The Importance of Autonomy!

Our February Blog, Culture Shock, mentioned 3 key aspects for organizational well-being:

  1. Culture Matters
  2. Well-Being is Foundational 
  3. Employee Engagement is Essential

The importance of flexibility is woven through all 3 and cannot be emphasized enough. Flexibility is a basic human need that was unrecognized or rather, not considered much before the pandemic. 

A recent study published in Harvard Business Review found that autonomy is an essential aspect of flexibility. The research surveyed 5,000 knowledge workers across the globe found that 59% of respondents reported that “flexibility” is more important to them than salary or other benefits, and 77% said they would prefer to work for a company that gives them the flexibility to work from anywhere.

Of interest is that 61% of respondents reported that they prefer a choice of when they want/need to work remotely or work from the office. The authors indicate that it is an expression of flexibility by way of autonomy.

This information is not new and has been well known but became quite apparent during the pandemic. In his book, Drive, Daniel Pink summarized autonomy as one component of what employees need for motivation and satisfaction. The other two components are mastery and purpose. Another key ingredient for motivation and satisfaction is connectedness. All four are not only essential for motivation but for wellness:

  • Autonomy
  • Mastery
  • Purpose
  • Connection

These should be key components of your wellness program! There are ways to cultivate the components into your workplace, no matter the type of your industry or the size of your organization. Doing so is essential for employee engagement, performance, and well-being as well as the well-being and success of your organization.

Based on: Forget flexibility, what your employees wan? Autonomy

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