Employee autonomy provides sound and measurable results – especially in companies that work with data-driven growth. But how do you utilize and strengthen autonomy at the strategic level? A new practice guide by Carsten Lund Pedersen takes a closer look at this.
Why employee autonomy?
An employee gets an idea and makes it public for the benefit of the company. The employee does not need to ask their supervisor, but makes the decision on their own initiative, which is the principle behind employee autonomy. A company with a high degree of employee autonomy reaps a lot of benefits, including improved competitiveness as well as new development opportunities for the business. The practical guide ‘Applied Autonomy: A Practical Guide to Employee Autonomy’ by Carsten Lund Pedersen shows this.
When employees can act on their own, the company becomes significantly more innovative and ready to embrace change. An environment where employees can act independently and are responsible for the result, the creativity and motivation of the employees is also supported. Employees will be better able to come upon their own ideas and develop their own solutions. These are crucial characteristics for companies that want to work with data-driven growth, where fast, innovative solutions are key for the company’s competitiveness.
Although the benefits of employee autonomy are significant and measurable, most managers are not equipped to work with this at the strategic level. The practical guide will help with this. It provides a basic introduction to employee autonomy and the advantages that come with it, especially in relation to digital projects. It also provides specific tools to assess the degree of employee autonomy in one’s company and to help improve it. In addition, it provides a number of concrete examples of challenges one risks facing on the road to an appropriate level of employee autonomy, and what it takes in time and financial resources to create the framework that supports it.
Learn from the good examples
The practice guide also highlights a number of cases where companies have applied employee autonomy constructively, and it has played a central role in the company’s development. This is the case at Google – where employees can spend 20 percent of their time on their own projects, which has resulted in Gmail, among other things – and at a number of other companies, where special ‘data sprints’ or ‘hackathons’ create the optimal conditions for employee autonomy.
If you would like to know more about the project, please contact
Henrik Blach, Project Manager, Servitize.DK, tel. +45 43 25 05 10
Carsten Lund Pedersen
Department of Strategy and Innovation, CBS
The practical guide provides specific tools to assess the degree of employee autonomy in one’s company as well as to improve it.