Employee autonomy is about giving employees ownership to do their work in their own creative and individual style. It doesn’t mean that you cannot have any expectations from your employees, absolutely not! You can set reasonable expectations for your employees, but employee autonomy gives them the freedom to fulfil your expectations in their way. Here’s an example:
You are a passionate writer who loves to weave creative pearls into content. Imagine that you start working with a company where your manager tells you what to write about and how to write it, the points to be mentioned and all. How would you feel? As if all your freedom for creative expression has been sapped away? This is an example of the loss of autonomy. If your manager had just let you know what to write about and the quality of work expected, leaving the rest solely to you, your autonomy would remain intact. This is because you’ll have the freedom to write from your heart. So, employee autonomy gives your employees the freedom to do their work from the heart rather than microinstructions from your side.
Now that we have explored the meaning of employee autonomy, let us explore why employee autonomy is crucial in the workplace:
Employee autonomy leads to employee engagement:
Employee engagement is the number one goal of most organizations today. After all, an engaged workforce exhibits greater productivity, reduced absenteeism, and performs better. If you are also looking for ways to increase employee engagement in your company, giving your employees some autonomy can be beneficial. When your employees have the freedom to work in their ways without any micromanagement, they feel trusted and valued. As a result, they begin to connect with you and your company emotionally and become engaged.
Employee autonomy fuels employee happiness:
When employees are micromanaged, and everything is dictated to them, they feel as if they are caged. This further leads them to feel frustrated, irritated, and unhappy. As you already know, unhappiness leads to a loss of productivity and creates a way for employee disengagement. On the contrary, when employees have the freedom to express their creativity at work, they feel happy and content. As a result, they exhibit higher productivity and also become engaged.
Employee autonomy brings innovation and creativity in the workplace:
As you give your employees the freedom to work in their own creative ways, you open your company’s doors to innovation and creativity. This is because every person has a different way of thinking. When you don’t dictate to your employees, you give them the space to apply their own thinking It also motivates your employees to share innovative ideas and solve existing problems. This way, employee autonomy can prove to be immensely beneficial for your organization.
Employee autonomy leads to an increase in employee productivity:
Let us consider the same example mentioned above that you are a passionate writer. Now, imagine whether you’ll be more productive when your manager dictates each and everything to you or when you are given the freedom to express your creative writing skills? Your answer will support the latter. This is because the moment things start being entirely dictated to you, frustration sets in and robs your productivity. So, employee autonomy is instrumental in increasing employee productivity.
Employee autonomy makes employees feel intrinsically motivated to give their best at work:
When you trust your employees and give them a sense of autonomy, they feel it. This way, a sense of autonomy makes your employees feel intrinsically motivated to give their best at work.
Employee autonomy is extremely important for all organizations. So, use this article to give your employees some sense of autonomy. They’ll amaze you with better productivity, increased engagement, and motivation to work. I wish you All the very best!