Article: The value of self-management in the workplace

Learning & Development

The value of self-management in the workplace

What is self-management, and why is it important at work? Self-management shows your employer that you are prepared to take on any challenge that comes your way even if you're working independently.
The value of self-management in the workplace

Let's face it: in today's increasingly complex work environments, you will sometimes be left to make your own judgment call about work. This was especially true during the great work-from-home experiment prompted by the COVID pandemic.


On your own in a remote setting, for example, you must know how to manage your own time, resources, productivity, and overall actions so you can keep up with the demands of work.


As a skill, self-management will push you to make choices more than you need to. It will challenge you to organise yourself, construct your own ideas for projects, and assert yourself when the need arises. You will become proactive when dealing with scenarios. With self-management skills, you empower yourself to become a leader.


If you are after a specific job, appraisal, or promotion, you will have to develop self-management skills to reach that goal. Using self-management skills will help you progress further in your career and push you to level up your abilities.


Understanding self-management


Self-management is the ability to work independently and handle your job without needing motivation or supervision from others. It’s the ability to manage our behaviours, thoughts, and emotions consciously and productively. Someone with self-management skills knows how to avoid distractions while working from home and how to avoid flaring up during stressful moments.


Self-management is linked to emotional intelligence theory, where this ability may also be called self-regulation. It is supported by the capacity for self-awareness, which creates conscious access to our feelings, thoughts, and desires. Once we understand self-regulation, we can begin to control and express them appropriately.


Read more: Top future skills in HR



Why self-management is essential at work


The ability of employees to self-manage is crucial in the effective functioning of an organisation. It would be very challenging for the company if most employees could not stay on task, on strategy, or on schedule. There will be disorder and chaos within the organisation, and things will not run as smoothly as you want.


Advocating for self-management is even more critical when we consider empowering employees across the organisation to become more creative, innovative, and resourceful. When employees understand their roles, responsibilities, and goals, they can make well-informed decisions and do their part to achieve company success.


Read more: How to build a recession-proof career


What self-management skills to develop


Some examples of self-management skills you can develop are the following:


Goal setting 

Setting goals at work means deciding what is most important for the job and creating an action plan to achieve it. It will help you manage your time and actions effectively. You decide what you need to do in a clear and understandable way.



You can organise your workspace and show your employer that you are serious about your work. Additionally, you can manage your workload and time to maximise your productivity in the most efficient way possible.



Being accountable means taking responsibility for your thoughts and actions. You are diligent in checking your work to see if you can still improve it to get the best possible results. You will feel satisfied with your work when it is successful while accepting responsibility when problems occur. You use problem-solving skills to improve your work. It is about your attitude regarding the task rather than success.


Stress management

Because crisis occurs now and then at work, you must be prepared not to break down in times of stress. With good self-management skills, you can have grace under pressure. You will be able to handle your emotions and keep a professional attitude in the office.


Time management

You can maximise your time by prioritising tasks, avoiding distractions, and maintaining focus. When you practice effective time management, you set and meet deadlines, work on one thing at a time, and delegate responsibilities correctly.



When you work at something without being told what to do, that is called initiative. You think for yourself and act when needed. You use your head to solve difficult and complex problems. Having initiative requires self-belief, resilience, and motivation. You plan for tasks and complete it on time. When you have initiative, you exert extra effort to progress your projects.


Developing self-management skills will help you build a crisis-proof career. It shows your employer that you are prepared to take on any challenge that comes your way.

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Topics: Learning & Development, Life @ Work

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