Branchefællesskabet for arbejdsmiljø

Influence at work

Influence at work is about being able to directly influence your own tasks and the resources and tools required to complete them. Read more here about the importance of influence at work and what you can do as an employee, a manager or a member of the health and safety group.

VIDEO - INSPIRATION FOR STAFF MEETING - watch this video and talk about how you can increase the scope of employee influence (in Danish with English subtitles).

Understanding influence at work

Influence increases wellbeing and job satisfaction.

How to create influence

The degree of influence should be agreed between the employees and manager, possibly via the health and safety group.

For employees

For employees

Do you have enough influence?

Below are some questions you can consider and some of the things you can do if you want more influence on your day-to-day work or on decisions at a higher level.

Your employer and manager can also do something to give you more influence. Moreover, your health and safety organisation can help launch initiatives.

Think about the following

Below are some questions you can consider regarding your options and your needs for influence:

  • What is influence to you, and when would you like to be involved? Is influence important to you in relation to how your work is carried out or the tools and technical aids you use? Would you like to help decide the way your work is organised, for example the order of your tasks, and do you want variation in your tasks?
  • Do you sometimes make suggestions about how to perform tasks, and are your suggestions taken seriously?
  • Do you feel that people have faith in you when you’re given responsibility to organise and execute work?
  • Do you have influence on the skills and competences you use? Are you given tasks that enable you to use skills and competences you’re good at or want to develop?

Here is what you can do

Talk to your manager

Do you think there are better ways to do things at the shop or that something should be different? If you have ideas for improvements or suggestions for more appropriate workflows, talk to your manager. Perhaps you could contribute with experience, new input and knowledge. This will show your commitment and will give you more influence.

Contribute at meetings

Internal meetings, briefings and staff meetings are also an opportunity to gain influence, especially if you contribute more actively. Meetings keep you up to date on what’s going on at the shop and in the organisation, and you’ll be able to give your input. If you contribute actively, you’ll be able to express your opinions and views, and thereby gain influence.

Take responsibility and build confidence

You can also gain influence by taking responsibility for tasks and completing them successfully. This will increase your manager’s confidence in your abilities. For example, you could be proactive and inform your manager about progress in your work and point out any inefficiencies that your manager should know about.

Often you’ll be the one who knows what works best. By contributing your knowledge and suggesting changes, you can gain influence.

Contact your employee representative

You can gain influence through your health and safety representative or your works council representative. You can also choose to become a health and safety representative yourself or stand for election to the works council.

For managers

Give employees influence

Influence on tasks

  • In what way do employees have influence on their work? Can they gain more influence on their own work (for example on the way work is performed or on the tools and technical aids used)?
  • Can they make independent decisions? For example, can employees decide to give customers their money back for a defective product?

Influence on the organisation of work

  • Can employees influence their working hours or who they work with, their on-call shifts, their tasks, etc.? Can they influence the degree of variation in work and the order of tasks?
  • Can employees influence how their skills and competences are applied? For example, can they influence the matching of their skills and abilities to specific tasks? Does the individual employee have overlooked skills, and how do you find out about this?
  • Can employees suggest ideas for skills development? For example, training and education, job enlargement or special roles or duties, such as being a mentor?
  • Can employees make suggestions on how to best perform work and resolve problems, such as how to reduce physical strain when lifting heavy products?

We’re all different

We don’t all have the same desire for influence and responsibility. Some employees prefer to only service customers, while others prefer to have many different tasks, such as ordering products, filling shelves and designing product displays, servicing customers, etc.

Here is what you can do

Tools and links

Related pages on Det du mærker

For health and safety groups

The work of the health and safety group

The health and safety group does not have a clearly defined responsibility in ensuring employee influence at the workplace.  Through the health and safety risk assessment (APV), the employee satisfaction survey, surveys of your psychosocial working conditions, or through some other channel, you may receive feedback from employees on their possibilities to influence workloads, the content of tasks and management’s decisions regarding work.

The quick method

If you want to address the subject of influence at a small workplace, a simple staff meeting may be a good place to start. The meeting will help you put your experiences and thoughts into words. At the end of the meeting, you can all assess whether there is a need to launch initiatives.

  • Watch the film about influence at work together.
  • Talk about the film: What is it like at our workplace?
  • What can we do to gain more influence? Is this what we want?
Initiatives based on a health and safety risk assessment

You can conduct a health and safety risk assessment (APV) with special focus on the psychosocial working conditions and examine the factors that affect the experience of influence.

There are several ways to conduct a health and safety risk assessment:

  • The dialogue method by which you identify the problems at a staff meeting and discuss causes and solutions together.
  • The questionnaire method by which you collect employees’ opinions and experiences in writing, and then find causes and solutions either in the health and safety group or at a staff meeting.

Tools and links

Related pages on Det du mærker