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How do we manage ourselves?

The IAP Institute for Applied Psychology tackled the topic of self-management in the fourth part of their study series “Human Factors and the Future of Work”.

For the study on self-management in self-organised work contexts, the research team surveyed 32 specialists and executive staff who work in a self-organised context. It became evident that the employees appreciate having more freedom in their structures and the ability to personally influence their self-organised work. The respondents experienced more purpose in the work process.

Importance of trust and tolerating mistakes

The ability to reflect, take initiative and a high sense of responsibility were mentioned as key competences and requirements for success. For self-management to succeed in a team, it is important to define clear goals and responsibilities as well as to communicate openly. The aim is to create an environment of trust in which strengths and weaknesses can be discussed in an honest and positive manner. Another important requirement for self-organisation to succeed is a tolerance for mistakes at the corporate level. Micromanagement and sanctions from management can impede this.

For the foreseeable future, self-management will be a key element in the changing world of work. Many companies today are already replacing the classic hierarchical structures by implementing flexible working methods. The hastened digitisation due to the COVID-19 pandemic may facilitate this trend even further.