How participative leadership boosts morale, productivity

Leadership StylesHow would you like to lead an organization where employees are fully engaged and regularly bring new ideas to the table, then chomp at the bit until you give them the go-ahead to run with it?

Sound good?

If so, you might want to spend sometime practicing something called participative leadership.

What is it?

Says  “A style of leadership in which the leader involves subordinates in goal setting, problem solving, team building, etc., but retains the final decision making authority.”

Democracy at work

Some refer to it as the democratic leadership style. Call it what you will, participative leadership values the input of team members and peers, while the ultimate responsibility of making the final decision rests with the participative leader.

This style is a natural morale booster because employees make contributions to the decision-making process, which helps make them feel their opinions matter.

When a company needs to make changes within the organization, the participative leadership style helps employees accept changes more easily because they play a role in the process. This style is especially effective when decisions must be made and implemented in a short period of time.

Boosts morale

Why should you adopt a participative leadership style?

Online management trainer says there is simply no better way to make motivated, highly skilled and intelligent professionals feel valued than to ask them, genuinely, for their advice.

You can pat people on the back and recognize their efforts. But this is not as effective in motivating people as involving them in important decisions.

Another big benefit of participative leadership is that the process allows for the development of additional leaders who can serve the organization at a later date. That’s according to

Because leaders who favor this style encourage active involvement on the part of everyone on the team, people often are able to express their creativity and demonstrate abilities and talents that would not be made apparent otherwise.

The discovery of these hidden assets also alerts the organization to gifted employees who should be provided with opportunities to further develop some skill or ability for future use. says along with boosting acceptance and morale, this type of leadership style has two other main benefits.

Boosts retention

The first is creativity. When you encourage employees to give their opinions on company issues, you will get a variety of solutions to choose from. To be involved in the decision-making process for the company, the staff must be intimately involved in how the company operates.

Participative leadership empowers employees to use their creativity to develop more productive work processes and make the company more efficient.

The second is retention. A participative style of leadership offers employees more than just the opportunity to improve their income through good performance. It gives your staff members the chance to be active in determining the future success of the company.

Allowing employees to be active in the growth of the organization encourages those employees to stay with the company to see their plans result in success. This will improve employee retention and cut down on the costs of turnover.

Does it work?

At, contributing Editor Peter B. Brazier says if you haven’t tried it, you should give it a chance.

“I have watched people at all levels of the organization solve problems they thought were unsolvable,”  Grazier says.

“I have watched people lead discussions that they would have never considered possible. I have watched the most unlikely people promoted into better positions because their new-found participative skills turned them into more effective leaders.”

This is the second in a series of articles on effective leadership styles. To see the other articles, please go to  6 Leadership Styles That Get Results.


  1. Elliot DeBear says:

    Excellent. Thanks for posting.

  2. Larry Englisby says:

    kind of like the open office, good stuff!

  3. Sounds too good to be true. Does such a place exist?

  4. Great suggestions! Mirrors some professional training tips from a webinar I attended. We have several long term staff members who are used to doing their jobs ‘their way’. Getting their input and their participation is planning how to better service our clients was the key: get the long term staff involved in planning the new program.

  5. Great article. The best way to build a team is with buy in. The best way to grow a business is through diversity of thought. Thanks again for sharing!

  6. Over the course of my career in education, I have adopted this leadership style to build trust with employees. It works for the most part, but ultimately staff want me to make the decision.

  7. Kiluvia M says:

    Thanx Indeed

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