A part of self-determination is encouraging personnel to work and decide independently
The entirety of self-determination has multiple elements, of which one is encouraging personnel to work and decide independently. In our research this was done with two questions in “normal circumstances” and one question in “Covid-19 crisis circumstances”.
In the normal circumstances, which was emphasized with the “before the corona” addition, the first question was as follows: How do superiors function in your company when it comes to managing work and personnel? The follow-up questions were: Do superiors encourage independent decision making and working and Do superiors encourage their employees to solve problems independently. The answer choices to the follow-up questions were: “never (1), rarely (2), sometimes (3), almost always (4), always (5)”. For the analysis of this blog, the answers were summed up, producing the variable “Encouragement to self-determination in normal circumstances”.
The question for the Covid-19 circumstances was: Was the personnel encouraged to independent decision making in their own work? The answer choices were: “not at all (1), a little bit (2), moderately (3), a lot (4), very much (5).
The change in self-determination was calculated
Based on the answers to the questions mentioned above, change to self-determination (encouragement) was calculated on a company-by-company basis. The change was from normal times to Covid-19 times. The changes in companies were divided into 4 levels, the distribution of which is displayed by image 1.
The results of image 1 are clear: 2/3 of companies saw reduced encouragement to be independent during the pandemic. 1/5 of companies had encouragement levels remain as they were. Only 1/8 had encouragement levels increase.
This raises a question: What caused the change? Or at least: What factors explain the magnitude of the change?
Human centric management supports self-determination also during crisis
I condensed the result of multiple analyses into that sub headline: human centric management supports encouragement for self-determination also during crisis. And the greatest factor may again be found in the management’s strategy! The more human subjects and well-being are presented in the management’s strategy work, the better self-determination is even in the pressures of the pandemic. See image 2.
The Covid-19 crisis caused the shift to remote work. In this analysis, this was removed, analyzing the link between management practices and encouraging for self-determination.
In image 2 the companies have been divided into 4 groups based on the management’s strategy work’s ‘human emphasis’. The differences in self-determination management between these groups are immense.
In the “a lot” category of companies over 51% of companies saw increased or unchanging levels self-determination, whereas in the “not at all” category of companies 10% of companies remain on the same level during the crisis. Reducing self-determination encouragement of course produced the opposite results. The emphasis of work well-being in strategy work had visible effects in all size groups.
The amount of remote work increases self-direction
During the Covid-19 crisis, a large proportion of companies referred staff to remote work - in those industries where it was possible. I did an analysis of how the transition to telecommuting affected encouragement of self-direction- was it perhaps 100%?
Image 3 shows that the amount of remote work was reflected in the change in encouraging for self-directedness. However, teleworking does not automatically mean an increase in incentives for self-direction. Of the companies with a high transition to telework (“very much”), only 21% had an increase in encouragement for self-determination.
This blog and its results may be condensed into a singular sentence.
When human matters are tightly on board in the management’s strategy work and the leadership is human centric, the self-determination is strong, and it is preserved even during crisis.