Autonomy is gained through building and acting upon trust. Make trust a priority with your team.
Trust the Process
Almost every leadership guru that I have heard will speak about the on-boarding process at some point in time. This is the process that every organization goes through when they bring a new employee on board, regardless of their rank or title. Most experts agree that this is a make or break time on the life cycle of the employee, and it occurs right at the beginning. This is the point where there is either alignment and enrollment, or trepidation and discouragement. Even worse than both ends of the spectrum is the middling place where neither engagement or disengagement exists. Your new team member is simply there.
Today’s leaders want to feel a connection to their organization. A job has to be more than just the work they do, there has to be a higher connection that creates opportunities for impactful change. The best way that an organization can create this connection is by instilling the mission, vision, and values of the organization through the on boarding process. Too many organizations waste this opportunity by simply focusing on the mundane tasks of a new employee. Frequently employers will mention the mission, vision, or values, and then jump right back to the less inspiring material.
The mission, vision, and values of an organization paint a road map to building the trust required to create the impact events that Millennials are looking for. The primary focus of the on boarding process should be to harness the excitement, energy, and passion of the new team members, and focus it on the primary mission of the organization. If your business can create excitement around your mission, you will teach your new employees / leaders the keys to trust in your world. They will learn how you give trust, how they can gain trust, and the exchange ratios that exist surrounding the two.
Once trust is established then autonomy can be provided. Autonomy is the exciting process of empowering your team to reach their potential, while adding to the mission of your organization. When trust is lacking then autonomy is non-existent, and micromanaging becomes the norm. When leaders are micro managers then they are essentially telling their teams that they do not trust them, and at that point relationships are broken.
Create an experience on the first day of every employees journey with your organization. Connect them to the passion and excitement of your business, and teach them how the currency of trust exchanges throughout your operation. Once you have established trust then empowerment and autonomy will ignite the potential of your team.