How to Balance Employee Autonomy and Accountability 2

Leaders understand that total control doesn’t lead to the right results. However, employees’ autonomy may be a double-edged sword. Freedom brings creativity, inspiration, innovation and engagement. But unchecked autonomy may drive to unproductive methods of running a business, lack of clarity of the company’s vision and mission, and even organizational chaos.

Provide clarity and alignment around a purpose

Develop the guidelines and check-points that make staff accountable and help to reach common purposes. Your employees need to understand your main goals and stand behind it proudly. When clear vision comes into focus and goal is strategically set, it’s simpler to be aware of appropriate steps and what things really matter right now.

Provide description and explanation about the goal of tasks to motivate your staff. It’s important to present and how these assignment and purposes relate to the larger picture to assign expectations. It helps to make the employees more responsible and engaged.

Sense of purpose gives them freedom to perform in different ways and try new solutions, innovate autonomously with a mission in mind. It makes the workplace comfortable for creative, independent and open-minded persons, who are ready to learn new stuff and are willing to reach the goals. You may attract diverse workforce this way and promote effective collaboration as well by implementing different knowledge and skills.

Build agile structure

Many companies apply a less hierarchical approach and shift towards a flexible and agile structure. Giving employees the freedom helps them to feel empowered and strong, perform better at their own pace. The optimal amount of autonomy leads to the productive behavior and great outcomes.

For example, leaders at McKinsey, say that agility helps a company to refresh itself, adapt to the changes very fast. They ensure that agility needs a stable foundation, an anchor point to keep important things in the same positions every time. Also, the company has to learn to move very quickly because we need to run twice as fast as we used to run to go anywhere nowadays.

Agile approach with good foundation helps to keep working in difficult for business situations and save balance. It allows succeeding anywhere and anytime and the flexible system becomes a resource of competitive advantage.

Develop a system where autonomy and accountability will support each other

Andrew Willis, VP of Ecommerce Technology at CustomInk, says that when employees know their responsibilities and company’s goals, if these persons are trustworthy, it’s simpler for CEOs to let them work on their own. He tells about the importance of trust between the employer and staff to lead a team and manage closely according to the needs that arise. Instead of making decisions for employees, Willis strengthens his team to solve issues and choose tools to reach goals simply by emphasizing desired results and giving trust.

Simon Tchedikian, CEO of Sevenhugs, ensures that autonomy and accountability always come together with open communicating and discussions. It’s very difficult, but it helps the entire team to achieve miracles.

The transparent system allows to know each employee what’s going on and to work together in unison. Also, structured expectations launch a mechanism that works independently without leaders’ involvement and requires only guidance and support from time to time. For instance, US organization Fictiv uses the DACI model that decrypts as Approver, Contributor, Driver, and Informer. This framework helps to refine your team’s communication, productivity, and speed through projects.

We want to share with you more insights on this theme to dive deeper in the next article. We will be glad to hear from you about your experience how your organization saves balance between the autonomy and accountability. Feel free to write comments and share your vision and reflection about it.

Develop the guidelines and check-points that make staff accountable and help to reach common purposes. Your employees need to understand your main goals and stand behind it proudly. When clear vision comes into focus and goal is strategically set, it’s simpler to be aware of appropriate steps and what things really matter right now.

Many companies apply a less hierarchical approach and shift towards a flexible and agile structure. Giving employees the freedom helps them to feel empowered and strong, perform better at their own pace. The optimal amount of autonomy leads to the productive behavior and great outcomes. For example, leaders at McKinsey, say that agility helps a company to refresh itself, adapt to the changes very fast. They ensure that agility needs a stable foundation, an anchor point to keep important things in the same positions every time.

Andrew Willis, VP of Ecommerce Technology at CustomInk, tells about the importance of trust between the employer and staff to lead a team and manage closely according to the needs that arise. Instead of making decisions for employees, Willis strengthens his team to solve issues and choose tools to reach goals simply by emphasizing desired results and giving trust.

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