The Key to Employee Happiness: Total Autonomy & Accountability

Dec 6, 2013 Posted by

Managers often grapple with what’s the best way to motivate employees and make them happier. While some provide unlimited vacation days and others offer perks such as gourmet meals and massages, intangible rewards make for happier, more productive employees, according to Jody Thompson, co-founder of consulting group CultureRX.

Thompson, who spoke with Cornerstone OnDemand‘s Charles Coy, explains why a Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE), where employees are 100 percent autonomous and accountable for their work, is a must for all companies in the future.

Let Employees Manage Their Time

“Using ROWE, people shift to managing 100 percent of their own time and can no longer default to ‘I’ve put in my time, so I’m done regardless of deadlines.’ It flips everybody’s mindset. We’re accountable for what we’ve been hired to do — the work” and not the hours logged, says Thompson.

Company-wide Benefit

Employees get the job done when they hold themselves accountable. “People aren’t just filling time, so there’s more planning, more direct communication, more productive meetings, and less wasted time,” says Thompson.

Learn Through Trial-by-Error

When employees have the autonomy to work flexible hours and from home, it can take time for them to figure out what works best. Thompson tells of an employee who thought working from home would be perfect for her, but later changed her mind. “This person decided she needed to come into the office, but the manager didn’t tell the person to do that because she was accountable and autonomous.”

Spreading ROWE One Step at a Time

“ROWE is a social change that is disrupting what we believe about work. The concept is simple, but beliefs can be hard to change,” says Thompson. “These beliefs are holding us hostage, and it’s going to take a long time to break them down. We’ll do it, one company at a time.”

Read more at Cornerstone OnDemand.

Image via Can Stock Photo