When employees can make their own decisions

 |  In: Resource management

A 2018 report by Deloitte showed that about a third of UK employees were not stimulated by what they did at work. This was higher than employees in the rest of Europe.

Similar comparisons were made regarding their thoughts on whether they are performing their best at work and whether they thought their work was meaningful.

Motivation and productivity

To get closer to the issues, Deloitte looked at what a model company might look like. They came up with this chart showing an ‘irresistible’ business:

Factors of employee engagement

That’s a lot of irresistible things to take in. But here’s an interesting thing. Some great chunks of the above can be achieved far more easily than you might think.

The research shows that employees today want things like this:

  • Autonomy. They want to be able to get on with their work and not be micro-managed.
  • Empowerment. They like working in small teams that are empowered to make decisions.
  • Clarity. They like to be clear in what they are supposed to be doing.
  • Transparency. They welcome transparency, meaning they like to experience factual honesty and be able to see for themselves how their role fits in.


This reminded us of something. When we met up with some Managing Directors and Financial Directors of UK businesses using Synergist, they volunteered some comments that are relevant here.

Steven Clark, Financial and Commercial Manager of 40-strong agency Tayburn told us:

“We give transparency to our teams, so they have the information they need to manage jobs properly.

“Today, designers, art-workers and account managers are knowledge workers, even mini-entrepreneurs, for us. The days of them doing isolated tasks in the dark are over.”

Another way of looking at it is to consider how hard it is to hire people who already have the wider mindset. The MD of a 120-strong project-based environmental consulting company knows how difficult it is to find people with not only the technical skills but also a consultative approach and a commercially aware mindset:

“There’s a shortage of commercially aware consultants out there to hire, so you have to develop them. Synergist helps: It gives our teams a wider perspective, shows them the commercial implications of their decisions, and helps them prioritise and make the right decisions.”

Motivating you to do your best work

Perhaps this is the biggest payoff of them all. You can’t do your best work if you’re spending time on administrative grunt work.

“One big reason for implementing Synergist was to avoid wasting so much time running the mechanics of the agency when we want to focus purely on clients.”  HMA.

The MD of a creative agency using Synergist told us:

“We used to spend masses of time searching for information or pulling together reports or estimating work or doing invoices. Such a waste. Now, that’s all cleaned up. It leaves more time for client focus.”

This applies whether you’re a web developer, a client services manager or a consulting engineer like Maleon. Steve Revell, Maleon’s MD, told us:

“Synergist helps our engineers focus on what they do best. The admin is removed from their day. We give them great support: they work hard, they’re well qualified, we want to keep them. The system helps them concentrate on the essentials, which is what they want.”



It is remarkable how much of Deloitte’s utopian ideal company can be achieved merely by installing Synergist. Those four much-desired attributes of Autonomy, Empowerment, Clarity and Transparency.

But why Synergist, specifically? Aren’t there lots of project management systems out there?

There are. But Synergist’s core power lies in its ability to pull together so many aspects of your business into one coherent whole. So, depending on their role, everyone sees what they need to see of the same master set of live information.

For example this visibility gives project managers, client services teams, account managers and resource / scheduling managers complete clarity on who is working on what project, and when. It shows how their role fits into the bigger picture, and how their daily decisions affect the project, their colleagues and the business itself.

This can be a revelation for people who previously saw their role merely as a tiny cog doing a series of dull, isolated tasks. It’s a transformation that can help give people the space and motivation they need to do their best work.

Sometimes ‘best work’ isn’t independent work. Simon Butler, co-founder of London digital marketing agency Purestone, spoke to us about how Synergist also helped collaboration in his business:

“Every day, every person in the agency interacts with Synergist one way or another:

  • Allocating work by the team calendars.
  • Staff resourcing
  • Client services
  • Reviewing job processes and profitability
  • Management tracking: Client & project profitability
  • Completing timesheets”

Every hour of every day, every person is making decisions. Some decisions are small, some large. But when these decisions are informed via Autonomy, Empowerment, Clarity and Transparency they can lift engagement far more sustainably than any top-down pep talk about ‘let’s work together’ or ‘create your best’ can ever do.