The reason employees resign, take a new job, underperform or are not happy at their job is usually strongly-related to being pushed around by their bosses leaving them with little or no autonomy to make telling decisions on projects committed to them.

According to an article titled “Autonomy could be the key to workplace happiness” written by Belle Beth Cooper and published on the website of the World Economic Forum, “autonomy makes workers more satisfied with their jobs and increases productivity.”

As culled from the article, below are reasons why employers should give more autonomy to their employees:

  • Autonomy gives employees job satisfaction leading to better performance: A study referred to in the article found out that “the more autonomy employees had at work, the more satisfied they were with their jobs and the less likely they were to transfer or leave their positions.” A happy employee will go the length to ensure projects committed to him/her are well executed.
  • Autonomy alleviates employees’ negative emotions: According to Steve Maier, a psychology and neuroscience professor at the University of Boulder, stressors (an environmental condition that influences stress) we can’t control are far more damaging than stressors we feel we have some control over. This assertion by Maier explains why more autonomy would alleviate negative emotions.
  • Autonomy at work determines longevity: One study of British civil servants found a lack of job control contributed more to incidence of coronary heart disease than standard risks like smoking.
  • Autonomy increases employee morale: Another research in Britain found that the costs of long-term micromanagement can include “low employee morale, high staff turnover, and reduction of productivity.” The research further stated that “the negative impacts are so intense that it is labeled among the top three reasons employees resign.”
  • Autonomy decreases the level of emotional exhaustion employees feel.

Author: Yemi Olarinre