Systems-Drive-Behavior.  Autonomous people are accountable for their decisions. This comes from an organization that has “big enough” managers and people in the right roles with the right accountability + authority to do their work.

Contact Mike to develop organizational structures & clear lines of accountability + authority that will allow autonomy to flourish.


Employee Engagement Requires Sufficient Autonomy. Create-Learning Team Building and Leadership

If employees feel that they are being micro-managed, the engagement will be sucked out like a rapidly deflating balloon. This creates an “I just do what I’m told, if anything goes wrong, it’s not my fault” behavior.

Sufficient Autonomy to do Their Best Work

Mike an experienced licensed practical nurse (LPN) was just notified that the hospital he works for is changing his work location from the hospital that is 10 minutes from his house to the new rural location that is 30 minutes from his home. Mike met with his manager and asked if there is any way he could stay at his current location. The manager, while being empathetic, stated that they are moving the entire team to the new location, and he hopes that Mike chooses to move with the team.

Mike has a choice to make. He understands that he can say no, and he will lose his job. He can say no and look for another job. He can say yes and go to the new location and make the best of it or he can say yes and move to the new location and be miserable. Mike knows he has options and understands that whatever he chooses, he is accountable for the decision made.

Goals and do you know what to do. Self-Directed vs Other Directed Create-learning team building and leadership

He meets with his manager again. Mike’s manager is “Big Enough” and has been able to work with Mike and really support him in growing and thriving in his role, matching the context and objective goals to his work and doing his best to supply the needed resources.

By all measurements Mike is an engaged employee. The manager states, “Mike I know this is not ideal for you and you have always been a top employee here. I cannot tell you what to do, you have to decide.”

This is an example of remaining autonomous or self-directed. Mike and the manager understand there are choices and with the choices that are made, the individual making them is accountable for the choice. Engaged employees thrive with choices and the respect of being able to choose.

There will come a time when an autonomous, engaged employee will hit an obstacle around which cannot be navigated. This is when a manager can increase the employee’s engagement by coaching and developing the employee to improve problem solving skills, therefore reinforcing both autonomy and engagement.

5 Levers for Employee Engagement Create-Learning team building and leadership

It can be fixed…
People join companies, and leave managers…Be the reason people stay with your company

Leaders use Create-Learning’s Exponent Leadership Process to develop the professional, organizational, and emotional skills to be the manager that people look to as the reason to remain with your organization.

Contact Mike call 1.716.629.3678 to discuss making your team and managers better.

exponent leadership process

michael cardus is create-learning