How Info Tech Affects Employee Loyalty
I find this chart useful in understanding how management’s information technology decisions, relative to the expectation of autonomy, impacts employee empowerment.
The bottom axis represents how autonomous managers wish their employees to be. The left axis represents the amount of information management is willing or able to share with staff.
1 If managers operate in a command-and-control, low autonomy environment, where employees are micromanaged, and very little information is provided beyond the minimum they require to follow orders, employees may feel paralyzed, with little opportunity for career and personal growth. This creates a situation where the more capable employees will actively pursue other job opportunities.
2 If managers operate in a command-and-control environment, yet sufficient information is available to employees such they they could be more autonomous, employees may feel shackled. They can see the opportunities for improvement, as they have the information available to do so, yet they are held back by management’s do-as-you-are-told environment. Again, the more capable employees will actively pursue other job opportunities.
3 If managers expect employees to be autonomous, free of constant hand-holding from the office, yet insufficient information is provided to enable independent decisions, employees will feeling frustrated. They appreciate that management could have an environment where personal growth and job satisfaction would be high; however managers are failing to provide the tools necessary for them to meet the expectations. Once again, this creates a situation where the more capable employees will actively pursue other job opportunities.
4 If managers have confidence in their employees to make autonomous decisions (a distributed decision making environment), and the technological tools supplied provide a high degree of information sharing among staff, the entire team becomes empowered. This increases the quality of customer care. Newly realized efficiencies free up time to allow staff to optimize processes and innovate. Personal growth drives company growth. Staff loyalty increases, which lightens the load on human resources. With less turnover, deep knowledge and understanding accumulates within the company.
Where is your company on this chart?