ROWE Helps to Build Positive Relationships
Leaders build positive relationships by showing their followers that they trust them. People who feel that their leaders trust them have higher levels of performance, are more likely to help their colleagues, and have greater job satisfaction. In fact, being aware that their supervisor trusts them has a greater effect on subordinate behavior and attitudes than the trust they have in their supervisor.
One of the very best ways to show people that you trust them is to give them autonomy. Managers who try to control their subordinates undermine positivity by demonstrating a lack of trust. In addition to making people feel trusted, autonomy also helps to create a positive work experience by directly influencing people’s positive emotions. Autonomy is one of the key dimensions of psychological well-being. We have a strong need to control our lives and to make decisions based on our interests and values. So having autonomy increases our positivity.
Because autonomy is related to our well-being, a lack of autonomy at work has negative consequences. The most stressful jobs are those with high demands and low levels of control. Demanding jobs don’t lead to stress if the individual has autonomy to decide how to meet the demands. It is the lack of control combined with high job demands that causes stress.
You can give your people more autonomy by implementing ROWE (Results-Only Work Environment) in your workplace. Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson came up with the concept of ROWE while working as HR professionals for Best Buy. ROWE is a management strategy where employees are evaluated on performance, not presence. They decide when, where, and how to work. The only thing that matters is that they meet their objectives. More than 3,000 Best Buy employees work in a ROWE and not only are they happier, their productivity has increased by an average of 35% and turnover rates in some divisions are down by 90%.
More and more companies are adopting ROWEs and are discovering similar results. In fact, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management has started a pilot ROWE program. That’s right, even the federal government is getting on board so that government workers will have the freedom to decide how to get their work done!
How much autonomy do your employees have? Do you trust them to get their work done? Would you be willing to implement ROWE where you work? I’d love to hear what you think!