Mass Hysteria! Dogs and Cats Living Together!
No. Not really. But when I say “freedom at work,” I’m sure there is some healthy apprehension. After all, everything about how most organizations “raise” leaders is heavily based on command and control leadership models. They’re called “managers” for a reason - it’s really a synonym for control.
Unfortunately for the command and control leadership style, giving people autonomy and freedom is an important component to increase employee engagement and build a better workplace.
🆓 So, What does freedom at work look like?
I’m still in the process of working through this, but here’s a start:
Acknowledge Power Structures - The power imbalance at most companies plays a big part in some of our thorniest workplace issues - equity and inclusion, bullying, etc. This imbalance is at the heart of why so many companies resist giving employees more autonomy or freedom.
The Freedom To Be - One of the many reasons that people hate the office is the focus on appearance and politics. People need to be themselves at work, and companies, leaders, and peers need to support that. We will never change the workplace if we perpetuate the same antiquated notions of “work self” and “home self.”
Tools - In every leadership position I’ve held, within the first week, a direct report has asked me for a basic tool my predecessor wouldn’t give them. Sometimes it’s system access or a printer or training. The common factor was that by providing the tool, the manager was giving up some power, access, or knowledge. People need the right tools to do their work effectively and efficiently - facilitate that!
🎬 Working Together in Action
🧰 See number three above. Give your people the tools they need to do their work. When the decision is out of your hands, go to bat for your people and get them what they need.
🧰 See number three above. Don’t be the reason someone can’t get their job done in a timely or efficient manner. Facilitate getting the tools, access, or other resources to people who need them.
🗣Set the Example - Bring your whole self to work. Start the employee resource group you don’t see or share more of who you are outside of work, be what you want to see at work.
💰👀 What I’m Reading This Week - Even Bankers Are Searching for More Meaning
Prospective employees are thinking more deeply about their careers, knowing they’re going to be putting in long hours, he said. They’re wondering, “How can I make that as meaningful as possible and feel good about it?”
The eye-watering salaries and bonuses mentioned in this article made me want to get a finance degree...and bankers are driven by common themes we’re seeing across industries:
The ability to work remote
Getting away from bureaucracy
Looking for work that is meaningful
Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom. - Albert Einstein