When you like to give your team more autonomy, you can rush into it. By doing so, you can just go too fast for your co-workers to really understand and make them really disengaged. This simple practice is more of a mindset, then a practice. But still, it can be very effective.
When giving autonomy, it is possible that you just tell your colleagues: now it is your turn, go for it. We call it; swimming without floaties.
And that is exactly what they are missing, floaties. I like to compare management functions with our government. All the work we didn’t (or couldn’t) want to do ourselves are outsourced to the government. By doing this, we lost the real knowledge about all these topics. We do not know how all these things work anymore. We lost track.
This also counts for all the work that is done by the management. From my own experience, a lot of times employees don’t even know what managers do exactly. So, how can an employee start taking more responsibility for a subject you don’t know enough about?
What steps to take for the practice
When talking about giving responsibility to someone else, we can have the urge to start by giving this responsibility to them.
When you want to move responsibility from one person to another, always take these 4 steps:
Start with transparency about the whole process. Why do you do what you do and how does it work exactly?
Let the persons who have to take the responsibility first comprehend the subject. Let them really understand it, let them ask questions, and help them underway.
Move the responsibility to the team/person and trust them. Do not check or verify what they are doing, just trust them.
This will lead to autonomy for the person/team.
Be sure you always take these steps in mind. Start by asking how much knowledge a team has of the subject and them, help them.
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