51 organisations certified as 'Democratic Workplaces'

Today 51 global organisations have been certified as 'Democratic Workplaces' by WorldBlu, an organisation specialising in analysing democratic cultures.

In the ranking's seventh year, a record 12 out of the 51 organsiations are from the UK, demonstrating that sectors of UK business are exploring new and innovative ways of working.

The 51 organisations on the list come from a diverse range of industries, including technology, manufacturing, healthcare, retail and services.

An organisation makes it onto the WorldBlu List through an employee survey, which evaluates the overall design of an organisation along a 'fear-based to freedom-centered' continuum, based on the WorldBlu 10 principles of organisational democracy. Those organisations scoring 3.5 or higher on a 5.0 scale become WorldBlu certified democratic workplaces.

According to WorldBlu, organisational democracy is a system of organisation that is based on freedom, instead of fear and control. The organisation believes the core of organisational democracy and political democracy is the same - allowing people to self-govern and determine their own destiny. The only thing that is different is the context.

"Democracy contributes to higher levels of innovation, engagement, trust and efficiency across an organisation," Miranda Ash, chief community evangelist at WorldBlu told HR magazine.

"For example, DaVita, a WorldBlu-certified democratic company, went from being on the edge of bankruptcy in 1999 to a $12 billion thriving company today once it transitioned from the out-dated top-down model to a democratic organisational design," she said.

Traci Fenton, founder and CEO of WorldBlu, said: "More freedom and democracy rather than fear and control translates to the bottom-line performance of an organisation by reducing costs, voluntary turnover, and absenteeism."

Will McInnes, CEO of certified democratic company NixonMcInnes, said: "Democracy to us is plain common sense. For our business to succeed we need extremely talented, motivated and engaged employees and the best way to achieve this is to set them free and give them as much control as possible."

McInnes added: "Once you create this kind of environment it becomes a big draw for talent, and a reason for great people to stay, when the alternative is to work in a closed hierarchy.

"Democracy also helps us to make better decisions since everyone has access to information and can provide their input."

WorldBlu's 10 principles of organisational democracy are: Purpose and vision, transparency, dialogue and listening, fairness and dignity, accountability, individual and collective, choice, integrity, decentralisation, reflection and evaluation.