Democratic workplaces have more flexibility in addressing economic issues
Dillon, Mont. (Vocus) April 14, 2010
Great Harvest Franchising, Inc. is a winner of the WorldBlu List of Most Democratic Workplaces™ global award sponsored by WorldBlu, a company specializing in democracy in the workplace. Great Harvest Franchising, Inc. is a four-time WorldBlu List award winner.
The announcement came as part of the fourth annual Democracy in the Workplace Day on April 13th. For-profit and non-profit organizations from across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the UK, India, the Netherlands, and Malaysia made the list from industries such as technology, healthcare, telecommunications, media, manufacturing, aerospace and retail, representing over $12 billion in combined annual sales.
“Nothing has proven the need for a new model of business as definitively as the current economic crisis,” says WorldBlu Founder and CEO, Traci Fenton. “These democratic companies model how giving power to their people, especially during challenging economic times, can increase innovation and engagement while boosting the bottom-line.”
Mike Ferretti, CEO of Great Harvest Bread Company, said he believes a democratic business model gives a company a competitive advantage during an economic slow-down. “Democratic workplaces have more flexibility in addressing economic issues,” said Ferretti. “At Great Harvest we own issues together by sharing a tremendous amount of information. This allows us to view and evaluate all the little pieces that make up big issues. This, of course, is a strength during any economic condition, but is vitally important during an economic downturn.”
Fenton added that Democratic organizations operate on the principles of freedom rather than fear and control. “They understand that the future of business is more about participation, less about titles and more about meaning in order to be competitive in this new, democratic age,” said Fenton.
To be considered for the Worldblu recognition, company employees complete a survey evaluating their organization’s practice of ten democratic principles, including transparency, dialogue, listening, integrity, accountability and leadership. WorldBlu developed the survey tool based on a decade of research into what makes a world-class democratic organization.
WorldBlu List organizations make use of a variety of unique practices that are distinctly democratic and contribute to profitability, high performance and engagement. This year’s list contains several organizations that sustained their place on the WorldBlu List for the fourth consecutive year. They are AIESEC International, Axiom News, BetterWorld Telecom, Beyond Borders, Continuum, Dreamhost, Equal Exchange, Great Harvest Bread Company, Guayaki, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and TakingITGlobal. Third year winners include DaVita, Innovation Partners International, La Siembra Co-operative, MindValley, sweetriot, and Tracer Corporation. A company’s longevity on the list is an indicator of its authenticity and sustainability as a democratic organization.
“Organizational democracy is inevitable,” comments Fenton. “The Internet, the demands of Generations X and Y to have a voice at in the workplace, and the Gallup Organization’s report that nearly two-thirds of US workers are disengaged at work are causing businesses to rethink their management models and embrace a more democratic style. The companies that choose organizational democracy will lead their industries, boost their bottom-lines, and ultimately build a more democratic world.”
WorldBlu specializes in organizational democracy and freedom-centered leadership. Founded in 1997, WorldBlu works to inspire and support the design and development of democratic organizations worldwide. For more information, visit the WorldBlu website at http://www.worldblu.com.
Founded in 1976 in Great Falls, MT, Great Harvest Franchising, Inc. has more than 230 bakeries located throughout the nation including Alaska and Hawaii. Great Harvest is known for handcrafted breads made with freshly ground whole wheat from the high plains of Montana. Today the neighborhood bakeries create an array of legendary fresh-baked breads and sweets, as well as specialty items during holidays, all with pure-and-simple ingredients. Great Harvest bakeries purchase their whole grains from family-owned farms in Montana. The whole wheat is milled daily in the bakeries to guarantee products are rich in taste and nutrients.