8 Strategies to Build Autonomy in the Workplace

January 10, 2020 0

The global workforce is a multifaceted assembly of unique individuals. Company goals are becoming more complex with each passing quarter, and, as a result, require a diverse team to accomplish them. As an employer, there are many traits that you should look for when trying to build your requisite team.

Loyalty and respect are the general characteristics that come to mind, but one of the most important traits is autonomy. Having self-starters on your workforce means you will have to worry less about micromanaging. Workforce management will be a lot easier since your employees are autonomous and know how to maximize their productivity.

If you want a more productive workforce, here are eight ways on how to build autonomy in the workplace:

1. Provide support for autonomy in the workplace

Management support is important in order to build autonomy in the workplace. If your employees are unequipped to handle their day-to-day operations, they will look to you for advice on how to get the job done. This can impede on your own job duties, and won’t advance the business in any respect.

To prevent this, ensure your workers always have the tools they need, to fulfill the roles they work in. This can come in the form of new, technological devices, or via advanced training. The more support you give an employee, the less likely they are to lean on you when accomplishing specific goals.

2. Build rapport with the employees

Autonomy in the workplace is fueled by the loyalty and passion that employees feel towards the organization. The more prevalent loyalty is in the company, the more rapport is generated. Being able to trust your workers goes a long way in ensuring that they work without needing your commentary at every turn.

Rapport is also necessary in order for an employee to trust you, the employer. Trust is essentially a two-way street; it deserves to be given as much as it is required. Once rapport is established, the cohesiveness between your employees will guarantee a development of autonomy.

3. Be patient as autonomy develops

Not every employee is built the same. As such, you’ll want to take the time to get to know your workers on a personal basis. Mistakes are bound to crop up at some point, especially when the employee is new.

Being patient with your workers demonstrates that you are willing to take the time to invest in them, which leads to their inevitable independence and future autonomy in the workplace.

4. Hire self-starters 

On the other hand, if you know that new employees require an advanced amount of training, try to hire others who are already autonomous. There are many individuals who possess the inherent skills to work without being constantly micromanaged. Don’t let this be your prime mandate, however; having a diverse team will build your business for the better!

5. Get your employees involved

Your employees are not just there to work, contrary to popular opinion. They are vital to the culture of the company, and deserve to have their voice heard in more ways than one. In order to foster autonomy in the workplace, ask your workers various questions and get them involved.

For example, examine their current role and ask them if they are comfortable, or if they would like to take on more responsibilities. In addition, let them offer their opinions on the company’s direction. The more chances they are given to get involved, the more they will be capable of acting on their own accord.

6. Modify goals and approaches

Sometimes, work goals can become monotonous. This can lead to bouts of complacency, and may prevent a worker from being creatively inspired. To fix this, inspire your workers to become more autonomous by challenging them.

By letting an employee handle new challenges on their own, without providing too much management, you encourage independence. This fosters an autonomous environment, and will allow them to become independent agents in the company, instead of remaining creatively stifled. Don’t be afraid to switch things up every now and again!

7. Encourage autonomy and choice

When it comes to inspiring your employees to make independent choices, it all starts with the term itself; choice. Just be aware of how much choice you are giving to your workers. Too much of it can lead to an employee not taking their role seriously enough.

When choice is given in moderation, it gives the indication that you are trusting an employee to handle their challenges without your direction. This empowers them to accomplish their goals, and will ensure autonomy is built as a result.

8. Let employees own their work

When a worker is given the chance to own their labor, it implies that they finished the job without your assistance. This will inspire them to be a self-starter, and allow the business to flourish in the long run. Valuable work becomes more valuable when ownership is given, leading to more autonomy in the workplace.

As an employer, it is important to get out of your worker’s way every now and again. Provide the tools and support necessary, and your employees are sure to develop self-sufficiency.