3.3. The new role of the worker in a shared and participatory management model

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The worker of a metal company sector has changed due to the changes in the sector and the demand of the company and clients, as the sector has overcome significant changes during last years.

Although a lot of competencies which make a good professional have not changed, new competences are also required, at the same time other ones still becoming more important.

4.0 environments represent a reality in the industry and companies of the metal sector, and it becomes necessary to create new professional profiles to meet the requirements of the new demands. Communicative and empathic profiles are increasingly demanded nowadays; people who understand the needs and changes that are continuously taking place in order to foresee them and be able to change those potential threats into opportunities.

In an environment where thousands of job positions are being destroyed and created at the same time, professionals should have a continuously learning attitude, something what is not new at all but has become more important for companies of the metal sector.

This quickly changing environment and the continuous development open new opportunities. They imply a change but it could be seen as a stimulating and enriching opportunity.

One principle which is assumed in the business culture of this new model is the fact that technologies are not a distinguishable resource, but, in contrast, people are.

In fact, new technologies could be implemented in a company, but it is something competitors may also do and it makes no difference. Nevertheless, the knowledge is a unique and distinguishable resource. The philosophy of the metal worker in this new model is accepting the fact that resources have an end, but people do not.

The hiper-connectivity allows everybody who works in a company to be in touch with all the differences departments and sections of the productive process in real time.

This creates constant information flows in all directions which need to be reinforced by teamwork, the implementation of new methodologies and communication channels among the different people of the organization. It will be advisable to implement the necessary mechanism in order to assure that everybody is included in those flows of information.

Personal factors such as attitude, motivation, collaborative spirit and the ability to lead project are more essential than ever, without leaving aside the basic knowledge and the necessary technical skills.

Besides all the previously mentioned aspects, there is the need to encourage the adaptive reasoning among workers, which is the ability to provide solutions and answers out of the box and, something, breaking the rules, as the innovation and creativity need a new and adaptable thinking.

The intercultural competencies or the ability to work in different cultural environments is other key aspect for the worker in this new model.

These competencies, do not only imply the development of linguistic abilities but also the capacity of adapting to changing circumstances and the ability to detect and answer in new contexts.
What makes a group smart and innovator is the combination of different ages, abilities, disciplines, working styles and points of view of all the parties of the group.

The shared and participatory management model has an impact on the “culture of managing people”, which seeks to facilitate the personal development of people at work and to have an impact on the following elements of the company:

  • Management of policies and business strategies
  • Human resources management
  • Leadership management
  • Management of emotional intelligence

Thus, the new role of people working under a shared and participatory management model implies that everybody working in the company share this culture and applies it in all their professional behaviours, which improves the efficiency and the atmosphere, changing from:

  • A functional structure to an organisation which is organized according to processes
  • From the pyramidal hierarchy to flat structure
  • From the authority to working in teams

In order to achieve these objectives, it is essential to foster a new communication model, which implies informing but, above all, listening. For this purpose, it is necessary to create communication channels focused on achieving an information flow in all directions.

Another aspect which determines the new relationship model inside the company is the leadership, understood as the process of helping to manage people, knowledge and ideas to carry out work in the most efficient way.


The leadership management requires implementing the ability of integrating all workers in a shared common project, as well as aligning and coordinating the individual needs with the objectives of the company.

Leaders will be the ones who will create the adequate conditions in order to foster the learning process inside the company, acting as a problem solver, supervisor and trainer. They will promote the creation of practical communities where the necessary knowledge will be transferred as well as the necessary guidelines and action plans developed (Revilla, 1999).

A leader should delegate authority, so all members of the organizations will assume their responsibilities.

The framework of this new business management model is based on the inter- relation between people, providers and clients, working as a team in order to satisfy the client, sharing a common project with responsibility, trust and freedom.

A new business model which, at the same time, gives in return to the society part of what has been receiving: social commitment and integration.

The person who works in the organization should be able to accept new challenges and the responsibility it requires, and share the success as well as the failure of a project or the company itself, promoting teamwork, outsourcing, interaction between people, their autonomy and initiative.

In this new model, the worker should feel integrated and committed to the planning, organization and control of its tasks and to do so, teamwork is essential, as it facilitates professional development through interpersonal relations.

 
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