Participation in a DAO

Governance tokens in a DAO are sort of like stock ownership in a company but provide more utility. Anytime the company wants to spend money out of their wallet the token holders need to vote on it. For example, if the company wants to spend 1 million on advertising they would ask the token holders to allow it and then they can be authorized to spend the money.

Contributors can vote if they have the governance token.
The DAO can pay its employees or contributors either with the funds directly from their wallet, in governance tokens, or a mixture of both. This is similar to how traditional companies pay their employees with either salaries and/or shares within their company.

Additionally while most companies work in the shadows and the day-to-day activities are not very transparent, DAOs are designed to be more open and accessible. Once the code for the DAO smart contracts is published, it is open source meaning anyone can look at the code to see how the organization is being ran.