Providing frontline employees with the skills, motivation, and freedom to improve how they do their jobs can greatly increase both productivity and worker satisfaction. However, substantive employee involvement remains the exception in the US workforce. In the 1990s, employee involvement is often introduced in the guide of high performance workplaces, business process reengineering, continuous improvement, or total quality management.
Quality circles typically involve volunteers from a work group meeting an hour every week or two to come up with recommendations to improve the work process. All quality programs involve a set of tools that are intended to achieve continuous improvement in quality and efficiency.
In a 1990 study of the Fortune 1000, 88% of the responding companies had at least 1 percent of their workers in employee involvement programs. The proportion of employees in an employee involvement program at responding companies rose 22% in 1987 to 31% in 1990.
Reference: Levine -Reinventing the Workplace: How Business and Employees Can Both Win
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