Word Of the Week #576: Autonomy

August 19, 2015 by  

Autonomy – personal independence and freedom.

Do you feel fulfilled in your job? Do you have the freedom to make decisions at work? Are your personal values aligned with the companies values?

This week features the fourth of the “6 Needs to Thrive at Work” that Michael Lee Stallard featured in his book, When workers thrive, companies do too.And as Stallard says “they also apply to your relationships at home and in the community.

He writes, “The first three needs (respect, recognition and belonging) are “relational needs.” When these needs are met, we feel connected to the people with whom we work. The next two are “task mastery” needs and they affect how connected we feel to the work we are doing.

The first is the need for autonomy. Simply put, we need the freedom to do our work. Being consistently micromanaged or slowed down by red tape, bureaucracy or control-obsessed personalities (think Nurse Ratched from the movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”), prevents us from thriving.

The following are excerpts from “The Compelling Case for Giving Employees More Freedom” by Shelley Prevost. “There is mounting evidence that suggests employees who exercise autonomy regularly at work are happier and more productive. The right workers in the right role can transform an entire department–maybe even an entire organization–but only if their ability to act on their intuition and creativity is unleashed.

a autonomyPeople don’t just want a job anymore; they want a fulfilling job. Fulfillment at work comes with the freedom to make decisions and own your position. Employee empowerment breeds elevated customer service, because everyone treats their job like it’s their own company.
You need to instill your company values through training. Don’t just expect your company vision–as great as it might be–to be sufficient in motivating employees.

What are your values and why should it matter to them? Employees want to feel aligned with your company and you do that by making your operating values very apparent. Don’t make them guess at your expectations. Be very clear about what you value–and then make sure you’re living it!

What are some ways you’ve found to empower autonomy in your employees?”

This week’s focus is on creating a sense of autonomy. Are you allowed to act on your intuition? Do you have the freedom to be creative in your job? Do you feel a connection to the work your doing?

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