A great deal is often said about how doing one thing or another differently in your company can promote employee autonomy. In the modern era, it’s taken as a given that employee autonomy or employee empowerment is a good thing. Why is empowering employees better than exerting control over their every action, though?
Increases Feelings of Ownership and Loyalty
Allowing employees to control their own destiny by providing flexibility wherever possible can make employees feel valued and accountable for the tasks that they are put in charge of. When employees have unrestricted access to training portals and cross training options, they won’t feel limited in their roles and growth opportunities. When they feel that they are trusted, loyalty may also deepen.
Improves Productivity and Reduces Labor Costs
Micromanaging wastes managers’ labor hours and slows employees down at their respective tasks. While it may seem that it would speed things up to show employees “the right way” at times, it’s often more constructive to let them have more freedom and simply offer constructive feedback where applicable. Increasing autonomy can make each labor dollar go further and allow managers to focus on more lucrative and essential tasks.
Promotes Job Satisfaction
When employees can create their own schedules or set their own goals, they may feel more content with the company. Allowing employees freedom in these areas lets employees control their own work/life balance, which can reduce stress and increase feelings of satisfaction with the company. Greater contentment levels can help to reduce turnover and breed a more desirable company culture.
Can Improve Workplace Adaptability
While workplace autonomy benefits employees in many ways, there are also benefits to the workplace. Employees are bound to have their own unique spin on solving problems and tackling tasks, which can open up a wider range of solutions that strengthen the workplace. By tapping into the diversity in thinking, a workplace becomes more adaptable, which can increase longevity and prosperity.
May Impact Customer Relationships
Most customers appreciate a little humanity with their transactions, so allowing employees more creative freedom in the way that they greet and interact with customers can help to establish bonds with customers that may otherwise not have existed. Customers can identify genuineness versus coached interactions. Choosing employee candidates according to personality as well as qualifications can help to ensure greater success with building customer relationships.
Naturally Simplifies Succession Planning
When employees are allowed to learn at their own pace and are encouraged to work autonomously, the leaders will naturally come forward. Employees may also exhibit traits that help you to recognize potential positions for them across the organization that may not have been obvious in a more structured, micromanaged type of environment. Succession planning becomes much easier when employees are able to show off their range of skills and strengths.
There are many ways in which a workplace can improve employee autonomy. HR software can be used to provide employees access to personal information, help with independent goal setting, link to training portals, and act as a communication medium. Using tools like this while focusing on the impact of changes and policies on employee autonomy will help to achieve this goal faster.