When you give employees the freedom to find their own way and make their own decisions, you're saying that you trust them and believe in their competence, aren't you? So it stands to reason that the greater the freedom the greater the levels of engagement and job satisfaction. Except that it doesn't.
As Columbia Ideas at Work reports on the work of Sheena Iyengar, most employees don't want unlimited flexibility in how to perform their jobs. “Managers who don’t give their employees choices in how to do their work are perceived as dictators or authoritarians,” Iyengar says. But those who offer too much freedom are often seen as incompetent.
The key is to find the right balance. Managers who give employees limited choices in their approach to work (some options, but not too many) are perceived as both warm and competent. “Employees think of those managers as effective leaders because they feel that they have spent time thinking about their goals and have been more strategic about what choices they want their employees to contemplate,” Iyengar says. “In that situation, they think of the choices their managers have given them as empowering.”
Generation Y is cheap, and that's a big issue for anyone trying to convince members of the generation to buy stuff — especially big stuff like cars and houses, argue Derek Thompson and Jordan Weissmann. Car dealers and real estate brokers are perhaps the hardest hit, as Millennials shy away from big, permanent purchases. They’re more likely to invest in mobile technology and in sharing (think ZipCar). If this shift away from cars and McMansions is not just a recession-induced blip, it could lead to leaner and greener infrastructure for us all.
— By Tim Sullivan
Sometimes statistics are a lot more powerful when you frame them a broader context. Sometimes you let them speak for themselves. In the case of women and IT, we opt for the latter: In a recent Harvey Nash survey, 35% of IT mangers globally say they have no women in IT management roles and nearly a quarter say they have no women on any of their technical teams. Forgive the emphasis.