Strategic Alignment

How to Give Autonomy without Sacrificing Control

Several studies have indicated that workplace autonomy promotes employee happiness. A workplace survey conducted by Gensler revealed that employees with more autonomy are often satisfied. In fact, they are high performing than their counterparts with less autonomy. So, how can you encourage autonomy with your employees? In this article at Strategy+Business, Constantinos C. Markides explains how can leaders can grant autonomy to their employees without sacrificing their control.

Employee Autonomy Strategies

Describe the ‘Why’

Your employees must understand why the assigned goal holds value. Often, managers inform employees what they need to do. However, they do not explain why it is essential or how it fits the bigger picture. No employee will commit to a goal if they do not see why they must achieve it. As a leader, never assume that ‘why’ is obvious.

Allow Them to Make Choices

Allow your workforce to decide how they will reach an assigned goal. This will provide them with an opportunity to tailor their approach towards achieving goals. Further, this will give them a heightened sense of control over the situation that can only benefit performance.

Build Trust

Without trust, autonomy is impossible. Trust is a two-way process. Employees must trust their managers and vice versa. Trust indicates that both managers and team members are in command of their time, effort, and reward.

Establish Accountability

Workplace autonomy means teams can work when they want and how they want. Many autonomous workplaces operate by the rule, ‘as long as the work is done well, and on time.’ In other words, provide your employees the option to work remotely, unlimited vacation days, and flexible hours so long as it does not impact the timeliness or quality of their work. To keep your team on track, implement shared calendars and real-time collaboration tools.

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