Rwanda: Impact of Employees participation in Decision Making on Organizational Performance

By The Rwandan Analyst

 Introduction

There is a popular behavior which has been adopted by some organizations in Rwanda, where top management takes decisions and communicates decisions to its employees without their participation in the decision making process. In most cases this results into poor execution of such decisions because an employee is social being who brings his personality, hope, anxieties, feelings, and attitude to the workplace.

The reason is to wonder whether employees participate in decision making, and on the other hand, whether employees desire some specific types of employee involvement rather than others. Understanding the perceptions of employees in the above matters appears to be an important element for understanding whether participation in decisions is a priority for all the employees. The general objective of the study is to investigate the impact of employees’ participation in decision making, a case study of Gitovu Sector.

1.Data presentation, analysis and interpretation

This chapter presents and interprets findings from data collected through the use of questionnaires administered to 26 people from all levels of Gitovu Sector employees. When analyzing the researcher bore in mind the objectives and hypotheses of this study. The frequency from the questionnaires allowed calculating the percentages on which interpretation and analysis are based. These guided researcher to test the hypotheses.

1.1 Profile of respondents

Table 1: Sex of respondent

SexNumber of respondentsPercentage
Male1869.23
Female830.76
Total26100

Source: Primary data

Table one indicates that a large number of respondents in Gitovu Sector are male who represents 69.23% of respondents while female represent 40%.This means that the research information is delivered from high number of male compared to female.

Table 2: Age of respondents

AgeNumber of respondentsPercentage
20-29726.92
30-391038.46
40-49726.92
50 and above27.69
Total26100

Source: Primary data.

Table 3 indicates that a large number of respondents are relying on between 30-39.This is meant by the % of 38.46 %of the whole respondents; followed  by 26.93% for employees who are in the range of 20-29 and 40-49 and two people who are over 50 years old represented by 7.69%.

Table 3: Marital status of respondents

Marital statusNumber of respondentsPercentages
Married2076.92 %
Single415.38 %
Divorced00 %
Widower/widow27.69 %
Total26100 %

Source of data

The table 4 above indicates the number of respondents in Gitovu Sector who are married, single, divorced, widower or widow. Respondents who are married are 20 represented by 76.92%; respondents who are single are 4 represented by 15.38%, we did not find a divorced respondents while widowers or widows were 2represented by 7.69%.This proves that respondents are mature enough in the light of selecting the best alternative among different alternatives available for efficient and effective decision making process to contribute to their firm (Gitovu Sector)

Table 4: Level of education

Level of educationNumber of respondentsPercentage
PhD00%
Master’s degree00%
Bachelor’s degree(A0)830.76%
Diploma(A1)13.84%
Senior 6(A2)1765.38%
Total26100%

Source: Primary data

The table 5 shows that 30.76 % of employees in Gitovu sector have Bachelor’s degree, 3.84% are A1 and 65.38% are A2.Here the majority of the workers did senior 6(17 of them, represented by 65.38%).

Table 5: Position hold by respondents

LevelNumber of respondents%
High level13.84
Middle level1869.24
Lower level723.93
Total26100

Source: Primary data

Table 6 indicates that minority of employees 3.84% are strategic managers who are involved in setting mission, goals, and objectives of organization. Thus ,there are in decision process at strategic level  23.93 % are middle authorities who are involved in planning for their units in the light of implementing the decision made at tactical level.69.24 %are in lower levels (operational managers)who are involved in implementing the planned activities from middle level. They are concerned with the operational activities in the light of achieving the organizational goal and objectives. Therefore, they participate in the decision making process at operational level. That is to say, they participate in the decision made from the top managers.

Table 6: Length of service (experience)

PeriodNumber of respondents%
Less than 1 year27.69
1-3 years00
4-6 years1038.47
7-9 years1246.15
Above 10 years27.69
Total26100

Source: Primary data

Table 7 revealed that the majority of employees have worked for 7-9  and 4-6 years of experience to mean that they are experienced in decision making (participative or non participative).

1.2 Participation in decision making

Table 7: Involvement of employees

AnswersNumber of employees%
Yes2076.93
No623.07
Total26100

Source: Primary data.

The table 8 shows that the majority of employees are involved in decision making at the rate of 76.93 %.This means that Gitovu Sector is highly ranked in practice of employees’ participation in decision making. 

Table 8: Frequency of involvement

ResponsesNumber of respondents%
Always1973.07
Regularly623.07
Rarely13.86
Total27100



Source: Primary data

Table 9 reflects that employees are always involved in decision making. This is indicated by the proportion of 73.07 %of the respondents who agree that Gitovu Sector used to consider them while taking decision. Six among them argued that they attend in decision making regularly while 3.86 % said that they rarely participate in decision making .For this, the researcher confirmed that the decisions made by Gitovu Sector are advantageous for both Gitovu Sector and employees performances. Employees clearly implement their duties.

Table 9: Lack of employee involvement in decision making

AnswerNumber of respondents%
Yes1557.69
No1142.31
Total26100

Source: Primary data

The table 10 shows that some decisions are made without employees input. This reflected by 57.69 % of respondents who agreed that in some cases they are not called to participate while 42.31 argues that there is no decision taken without their presence.

Referring to 57.69 % of the respondents, some decisions are urgent to call all workers to participate in decision making, while others are executive decisions. So, including all workers may delay reaching final decision.

Table 10: Rating the performance of Gitovu Sector

AnswersNumber of respondents%
Excellent415.39
Very good1350
Good943.61
Poor00
Total26100

Source: Primary data

The table 11determines that a large number of respondents agreed that the rate of Gitovu Sector is very good with proportion of 50 % while 15.39 %revealed that Gitovu Sector performance is excellent and 11.54 % said that they perform well. This simply implies that in Gitovu Sector performance is very good.

Table 11: Employees’ participation in decision making on organizational performance in Gitovu Sector

ResponsesNumber%
Yes2388.46
No00
 Do not know311.54

26100

Source: Primary data

The table above indicates that all respondents argue that employees’ participation in decision making has an impact on organizational performance as reflected by 88.46 %of respondents. This implies that employees ‘participation will help to hasten achievement of organizational goals.

Table 12: Rating of impact of employees’ participation on organizational performance in Gitovu Sector

ResponsesNumber of respondents%
Very significant2180.76
Significant519.24
Less significant00
Insignificant00
Total26100

Source: Primary data

The table above demonstrates that a large number of respondents agreed that employees’ participation in decision making has a very significant impact on the performance of Gitovu Sector with 80.76 % while 19.24 % shows that it impacts significantly. This implies that employees’ participation in the organizational decision making process plays a very significant role to the performance of their organization. 

1.3 Challenges of employees’ participation in Decision making in Gitovu Sector

This question also was an open ended question and it requires respondents to prove wither there are problems which may rise from the lack of employees’ participation in decision making and out of 22 respondents who agreed. Only 4 gave the following answers:

i) Setting of unrealistic targets .Because employees’ views contribute much to the performance, the lack of their participation will differentiate the case.

ii) Misunderstanding from employees due to the reason that employees are not aware of the task to be achieved.

iii) Slowness in the implementation of the decision as the decisions made by small group of people which is inadequate to be implemented.

Iv. Wrong attitudes and perception of employees towards decision making process.

V . Work overload

vi). Complaints from employees and low morale amongst staff leading demotivation of staff.

vii. Resistance to change.

1.4 Possible solution to overcome those challenges faced in Gitovu Sector

There was an open ended question that was about solutions of improving employees’ participation and overcome the challenges that can obstruct the employees’ participation in decision making in Gitovu Sector where the following suggestions were given:

Key factors of employees’ participation are respect and achievements, empowerment, personal development, economic security, family security, creativity, and cordial relationship with co-workers.

i) Simplify: Allow employees to put their ideas into actions with the support of managers.

Ensure that this gets done in not more than one meeting and this will help boost employee beliefs in the system.

ii) Confident action: Employees and managers should feel safe to offer ideas in contrast to current status. Innovation within limits limit from small teams with well-defined assignments and criteria allows employees to take confident steps towards improvement of processes.

iii) Faster management decisions: Management has to ensure quick decision –making on simpler matters. Employees will then feel assured of managements’ readiness to changes in the project. Taking strategic action and making regular progress reviews reflects leadership commitment. Sharing knowledge and ideas from experience can motivate employees to move ahead positively.

iv) Speed everything up: If the participants see personal gains from their involvement, they will be ready to participate and contribute. With real results achieved faster, more people would stay engaged. Thus, it is necessary that both organization and employees work toward ensuring speeding up and achieving results to ensure engagement. 

2. Summary of findings

The results reveal that the extent of participation in the public companies of communication in Rwanda is high. This was confirmed by the majority of respondents who agreed that the degree of participation is high with 76.93 % and in particular this was justified by the fact that in the organizations of Rwanda, the participative prerogatives are exclusively reserved for all employees and managers, so as the subordinates like lower-managers and ordinary workers implement the decisions already adopted by themselves but not by those at a higher level without any direct input. In other words, there is a clear and great inclusion of the subordinates (lower-managers and workers) in the decision-making process. 

However, the observed differences between respondents ranging from department managers, to lower-managers and workers were asked.   Output has confirmed that the observed differences are statistically significant, therefore, it was concluded that such differences exist within the organization. The majority of employees personally participate in the decision-making procedure, however, they greatly desire to influence decisions adopted in their firms. Indeed, for those who do not participate, and who want more of say, a considerable majority tends to be concerned about decisions that are affecting their own jobs. However, a minority of employees desire a greater say at department level and above. In considering, the above findings, participative process within the organization has to be at a number of levels, that is, at the all levels, but with a greatest emphasis on the workplace. 

According to the results, personal participation should be widely continuous within the organizations in Gitovu Sector by emphasizing on a greater say at task levels. This has to be strengthened by a self representation system, which should deal with the higher levels issues. Taking into account the findings, it is confirmed that workers participation is the only way in which decisions can be implemented very well. However, a small minority of employees recognized the non-existence of their participation; this is because some decisions are emergency to consult all workers. 

Conclusion

 Gitovu sector should keep up the realization of employee participation in decision-making because it is amongst the most important elements which may improve the management of organizations in general. Therefore, it should initiate and support participative management by making it legal. In other words, government should establish a participative management strategy founded on legislation or regulation which offers employees full rights to be involved in the decision-making process as it is the case in local governments under the decentralization programme.   Hence, a democratic participative strategy as initiated by the government in the cities and districts should be undertaken in the sectors of public enterprises in general in order to provide employees more opportunities to have a say in decisions affecting their daily work. 

The research objective was aimed at finding out the impact of employee participation in decision-making on the organizational performance in Rwanda, a case study of Gitovu Sector. The aim of the empirical study was to map out the degree of employee participation in the decision-making procedure on organization, rating the performance of Gitovu Sector as an organization, to identify whether employees participate in decision-making and to determine whether their involvement impacts on organizational performance. It was also hoped to find out the way of improving the employees’ participation. From these recommendations based on the results from the research could be made in order to foster employee participation in decision-making in Rwandan organizations in general, and particularly on Gitovu Sector. This is seen as one of the crucial elements in the development of the effective management of organizations. 

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