Is Employee Autonomy the Key to Successful Workplace Collaboration?

Is Employee Autonomy the Key to Successful Workplace Collaboration?

Is Employee Autonomy the Key to Successful Workplace Collaboration?. How free do your employees feel in the workplace? As few as 13 percent of employees feel highly engaged. In order for people to feel vested in what they do, they have to be in control. How Can Business Leaders Better Empower Their Teams? Another powerful way to give employees more autonomy is to delegate more decision making tasks. If someone is highly creative, involve them in the next product development meeting. It also lets your team know that they work in an environment where opportunities are open to them so they can learn and grow professionally. It is the responsibility of those in leadership roles to unlock the great untapped potential that lies within each individual. However, by making a conscious effort to move in this direction and allowing your employees more control and empowering their actions and decisions, you’re allowing them to be more human.

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Is Employee Autonomy the Key to Successful Workplace Collaboration?

Here’s an important question most business leaders have probably never asked – but it could be the key to future growth and organizational prosperity. How free do your employees feel in the workplace?

Without an environment of authentic autonomy, your workforce is limited by both overt and subtle controls and influences. While workplace rules, policies, and expectations are absolutely necessary for a functional business environment. This is true from six-person start-ups to enterprise level corporations.

It is this same guiding framework that can suffocate the life and creativity out of a collaborative team if left unchecked. The structure designed to facilitate and leverage your employees could be what is extinguishing their ability to thrive, expand, and grow.

This e-book called “The Psychology of Collaboration” from Microsoft talks about the importance of collaboration in 2017. Because it is often it is the unspoken rules that limit us more than the spoken ones.

For example, managers may claim their employees are empowered and free to come up with ideas, think outside of the box, or veer away from the standard way of doing things.

But in practice taking such creative license must be done at one’s own peril. You can put a team of the best minds together but if they don’t feel free to express their ideas and push each other in a safe environment, they’re not going to.

Teresa Amabile, who has studied workplace creativity and productivity for decades and is the author of numerous books on the subject, including The Progress Principle, says that often managers only grant autonomy in name. The reality is that employees are forced to diverge at their own risk and so often don’t.

The Cost of Disempowerment

When asked about what is important to achieving organizational success, 71 percent of executives surveyed for a Harvard Business Review report cited employee engagement. We’ve known for some time that engagement is an essential component of business growth. Highly engaged organizations are known to have double to rate of success, dramatically reduced levels of turnover and absenteeism and 22 percent higher productivity.

Still, for many companies, engagement isn’t happening. As few as 13 percent of employees feel highly engaged. Only a third of workers in the US feel engaged at all, and the majority are simply not that committed to the companies they work for. The cost of this apathy is estimated to be between $450 and $550 billion in lost productivity every year.

While employee well-being initiatives, team building exercises, and even casual Fridays and modern collaborative environments can do a lot for motivating and engaging a team of individuals, all of these strategies are overlooking a key factor to facilitating engagement.

In order for people to feel vested in what…

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