Work. It’s what we all do, day in and day out. We may love it or hate it, but it’s something we know how to do. You went to school for it so at least you are putting your skills to good use. Plus, you do get paid which isn’t bad at all. But whatever and however you feel about your work doesn’t matter when your autonomy is on the line.
Autonomy is “the right or condition of self-government. But, since most of us are a bunch of Joes and not world leaders, this just means handling things on your own. In the business world, this can get into a complicated position for some. This article is about the ins and outs of autonomy and why it is so important at your work. With that said, let’s get started!
What is Autonomy at Work?
Autonomy at work is when employees complete their tasks in the way they see fit. That means they decide what pace they go at, the order of completion, more control over their tasks, and even decide when and where they work.
Employee autonomy is centered on understanding that every worker is a unique individual, thus they work differently. It also gives responsibility to the employees who have greater autonomy because it is still up to them to complete their tasks. As long as the work is done on time and is up to par, then it’s just up to how the employee gets it done.
How Does Autonomy Improve Employees?
Many workplaces these days have a feeling of disengagement. However, studies show that workplaces with more autonomy for employees have increased in job satisfaction and productivity. This makes a lot of sense because being given a larger level of responsibility for your work allows you to be more motivated and more engaged to get it done.
Autonomy provides personal investment into the work employees put into it. Because of higher rates of motivation, satisfaction, and productivity, it has led to a decrease in employee turnover.
What Does Autonomy Look Like?
Employee autonomy looks like whatever it needs to be. That’s what makes it work. Allowing employees to work the way they want to and at their pace can make the business boom! This is all about understanding employees at an individual level. They all have their own strengths, weaknesses, and skills that come with them. Having them work in ways that make them the most comfortable leads to more success.
However, autonomy is not always what it seems. Lower-level people do not get the same autonomy as those in higher positions. Hopefully, in the future, there are ways that low-level employees can engage in autonomy.
Benefits of Workplace Autonomy
- Employees have greater engagement and motivation for their work.
- Greater opportunities for creativity
- Employees feel valued
- Retention of employees
- An increase in motivation
- An increase in productivity
- Encourages leadership
- Better work/life balance
- Creates an environment of trust and responsibility
How to Give Autonomy at Work
Now, if you are a manager at a workplace, check out some of these tips to provide worker autonomy. Soon, you should be seeing changes for the better if you:
Ease Into It
Like anything, you shouldn’t just rush into it. Do some research and wait until the beginning of the month, year, or quarter before you start. Explain to your employees the expectations and boundaries that come with the benefit of work autonomy.
Being a micromanager is a lose-lose situation. Constantly being over everyone’s shoulder will make people think that you don’t trust them. Plus, you are just adding more work to yourself. You have to trust the process and allow employees to do their job. If there is a problem, then you fix it, but it doesn’t mean that you do all the work. Creating that trust is what makes people work better and retain them.
When employees get done with a project and they do a great job, celebrate it! No need to go right back to step one with a new task. Let the employees enjoy their victories. By recognizing and rewarding them for success, you give them a feeling of value and appreciation. If that’s how they feel, then you will see an increase in motivation and productivity.
Autonomy at work is quite important. You don’t want to be overbearing otherwise it adds to the stress of the workplace. Instead, you give them the responsibility and space to do things their way. If it works then you can keep going. But, if it doesn’t work, then work with the employee to find a solution.
Giving people the space and resources to do their job will give you fantastic results. Why not start now?