Motivate and engage your employees through increased autonomy

Hovering over your workers or making them follow rigid protocols saps morale and hinders productivity and innovation. Here’s a much better way.

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Whether your goal is to increase staff motivation, engagement or morale, give your employees more autonomy.

This means giving them more room to make decisions, to think for themselves, to “own” their jobs. In short, it’s allowing them to think—and act—like a small-business owner. Doing so will benefit your bottom line.

In his book “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Really Motivates Us,” Daniel Pink cites a study revealing that satisfying the human need for self-sufficiency enhances employee performance.

In that Cornell University study, half of the 320 small businesses studied applied old-fashioned command/control management practices, while the other half gave employees autonomy.

Those businesses that gave employees autonomy:

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