How to effectively manage an autonomous team

Dear Office Mom,

I’m a manager. I made my team of 25 full time employees autonomous. They do so good that I have nearly nothing to do. Should I be worried that the CEO will fire me?
— Slacker
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Dear Slacker,

Just because people are autonomous in your eyes doesn’t mean they don’t need you. Since this transition toward autonomy, have you asked your team members for feedback? If not, here’s what I suggest:

  1. From a group perspective, find out what the team perceives as their strengths, weaknesses, and what to do differently. Ask, and If you get a whole lot of nothing from the entire group, don’t assume everything is hunky dory. Instead, go to plan B. Divide people into groups of 3–5 and ask them to discuss it, and share their feedback in the next team meeting. Based on my experiences the small group approach works every time.

  2. During your 1:1 meetings, or in conjunction with #1 above, ask “what do you need more of from me as your manager” and on the flip side “what do you need less of” and chances are you’ll get some valuable feedback. If people say they can’t think of anything, don’t buy it. Just give them some time.

Here is an article that may be helpful as you transition from a manager to a leader: How to Strengthen Your Leadership Skills — Your Office Mom® I hope this helps!



Originally posted on Quora