Why Job Autonomy Is A Key Pillar In Your Wellbeing Strategy


Wrote this on, October 13, 2020

job autonomy in your wellbeing strategy

Workplace mental health overtime can decrease employee productivity and motivation. Throwing their work-life balance out of whack, workplaces are left with high levels of presenteeism and staff-turnover.

Many companies who are aware of such pressing issues have devised and implemented ways to counteract these negative effects; ranging from healthy snacks to encouraging exercise and meditation. However, there is one fundamental that is being overlooked in many wellbeing strategies.

While each and every one of us experiences mental health, it is important to remember that each case is individual and subjective. That is why we believe job autonomy is a key pillar in your wellbeing strategy. Not only does it improve employee health, but it also helps foster a positive work environment that employees want to work and thrive in.

Why Job Autonomy A Key Pillar in Your Wellbeing Strategy

It is believed employees who face higher doses of chronic stress are twice as likely to suffer with metabolic syndrome than those with little to no work stress. 

job autonomy in your wellbeing strategy

This being said, studies present those who have a higher level of influence in their job have lower levels of mental and physical illness. These illnesses can include common flu but can also include depression and anxiety

Organisations can prevent cases and issues from arising in their workplace by creating roles that allow a certain level of autonomy through healthy barriers and management style. 

Studies often show employees prefer not to be micromanaged. Instead, employees prefer the ability to determine what they do and how they do it, despite greater job demands. We recommend you work with your employees to decipher what they do, how they do it, and when. In any business, you’ll find you’ll see an increase in productivity, presenteeism and overall business success. 

How to Balance Autonomy and Job Control

When we’re growing up and learning, we look to our parents, carers, and teachers to be told what to do. Life choices are made by ourselves as we get older, giving us a level of autonomy. However, when overbearing management styles and demanding workloads may set in, that autonomy can quickly be taken away from us, leaving us stressed, overwhelmed, and susceptible to health issues

Here is what you can do to prevent the aforementioned from occurring.

Incorporate Fluidity in Every Role 

It is often believed that some roles are not possible to be left to independent decision-making, however, this is an indoctrinated myth. To ascertain healthy working styles it is first important to remember, we are all individuals with different ways of working.

Whilst each individual is employed to fulfill specific job requirements, a certain level of fluidity can go a long way too.

job autonomy in your wellbeing strategy

Perhaps you can train employees in other areas by giving them the opportunity to shadow an employee in a different department. A system like this gives employees a better understanding of the bigger picture. Not only does this help maintain stronger relationships it helps the business solve issues and problems together. 

By mutually reinforcing job autonomy and job control, employees sense increased motivation, job satisfaction, and performance. 

Avoid Micromanagement

Micromanagement styles are seemingly an all too common (and outdated) method of management. Often it reflects poor training and guidance on the manager’s part. In doing so, the employee is stripped of autonomy. Employees who feel they do not have a voice to talk out ideas are more likely to feel less fulfilled, drained, and fear making mistakes. 

Flat organisation structures are far more favourable, with a present manager as and when the employees need support and guidance. The manager’s role is to support the team with bottlenecks and issues that may arise in getting the job done. 

We recommend business should include job autonomy in your wellbeing strategy to see an increase in individual performance, job satisfaction, and motivation. Not only does this see a decrease in absenteeism and employee turnover, it remains a notable straightforward wellbeing practice for both employees and employers.

Here at Everymind, we’re on a mission to normalise the conversation around mental health in the workplace. Our tailored content is accessible right at your employees’ fingertips for better workplace mental wellbeing. Join us today for a three-month free trial, with no obligation to sign.

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