Autonomy – What It Really Is and How to Encourage It

Autonomy What It Really Is and How to Encourage ItAutonomy sounds great to employees and employers alike, but is it really achievable? Bosses think if they could just turn projects over and employees would do what’s needed that would be the next best thing to heaven. Workers feel like they could get so much more done if their boss would quit micromanaging.

Part of the problem is that both sides don’t always understand what autonomy really is. That makes it hard to achieve. Let’s start with defining the goal and then explore ways to reach it.

What Autonomy Is and Isn’t

Autonomy is the ability to make choices that help you perform at your best. Here are some of the areas where employees might have the freedom to choose:

  • Project types
  • Flexibility in timing and work location
  • Work pacing
  • Preferred client or industry focus

Autonomy isn’t employees doing whatever they want and making all the decisions. It doesn’t mean any of these things:

  • Employees can show up and leave whenever they want
  • Individuals can work in isolation without seeking approval or clarification from management
  • Employees have to figure out what to do without input from the boss
  • Every staff member has the same amount of freedom

A University of Birmingham study indicated people who had flexible schedules and work pacing had higher job satisfaction. Happy employees are more engaged, innovative and productive. An autonomous workplace is better for everyone.

4 Ways to Encourage Workplace Autonomy

People want to direct their own lives. It’s possible to create autonomy at your business without sacrificing leadership. Here’s how.

Hire for autonomy. Not everyone can handle the choices you want to offer. Look for people who have faced challenges and persevered. Ask interview questions that encourage them to explain how they deal with hardship or frustration. When you call their references, ask questions to explore how they act when no one is looking.

Make expectations crystal-clear. Some businesses have safety concerns, governmental regulations or compliance issues that are never up for discussion. Others would lose business if employees didn’t behave or dress in line with company values. Identify the non-negotiables and make them part of onboarding and regular training. In areas where you offer choices, set boundaries and hold employees accountable.

Allow employees to earn their choices. You don’t have to give everyone the same amount of freedom. You probably already know the person who always gets work done on time and the one who almost never makes a deadline. The first employee literally can’t stand to be late. The idea causes him or her physical pain. That employee would be successful with a flexible schedule. They’ve earned it with their consistent excellence.

Instill a feeling of ownership. Ask for employee feedback on company goals, projects and processes. Recognize staff individually and specifically for how their contribution caused improvement or profit.

Find Employees You Can Trust

At Brelsford Personnel we’re committed to excellence when it comes to employee screening and selection. During our interview process we find trustworthy candidates for your professional, administrative and temporary staffing needs. We perform background checks and in-depth reference checks and verify skills as part of our candidate assessment. Get in touch to find the employees who meet your business needs.

Oil and Gas Industry News from the 2018 Energy Summit

Oil and Gas Industry News from the 2018 Energy Summit

A large number of East Texas jobs are tied to the oil and gas industry, and the last few years have been rocky. Oil prices fell to extreme lows at the end of 2015 and since then have continued to fluctuate. The 2018 Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce Energy Summit is April 5, and Gates Brelsford is the TACC Energy Committee Chairman. Here’s what you can expect at the Energy Summit and in the year ahead.

What’s Happened Since the Last Summit

Last March in a KLTV interview Mr. Brelsford said prices were under $50 a barrel, but he and other experts predicted a climb. That prediction was correct.

Demand grew steadily. OPEC and other major suppliers agreed to trim production to support prices. The new U.S. administration lowered regulations and the situation with the Department of Energy became more favorable.

Currently crude oil is over $60 a barrel and natural gas ranges between $2.50 and $3.00 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf). This year’s energy summit will focus on what that means for Texas and the rest of the world.

The 2018 Energy Summit

The theme for the eighth annual event is “The Texas Energy Industry’s Impact on the Global Economy.” More than 300 attendants join together to hear from the following speakers:

  • Bernard L. Weinstein – Dr. Weinstein is currently Associate Director of the Maguire Energy Institute and Adjunct Professor of Business Economics at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business. He is the author of multiple books and articles on energy, public policy, taxes and the economy.

 

  • Ruben S. Martin – Mr. Martin is President and CEO of Martin Midstream Partners, a publicly traded limited partnership with operations throughout the Gulf Coast region. He brings to the event his in-depth knowledge of best industry strategies and his diversified understanding of operations.

 

  • Christi Craddick – Texans elected this Midland native to serve as Texas Railroad Commissioner in 2012. Since then Craddick has prioritized the fight against policies that stifle growth. She advocates educating the public on how the oil and gas industry impacts Texas and for responsible environmental policies.

 

  • Ernie Cagle – Mr. Cagle is Executive Vice President of Delek US, Inc. He is also President of the company’s refineries here in Tyler and in other Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana locations. He has more than 40 years of experience in the industry and has contributed to refining technical support around the world.

 

  • Brent Jasper – Mr. Jasper is President of Jasper Ventures, Inc. The company umbrellas Veritas Gas Processing, Vulcan Field Construction, Vanguard Processing Solutions and Viking Dew Point Conditioning. Brent’s father Jon Jasper created the company more than 25 years ago, and the family continues to make a difference in East Texas and the world.

 

  • Michael Thomas – VME started as a small fabrication company in Tyler, and under Thomas’ leadership it has become a multi-national organization with offices in the United States, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Thomas says over the years VME has been intentional about hiring the best people they could find, prioritizing honesty and integrity.

What About Jobs?

Oil is a commodity, so it has its ups and downs. Over the last year there has been increasing price stability and greater consumer confidence. Gates Brelsford says that confidence has a significant impact on hiring.

In the first three months of 2018, East Texas has experienced a marked uptick in hiring from energy companies. Much of this is due to global forecasts. The International Energy Agency in Paris predicts over the next three years, United States production will cover 80 percent of the world’s increased demand.

That growth and stability creates confidence. When organizations look into the future and see the potential for steady growth, they feel good about hiring more staff.

The speakers at the Energy Summit of Northeast Texas have a lot of positive things to talk about. They have reasons to be excited, and here at Brelsford Personnel we share in their excitement.

Check out our online job postings, including positions in the oil and gas industry, or contact us for an appointment today.

Missy Ticer is a blogger and East Texas resident who found her dream job. Content is exclusively for use by Brelsford Personnel.