Management in any capacity is a delicate balancing act. As a manager, you must always push toward company goals and achievements while also fostering relationships with your employees to build a stronger foundation for the team. When you combine business growth with personal growth, you are guaranteed to find success.
While it may be difficult to strike a true balance between company priorities and employee needs, one thing is certain: You cannot achieve that balance by micromanaging. Ultimately, it all comes down to one question: What kind of culture are you trying to create within your company? Do you want team of compliant workers who are under your control? Or do you want a team of engaged employees who are given the space to do their best work?
Freedom is Empowerment
It may not be easy to give up some of your control, and perhaps it even feels contrary to what you feel your role is as a leader. But ultimately, the amount of control you have over your employees is not what makes you a great leader. Finding the route to success in a way that benefits everyone and ultimately the company – even if it means releasing the reins a bit – is what makes you a great leader.
Autonomy and freedom lead to empowerment. Given the space to work in a way that plays to their individual strengths, your employees will feel empowered and confident in their talent. They will feel valued and appreciated, just by knowing that their judgement and work are trusted. This type of confidence is a valuable asset to any company.
Empowerment Breeds Innovation
A few things happen when you empower your employees with an autonomous environment. The creative juices start flowing and they have the freedom to express innovative ideas to contribute to the success of the team. They aren’t afraid to speak openly or to try new things, creating an environment that helps encourage positivity and innovation.
Alternatively, when employees are micromanaged, they are likely to feel undervalued and untrusted which contributes to a feeling of being stifled and creatively stunted. And when such negative feelings permeate the company culture, productivity will suffer.
By empowering your employees to think for themselves and contribute unique thoughts to any given project they’re working on, what you’re really doing is subtly encouraging productivity and innovation.
Innovation Leads to Success
Ultimately, an autonomous workplace leads to the one thing you are seeking as a leader in your company: Success. Employees who are encouraged to work and think freely and who feel empowered to innovate are much more likely to be productive and successful in their own work, and ultimately contribute to positive growth for the company.
Without the freedom to innovate, you are limiting the potential of your team to the ideas and thoughts of management. By micromanaging to a point where your employees are stifled by strict guidelines, unable to maximize their potential by playing to their strengths, you may be squandering a powerful tool.
Autonomy in the work place by no means free rein for all with no guidance from management. But your leadership should be guidance, not control. Set clear and reasonable guidelines under which your employees can operate. Maintain a semblance of order but make room for your employees’ personal growth through freedom and innovation. As a result, you will find yourself on the path to success with a team of self-sufficient, satisfied and productive workers.