Fostering A Culture Of Autonomy For Business Success
Autonomy at work refers to the flexibility employees have to do their jobs. This freedom includes the pace and process at which work is completed without micromanagement. While micromanagement and setting rules may be effective in some cases, these rules may suppress creative thinking and cause performance pressure for employees in other instances.
Fostering a culture of autonomy not only provides freedom for employees but also empowers them as the culture embraces the concept that not everyone is the same. Each employee may have a different approach toward completing their work, and by encouraging autonomy in the workplace, organizations are putting trust and faith in their employees with the notion that they will get the job done.
In addition to reducing pressure on the workforce, autonomy offers several benefits that lead to happier employees and higher productivity through increasing their job satisfaction and engagement, encouraging creativity and innovation, promoting skill development, etc. This positive shift in the workplace atmosphere will, in turn, pave the way towards a successful business as studies have shown time and time again that happier employees are linked to better business performance.
Employees need to be engaged and motivated to perform at their best, and a 2012 study
on utilizing happiness as a motivator discovered that individuals exhibit greater levels of motivation when they feel happy. Besides, another study
researching the link between happiness and transformational leadership revealed that leaders who experience more positive moods at work are more likely to be transformational within their companies.
Now that it is evident that autonomy benefits not only employees but businesses as well, let’s move on to how does one actually foster a culture of autonomy in the workplace.
1. Support a Growth Mindset
Supporting a growth mindset is an essential first step to fostering an autonomous culture. Employees who are encouraged to adopt a growth mindset are better positioned to advance and will seek to go beyond where they are now. This ambition and motivation are critical for various reasons, especially when it comes to skill development.
2. Build a Culture of Trust
Leaders can build a culture of trust with employees through task delegation. By delegating tasks to employees, leaders are willing to trust their employees to perform the projects delegated to them. However, it is best to start small and gradually increase an employee’s duties and freedom as they demonstrate their abilities. This tactic will prevent any risks of having to backtrack if things go array as a result of offering employees an overwhelming amount of autonomy at once.
3. Let Employees Do Things Their Way
While leaders want nothing more than for their employees to complete their work efficiently, it is important to remember that everyone works differently. Taking a step back and allowing employees to find their own way within the boundaries of the organization may actually lead them to come up with more effective methods to do their work. Having enough faith in employees plays a significant part in building their independence which would eventually lead them to do their jobs without needing constant assistance.
Overall, cultivating a culture that values employee autonomy, trust, and collaboration has the potential to help build better businesses. Companies that are known for having high-performance cultures like Google and Amazon are prime examples of how moving beyond traditional management styles and switching to an autonomous work culture can completely transform an organization and lead it towards the path of success.