Autonomy Details

Autonomy is a decentralized management system. Managers that head different functions and departments have the freedom to exercise their judgment and take actions based on their decisions. In business, autonomy works best when you allow employees to have the freedom to do the job you hired them to do. Micromanagement is counterintuitive to autonomy. Therefore, trust plays a major role in this management system.

When you can trust employees to make beneficial decisions for the business independently, it takes some of the weight off of management. Management may not be able to focus on all of the business's processes and decisions. Making them have the final say on every issue may distract them from major issues that need their attention. By having autonomy in the workplace, the business can thrive since the employees can be fully engaged and give their best while the management team focuses on areas of improvement.

However, if autonomy is not reigned in or focused, it could lead to disaster. There should always be someone in control and steps employees take to not step on toes or make decisions they shouldn't be making.

Autonomy Example

A perfect example of autonomy in a workplace setting is a chef. In places where the chef is the owner-operator or in more professional restaurant settings, a chef has the freedom to create and change menus. They can also improvise with the ingredients for daily specials instead of waiting for approval from the business owner. This results in an engaged chef, satisfied clients, and business owner.

Another example of autonomy would be an associate employee who is allowed to speak directly to a client. Though management usually deals with clients directly, they have decided to give a capable associate the responsibility of dealing with a particular client. This associate typically does the work for the client anyway, so now they can ask them questions regarding services without going through a middle man. This autonomy extends to basic decision-making and troubleshooting. Management only becomes involved when discussing money. As a result, the relationship between the business and the client improves significantly.

Significance of Autonomy

Autonomy has many benefits to a workplace. Employees feel engaged and valued since management considers their input in the decision-making and action-taking processes. It also encourages creativity among employees. In careers where creativity is needed for the business to succeed, autonomy can help the employees develop the best ways to do something. An example may be a marketing agency that has to create a campaign for its clients. In this case, autonomy will help the employees get creative as they ideate and execute campaign strategies.

It can lead to improvements in the business process and innovations. Autonomy creates intrapreneurs out of the employees, and they can make the company better since they have the freedom to explore ideas.

Autonomy also boosts the confidence and independence of employees. Instead of the employees waiting for the manager to give them orders, an autonomous work setting allows the employees to exercise independence in the way they can think, voice their opinions, and take action in the way they see would suit the business process best.