that might negatively affect the business.

Ensure you act on this feedback and show employees that you value their input and participation.

3. Incorporate team leaders

Team leaders are the vision bearers of an organization. While they might not be on your management team, they can still help you make progress in the decision-making process.

Incorporating team leaders into small decision-making groups that may already exist in the organization can speed up decision-making processes. It’s important to ensure that the team leader chosen for any decision-making has an open mind and can wear different hats, such as consultant, adviser, and facilitator.

Seek to empower these team leaders and use them to promote essential values, communicate business decisions, and introduce new concepts in the organization.

When these team leaders take ownership, it’s easy for the rest of the employees to follow suit.

4. Involve employees at the board level

Employers sometimes include employees at the board level— it is one of the critical aspects in promoting and protecting employee interests.

Having employees involved in board meetings, where key decisions affecting them and the organization at large are made, shows them that they are valued and important assets to the organization. This, in turn, increases employee productivity and job satisfaction.

Ultimately, your board will be able to make better-informed strategic decisions not only for their own interests but for the interests of the organization.

Bring in specific staff when you need their knowledge or skills, or when you want to highlight their abilities. You can, for example, bring in your finance director to discuss investment policy, or your human resources director to discuss personnel policy, and so on.

How Capterra can help

Capterra strives to give you engaging and empowering insights into the ways small businesses can benefit from digital transformation and remain ahead of the game.

Here are some additional resources for you:


Looking for Talent Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Talent Management software solutions.

About the Author

Shelby Vankirk - Guest Contributor

Shelby Vankirk - Guest Contributor

Shelby is a seasoned Technical Writer and Content Consultant with over seven years of experience in the publishing industry. She has a knack for taking complex subjects and making them easy to understand for the average reader. She is an expert in the fields of Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, software, Information Technology, Business, Press Releases, White Papers, Internet of Things (IoT), Spirituality, Travel, and Lifestyle. Shelby has worked with a variety of clients – from small businesses to top-notch publications – to create high-quality, engaging content that engages the reader and drives conversions. When she's not pounding away at her keyboard, Shelby enjoys spending time with her two cats (and dog), binge-watching TV shows on Netflix, and practicing her calligraphy skills.

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