Checks, safety procedures and standard flow processes are all in place in manufacturing plants for a reason: they assure proper use of machinery and proper employee conduct. It’s not enough to just have those systems in place, however. Workers are more productive in their daily work and more loyal to the company if they have more parts of their job under their direct control. Here are a few ways to foster autonomy in your workplace without rewriting the way you do business.
- Encourage them to “own” a process – Whether it’s making sure part of the equipment is well cleaned or monitoring electrical output levels on a section of the process, giving employees part of the process they can manage helps to empower them to make it the best it can be.
- Cross-train where possible – This isn’t a new process (and we’ve talked about it in the past) but cross training your employees is effective and impactful. To be able to perform different aspects of the job is not only a way to protect against turnover or sick workers but also gives workers a stronger sense of value in the company’s day-to-day.
- Develop small teams – Regardless of company size and transparency, employees tend to feel more loyal to their immediate co-workers than the company itself. The established trust and camaraderie are hard to replace and are often valued higher than other aspects of the job. By developing small teams and allowing them flexibility to perform tasks or come up with new processes, that team bonds and learns to control their day-to-day in a more personalized manner.
- Welcome feedback – A great way to foster autonomy is through open feedback, whether that be the way an internal system is run or suggestions on new equipment. Allowing open feedback breaks down the silo effect of business hierarchies and instills trust that management values employee opinions.
- Bring management to the employee’s level – This expands a bit on point #4, but no manager has all the answers when it comes to running a business. By occasionally ingratiating yourself in the day-to-day and leading by example, employees can feel like their opinion/idea/suggestion carries more weight. That instills more trust in the relationship you have as manager and employee, and they feel more in control of their role as a worker.
There’s no exact process that will fit every business, but finding different ways to empower employees and give them autonomy over their jobs instills trust, loyalty and pride in the workplace. What are some ways you’ve given more autonomy to your employees? Share with us in the comments below and be sure to visit www.gesrepair.com or call us at 1-877-249-1701 to learn more about our services. We’re proud to offer Surplus, Complete Repair and Maintenance on all types of Industrial Electronics, Servo Motors, AC and DC Motors, Hydraulics and Pneumatics. Please subscribe to our YouTube page and Like Us on Facebook! Thank you!