How to create an autonomous team

When we say you can build an autonomous team, we mean, you can create employees who are self-motivated and able to work on their own effectively on their own as well as in a team. Being able to work autonomously is a skill that can be learned by practicing other skills such as discipline, planning, and concentration. A whole bunch of leadership skills are important when building leadership teams too. The reason being, that leadership teams in organisations need to be great autonomous workers. These are the kinds of teams that won’t be working together collaboratively constantly and may have their own set of goals or objectives separate to other leaders.

Here’s how you can help build a killer autonomous team.

Have your team create their goals/KPIs and follow up

Each individual is motivated by their own targets and the recognition they will receive when achieving their goals. When one of your leaders is doing well and is on track with their KPIs they will not only be motivated to continue the great work as they are already seeing results, but they will have a sense of pride too that will keep them geared up and ready to go when a new goal is put in place.

Following up with your team and their goals is important when they are doing well and not so well. As stated above, leaders will feel proud to share their accomplishments with their leader and will want to continue doing great work. It may be harder for leaders to admit they are struggling and often there are multiple reasons that are not always in the individuals control as to why their goals may be off track. However, it’s so important that we check in and evaluate what can be done and how we can support our people to achieve their goals. A simple pep talk, brainstorm or weekly check in meetings can help be the push for individuals to find their self-starting attitude again.

Communicate shared goals

All businesses should have clear strategic goals and these should always be transparently communicated to all leaders and employees within the organisation. All individual contributors should have a sense of adding value to the greater plan. Transparent communication often encourages people to do their part and make a difference within the business. 


If you don’t trust your employees to work autonomously at all, they may never learn to self-start. Guidance is important for leaders in the beginning, especially new leaders or ones who have struggled in the past. But step by step, it is important to show them you trust their work ethic and their abilities to give you results. It may be hard to trust those leaders who often miss the mark or aren’t delivering, but instead of micromanaging, try to have a conversation and talk them through their process. It’s okay to guide sometimes and help people onto the right track. But avoid strict directions as this will ultimately destroy an individual’s confidence going forward and they may not ever feel like they can be competent without being directed.

Give honest and open feedback

Being open about performance all round will benefit everyone, even those who sometimes find it hard to hear feedback. By normalising the process of giving feedback you will create an environment where everyone strives to do better and learn from those around them. Feedback not only allows people to improve in specific areas but it can also lead them to perform better overall in the long run. By knowing our own weak spots, when we next hit a bump in the road, we can openly discuss and overcome this with the help of someone else who understands no human can be the ‘jack of all trades’. Instead of getting angry and feeling stuck, being open to feedback and realising you need help sometimes can facilitate people to power through and avoid getting caught up in an unproductive mindset. For some friendly advice on how to give feedback, you can check out this blog.

For more advice on leadership, feel free to reach out to our team. We have many resources and are continuously creating more to help you through any leadership challenges, especially during this time.

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