At Red Dog Media, co-founders, Bryce Landier and Michael Landier are always trying to find ways to improve their employees experience, especially if it can benefit the overall quality of the work produced. One way Red Dog Media likes to achieve that goal is by implementing employee autonomy. Studies have showed that employee autonomy can lead to happier employees, lower turnover rates, and increased motivation. Reasons like these are why it is a key part of our team’s structure at Red Dog Media.
According to a report by The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, autonomy is defined as “the feeling that your life — its activities and habits — are self-chosen and self-endorsed.” In relation to work, this might be expressed as having a say in your own goals or projects, being able to implement your own ideas, or choosing when and where to work. Even if it’s only small decisions, that still counts as autonomy, and sometimes that’s all an employee needs.
Giving employees the freedom to find their own approach to problems or deciding the path they want to take has proven to make employees happier. Science Daily reports that a study done by the University of Birmingham “has found that employees with higher levels of autonomy in their work reported positive effects on their overall well-being and higher levels of job satisfaction.” Autonomy can also lead to employees feeling lower levels of emotional exhaustion while working in teams as well. Job satisfaction acts like a domino effect, creating many positive outcomes throughout the workplace. Overall, letting employees make decisions provides a more positive work environment that is less stressful and more enjoyable.
Melissa Dahl of New York Magazine reports that one study of a group of over 2,000 people found that “people were nearly two and a half times more likely to take a job that gave them more autonomy than they were to want a job that gave them more influence.” It’s clear to see that employees value being able to make decisions that impact their daily work. Not only does it make a job more appealing when applying, it also helps keep workers at the job. Studies have shown that autonomy at work increases job satisfaction which leads to lower turnover. Keeping turnover levels low is ideal due to its high cost. The Center for American Progress determined that “the average economic cost to a company of turning over a highly skilled job is 213% of the cost of one year’s compensation for that role.” Integrating employee autonomy into the workplace is important because it allows companies to recruit and keep top talent.
Employees who are motivated at work have a major impact on the success and growth of a company. When employees feel a connection to their work, they are more likely to be motivated to do it. Dan Pink, author of “Drive: The Surprising Truth of What Motivates Us,” says that “autonomy is at the top of the list of what motivates people.” When employees are empowered, they feel a sense of ownership of their work, giving it purpose as it drives them to do their best. Due to this, employees that are motivated put out higher quality work. An article by Adecco states that “typically, employees who work with passion and feel a deep connection to the company are the ones who drive innovation, take more initiative, deliver higher quality work and move the organization forward.” Autonomy gives each employee a unique view of their job that allows them to enjoy their work while also being motivated to produce the best product they can.
At Red Dog Media, micromanagement is nowhere to be found. By putting trust in our employees we have allowed our work environment to flourish. On a project level, an employee is assigned a task and they are encouraged to architect a solution instead of being told how to approach the problem. This strategy allows for not only customization but innovation, as employees feel free to work out of the box to find an appropriate solution. Employees also get a say in what tasks they would be interested in approaching for each project we do.
This type of mentality also applies to the macro level at Red Dog Media. We allow employees to make suggestions about the projects they think would be important to incorporate into our workflow. In this scenario, our team comes up with a list of potential projects, we meet together to discuss them, and execute the ones we agree on. When a teammate brings up a project plan that gets approved, they’re allowed to spearhead the plan and see their idea come to life.
At Red Dog Media, we do not believe in artificial “deadlines.” Employees are allowed to work at their own pace as our team members get everything done in a timely manner. We like giving the employees the freedom and space to get the job done. There are no status meetings with management or any red tape to cut through, only occasional check ins. Our team members are independent and self motivated, allowing for a steady flow of quality work that does not require constant administration. One of our core values is to hire employees that have the drive to be able to operate without being micromanaged. This style of work environment wouldn’t be successful if our employees were not motivated and didn’t take pride in their work. This relationship of trust and hard work makes working at Red Dog Media a highly autonomous job that is enjoyable for the whole team.
With how many benefits employee autonomy provides, it’s no surprise that companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%. The list of positives not only benefit the employee but they also benefit the employer, making the switch to a more autonomous workplace an advantageous decision for any company.
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