In companies nowadays, autonomy has been an essential element in managing a team, as this boosts the morale of employees. Autonomy is having the power to shape your work environment according to ways that help you work and perform effectively to get the best results, but it does not mean working in isolation. Autonomy DOES NOT necessarily mean doing ANYTHING you like.
Here are ways on how you can promote autonomy to your employees:
1. Develop trust.
For autonomy to be promoted, you need to trust your employees that they know what they are doing. When trust is not present, autonomy will not be possible. Trust is a two-way street. You need to put your faith in your employees, while you have to show your employees that you can be trusted. When they trust you, they will not hesitate to perform better. This encourages you and your employees to exchange feedback when necessary.
2. Mistakes happen. Relax!
When you are encouraging autonomy, expect that mistakes will happen. And this is fine, as long as you correct them and learn from them. Avoid managing with fear as this will discourage your employees to take an initiative in doing tasks.
3. Have clear boundaries when making choices.
Having the freedom of choice is essential to autonomy, but too much freedom may be destructive. With this, putting boundaries and having a system that holds people accountable for results would be necessary. When choices have clear boundaries, people become more empowered in determining how they finish the tasks successfully.
4. Give employees access to tools to achieve goals.
To achieve goals, your employees will need resources to succeed. And give them what they need, whether it is technology, training, or people.
5. Look for autonomous people.
There are some people that do not thrive with autonomy. So, it might be helpful if you hire a team that can naturally engage, take initiative, and are willing to innovate.