One thing we’ve gained from the pandemic is the obvious fact that employees appreciate and value the opportunity to work with more autonomy, freedom, and flexibility.
So as leaders, how can we give our staff more autonomy while still keeping everyone on track and maintaining positive results in our team? Here are some tips:
Some Structure Is Always Needed
A simple rule you should remember is that most people need to be told what to do, even if they don’t want to be told how to do it. If you have people who understand their job, your main goal should be to give them direction, set clear objectives and ensure they’re aware of the what and why of their goals.
Regular Feedback is Key
Unfortunately, only 26% of employees strongly agree that the feedback they receive at work is helpful. However, 94% of people agree that corrective feedback improves their performance when presented well. So, feedback is key. If you’re going to give your employees more freedom, ensure you maintain regular, specific, and actionable feedback that keeps them on track.
Nothing Will Work Unless You Can Measure Output
Any recipe where you give employees more freedom without measuring output is simply asking for disaster. Even though you may give employees more autonomy in their role, you still expect a certain level of results.
So, ensure you have a system in place that outlines clear deliverables, sets expectations and creates measurable results.
If you go the other way and measure input rather than output, you risk creating an environment where people pretend to work rather than actually work, and spend more time performing an act rather than their jobs.
One Size Does Not Fit All
Even if you have a great system in place, it will never be applicable to all. Fairness is not always about treating everyone the same, but treating them as they deserve and prefer. So, be willing to make adjustments and tweaks to get the best out of each individual. Great leadership is about bringing together a group of individuals and turning them into a high-performing team.