by: John Caddell
WorldBlu, the organization headed by a friend of this blog Traci Fenton, has unveiled its second annual list of democratic workplaces.
Workplace democracy is still a rare concept, but a growing number of companies are allowing workers a voice in their company, encouraging dissent, and otherwise involving the entire employee base in shaping and running the organization. WorldBlu evaluates companies on these factors:
1. PURPOSE AND VISION
A democratic organization is clear about why it exists (its purpose) and where it is headed and what it hopes to achieve (its vision). These act as its true North, offering guidance and discipline to the organization's direction.
Say goodbye to the "secret society" mentality. Democratic organizations are transparent and open with employees about the financial health, strategy, and agenda of the organization.
3. DIALOGUE + LISTENING
Instead of the top-down monologue or dysfunctional silence that characterizes most workplaces, democratic organizations are committed to having conversations that bring out new levels of meaning and connection.
4. FAIRNESS + DIGNITY
Democratic organizations are committed to fairness and dignity, not treating some people like "somebodies" and other people like "nobodies."
Democratic organizations point fingers, not in a blaming way but in a liberating way! Democratic organizations are crystal clear about who is accountable and responsible for what.
6. INDIVIDUAL + COLLECTIVE
In democratic organizations, the individual is just as important as the whole, meaning employees are valued for their individual contribution as well as for what they do to help achieve the collective goals of the organization.
Democratic organizations thrive on giving employees meaningful choices.
Integrity is the name of the game, and democratic companies have a lot of it. They understand that freedom takes discipline and also doing whatÕs morally and ethically right.
Democratic organizations distribute leadership and power across their enterprise.
10. REFLECTION + EVALUATION
Democratic organizations are committed to looking in the mirror and asking, "How can we be better?" -- not just quarterly or annually, but daily.
Notable new names on the list this year include Pandora, the personalized internet radio site; BzzAgent, which creates viral marketing programs; and DaVita--the first Fortune 500 corporation that's made the list. Holdovers include 1-800-GOT-JUNK and Linden Lab (with a brand-new CEO, will they be able to maintain their democratic principles?).
You can check out the whole list here.