Participative leadership is when managers take an inclusive approach to the work of a department by involving members of their team in the decision-making process.
With a drive towards team building and partnership working, it has a number of qualities which make it a useful model for local government.
The manager's role is that of a facilitator, and lines of communication between managers and up and down the department hierarchy are well used.
In terms of staff retention, this approach encompasses many of the issues cited by employees as attractive in a job, including a sense of responsibility for a shared outcome. Team members get to express their opinion and everyone has an equal role in the decision-making process.
This should also result in employees developing a stronger understanding of the service as a whole.
The level of participation will depend on the area of work and type of decision.
However, this form of leadership style only works if employees genuinely feel their views are acted upon and their contribution recognised.