How to empower your team through autonomy and flexibility

October 19, 2022 / date
5 min / Reading time
Future of work/ Category

This month, Juno CEO and Founder, Ally joined the Co-Founder and CEO of FlowSpace, Harry, to discuss how to harness the power of employee autonomy and flexibility to help support and retain a successful workforce.

Couldn’t make it on the day or want to relive the conversation? Watch the webinar recording here.

This article, written by the most amazing Olivia from Juno, will cover the insights shared on the webinar, further exploring the topic of autonomy and flexibility within company culture to support employee engagement, retention, and attraction.

A shift In the workplace: COVID-19 was a catalyst

COVID-19 was a catalyst for change: the future of work began to shift as people had to practice remote work and teams became distributed. Without really having a choice, companies began to support employee autonomy and flexibility.

The natural downside is that even now when more companies are bringing flexibility into their workplace culture, it is still an evolution and they’re trialling things, whether that’s figuring out their working hours, location, or how they can provide their distributed teams with benefits. – Ally Fekaiki

It is incredibly clear, especially when looking at studies like our Workplace Culture Study, that there has been a shift in what employees are looking for from their employers , unafraid to set boundaries on what they need from their employers.

Does flexibility need to look the same for every company?

Whilst it’s expected that employees are looking for flexible companies, it’s important to note that flexibility doesn’t look the same for every employee and therefore companies can adapt their culture to be flexible in a way that suits them. There has been a little bit of a power battle between people trying to stay remote and those trying to come back to the office and companies are learning to find a happy medium that works for them. It’s important to accept that someone’s flexibility is someone else’s inflexibility – that’s a very integral thing to understand when trying to prioritise what is right for a team overall.

The best way to understand what flexibility will look like for your company is by speaking to your team and listening to them. Building the future of work as a team unit is really important, as well as challenging each other along that journey. – Harry Wilson-Hallberg

How can you find a level of flexibility that works for your organisation?

What’s more, it’s also important for employees to feel like they are part of a team connected by a single aim. Therefore, it’s still important to create time for a team to be together. Some organisations hold yearly summits, whereas others meet up weekly or host regular offsite days.

How often your team connects is all about what works best for your team, and once again, that’s another discussion in which you should include your team members if you want to get it right.

Finding the right occasions and the right frequency of spending time together as a team is essential: once you’ve found a routine that works for everyone (not just the decision-makers), you ensure that you are supporting real-life connections to be made within your team. – Harry Wilson-Hallberg

How can you make sure your team is happy with the flexibility you offer?

Speaking to your team and getting their honest feedback is the best way to see if they are happy with the way they’re working and if your company culture is heading in the right direction. Extract conversations from your team and ask them questions. Even using the questions, “what do you not like about work? ” or “what sucks about work?” can provide you with real, vulnerable feedback from your team on the set-up that you’re currently offering. A powerful tool to ensure people feel comfortable enough to open up and be vulnerable is to show that you, as a leader, are also open to being vulnerable and sharing your honest thoughts with your team in a constructive way.

Leaders need to be more vulnerable: there’s no need for leaders to be stoic anymore, they need to have vulnerability, compassion, and be an example of what these conversations should be like so that your team knows they can be open and honest too. – Harry Wilson-Hallberg

Download Juno’s free guide on how to measure employee wellbeing within your organisation.

Hiring the right talent is essential to contribute to the flexibility and autonomy of your organisation

With the war for talent in full swing, it’s more important than ever to facilitate an attractive company culture, through flexibility and autonomy. And crucially, as a company, it’s incredibly important that you are hiring the right talent to support these aspects of your company culture to grow as an organisation, and it’s  important to bear in mind that when you’re remote or hybrid (especially in the early stages), you have to hire people that you’re confident will actually contribute to your culture.

What I mean by contributing to your company culture is that aside from their day-to-day objectives and responsibilities, the people you hire are going to want to make suggestions that improve the way that you work and are keen to take initiative and help with your culture. – Ally Fekaiki