Autonomy at work allows employees to take more initiative in the workplace and gives them the freedom to work in the most suitable way. Employees get their jobs done with workplace autonomy without a manager looking over their shoulders.
Positive reinforcement and assigning more responsibilities are some ways to encourage autonomy at work. Modern technology can also offer flexibility, promote decision making and increase independence at work, sparing employees that annoying feeling of having someone breathe down their neck at all times. Businesses can also leverage custom business software development to improve workflow and increase efficiency.
With many businesses now employing remote and hybrid workers, encouraging autonomy at the workplace has become unavoidable. Here are a few other ways companies could encourage autonomy among workers.
- Use Technology to Encourage Autonomy
Using tech to encourage autonomy isn’t about using machines to replace humans in the workplace; rather, it involves using tech to give workers a chance to provide strategic judgment whenever the opportunity arises. Many people view tech as a means to exercise control over their employees but technology is so much more. Some technological tools that foster autonomy include:
- Video Conferencing
Just a few short years ago, everyone had to be in the office extra early for early morning meetings to start the work day. These meetings dragged on for long, tedious minutes and many employees hated them for all the time wasted listening to everyone share an opinion. Sometimes these meetings were held even when there were no important issues to discuss, which wasted everybody’s time and also felt a lot like micromanaging.
With video conferencing, opinions could be shared on a need-to-know basis. Popular video conferencing tools are now used every day in workplaces. Employees could work autonomously from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. They’ll call in only when they have an issue to discuss, and this saves a lot more time than sitting through compulsory daily meetings with several items on the agenda. Video conferencing also gives employers a chance to onboard new work-from-home staff.
- Workplace management software
Workplace management software provides a community feel, especially for employees who work remotely. With these types of software, employees could communicate to resolve technical issues and handle any human resources activities such as booking their leaves.
Management software helps reduce workplace bureaucracy by allowing employees to manage their technical needs; this has led to greater employee satisfaction.
- Assign Responsibility and Show Trust by Not Micromanaging
Assign tasks to employees based on their skills and capabilities. Once they’re assigned these tasks, show that you trust them to pull off the job by not asking for minute-by-minute updates. This type of workplace culture fosters an autonomous working environment. It’s a great way to show employees that they’re trusted to do their jobs independently.
It’s important that when people are assigned this level of responsibility, it is normal for them to make mistakes. Focus on getting them to learn through these mistakes rather than assigning blame and punishments. This helps build their confidence to handle even bigger responsibilities in the future.
- Encourage Success and Reward it
Rewarding success is a great way to boost employees’ morale and keep them engaged. Employees who do a good job without a lot of supervision should be encouraged with praise and bonuses to motivate others to emulate this behavior. Without the necessary positive reinforcement, there would be little motivation to work autonomously. Positive reinforcement also brings some structure to the employee autonomy culture.
Importance of Work Place Autonomy
Why is it important to encourage employees to work towards a set goal in their own way? Here are some reasons why workplace autonomy should be encouraged.
- It improves job satisfaction: Removing rigid rules that discourage employees from working at their own pace are a great way to improve employee satisfaction.
- It Helps Keep Employees Engaged and Motivated: Allowing team members to make their own decisions encourages creativity, and this keeps employees interested in the job.
- Improves Productivity: Permitting employees to take charge of the way they work has been shown to increase work output.
- Builds Trust: A culture of mutual trust would help increase the employees’ faith in the company. When employees feel they’re trusted, it’s natural to want to extend this trust back to their employers.
- It Makes Good Leaders: Self-reliance helps one develop a leadership quality over time. Working independently, one encounters a lot of opportunities for problem-solving and skill development. Over time, this helps to mold the employee into a good leader.