If we’re to believe the consultants, then there is a modern-day labour-organisational revolution moving through the corporate world. The quickly evolving global markets and digital disruption has resulted in a sort of decentralisation, whereby many decisions are delegated to (semi-) autonomous teams. Randstad’s study shows that this supposition must be taken with a grain of salt. According to employees, the options to participate have not increased with time. The traditional hierarchical organisation of labour is more stubborn than people realise. This same study shows that the trade unions are still receiving strong support within companies. This support has even increased once again in the past four years, after a previous decline.
not a revolution
Randstad has been studying the participation behaviour of employees in companies since 2004, and is therefore well placed to check and see if the assumption that there is a labour-organisational revolution moving through the corporate world, whereby many decisions are being delegated to (semi-) autonomous teams, is correct. The results of this study do not appear to support this assumption in each case. When employees are asked to rate their options for participation on a scale of 1 to 10, then the overall average is 6.3. That is actually a small increase compared to four years ago (when it was 6.1), but has remained below the 2008 score of 6.5. There is no structural increase over a longer period; to the contrary. This year’s scores for the private sector are higher than those for the public sector. The difference, however, can only really be seen in organisations with more than 100 employees. The employees in smaller public organisations are more satisfied than their colleagues in the private sector.
losses being built back up
In 2012, the institutional participation channels such as the works council, the committee for prevention and protection at work, and the trade union representation were less popular than 4 years ago. These channels have built their overall scores back up as of 2016. This probably had to do with effects related to the economic climate.
increased interests in social elections
Employees’ interest in social elections has increased once again compared to 2012. 53% of all employees is interested and 55% would go vote if given the chance (72% in companies in which elections are actually held). In both cases, this is a strong increase compared to four years ago (40 and 48% respectively). So the decline we noted in 2012 has not continued. On the contrary;
no traces of waning support
Lastly, it appears that support for the trade unions in the company remains high, and has even increased again after decreasing in 2012. 71% of employees stated that trade unions know what matters to employees. This was 66% four years ago. 53% of employees feels very involved with the trade union. This was just 44% four years ago. In contrast to what some trend watchers believe, there is no actual structural decrease of support for the trade unions in the Belgian corporate world. The previous decline probably had to do with effects related to the economic climate.
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