“Research by the London School of Economics and the University of Western Australia has found that an individual's sense of control over their lives, known as an internal locus of control, is not only shaped by their environment but can be enhanced.” Providing more autonomy is a key to managing happy, productive staff. By Ewin Hannan – Australian Financial Review
The Australian Financial Review has published an article based on research conducted by Centre for Safety researchers, Professor Mark Griffin, Professor Sharon Parker and colleague Dr Chiahuei Wu from the London School of Economics.
Their research suggests that designing work with high levels of job autonomy can help employees to have a stronger sense of control in their own lives, and this can have potential positive spin off consequences, in and outside of work. For example, people with a stronger sense of control over their lives typically have higher job satisfaction, and increased wellbeing.
Usually it's assumed that an individual's sense of control over their lives is a fixed part of their personality. This research is particularly exciting as it shows that good work design can enhance someone's sense of control over their lives, and produce various benefits.
In an interview with Australian Financial Review writer Ewin Hanna, Dr Chiahuei Wu provided insight on why autonomy can be so important when it comes to enhancing employees’ productivity.
"To employees, enhancing sense of control can bring various positive outcomes in life such as being heather, happier and more satisfied with the life," he said.
"It also makes an individual have confidence to explore new experiences in life...building a higher sense of control from work experiences can enrich their life outside of work."
"To employers, granting autonomy at work and enhancing the sense of control of employees can make employees become proactive agents to manage complex and novel environments in the current business world".
This is exciting news for the Centre for Safety, and it is hoped that this will generate more interest in the benefits of work design for well-being, productivity and performance.
Article link (requires a subscription to the Australian Financial Review): http://www.afr.com/leadership/management/productivity/providing-more-autonomy-is-a-key-to-managing-happy-productive-staff-20150728-gim0ls
Link to purchase original research article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001879115000585