A democratic workplace for us = Happiness. We choose to practice democracy in the workplace because it not only blurs the line between managers and employees but it also drives the distribution of power, encourages innovation, and helps attract the best talent. It is important that any employee, from our call center to executive team, have the ability to make changes that impact how the organization operates, develops, and grows. Our call center employees are not required to read from scripts because we want to empower them to service our customer in the best way they can - in a way that is suited for that customer. We want to see employees at all levels make decisions without having to get a manager or supervisor involved. Running the organization with a lot of freedom offers our employees the time to collaborate and get work done but have fun doing it.
- Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos.com
What I enjoy most about working in a democratic workplace is the prevalence of dignity and respect for the individual and their unique contribution. In this environment, every employee has something significant to contribute and the role of management is to enable the team members in meeting both individual and collective goals. Employees are involved in decisions and changes that affect him or her directly prior to the change occurring. Individuals are encouraged to learn from their mistakes rather than be reprimanded, and their growth is as important to management as it is to the individual. These qualities of our culture are simply freeing. For me, they remove some of the unnecessary distractions of uncertainty and fear that prevent us each from being our personal best.
- Andrew Maynard, Director Strategic Supply Chain Management, The WD-40 Company
Democracy to us is plain common sense. For our business to succeed we need extremely talented, motivated and engaged employees and the best way to achieve this is to set them free and give them as much control as possible. Once you create this kind of environment it becomes a big draw for talent, and a reason for great people to stay, when the alternative is to work in a closed hierarchy. Democracy also helps us to make better decisions since everyone has access to information and can provide their input. Right now, democratic organizations are a minority, but the advantages are so great that in the future it will be very difficult to survive being anything else.
- Will McInnes, Co-founder + CEO, NixonMcInnes
We embrace democracy at DaVita HealthCare Partners because it's fundamental to being a community first and a company second. As in any community that works well, our citizens' input helps determine how the "DaVita Village" is shaped. DaVita citizens are often called upon to vote on important issues and to provide feedback on Village/company practices. And democracy rules. There have been numerous issues where I've disagreed with the outcome of a vote but the vote prevailed.
- Kent Thiry, CEO + Mayor, DaVita
WorldBlu is a global network of organizations committed to practicing freedom and democracy in the workplace.
Our purpose is to unleash human potential and inspire freedom by championing the growth of democratic organizations worldwide.
Our vision is to see 1 billion people working in free and democratic workplaces.
We do this through a range of programs and services that enable business leaders to design, develop, and lead the most successful democratic organizations in the world.