If you pay attention to what various companies or business leaders say they’re looking for in people, one of the qualities that will frequently be mentioned is ownership. When any employee is said to own their job, it always connotes superior performance driven by genuine motivation. Customer service representatives will not disconnect a call until they’ve tested and verified that all your devices really are working properly; car transport carriers moving your auto out of California will take care of it as one of their own vehicles. Doing all the little things well is derived from that sense of being truly invested in a group’s success. Yet ownership is a variable quality – one can demonstrate it at home but not at work, and vice versa. With these steps, everyone can play a part in cultivating ownership within themselves and also fostering it among their fellows.
An organization that successfully creates a culture of ownership is one that empowers its employees. There are many ingredients that go into getting the right mix – after all, businesses strive for results, but empowering people means giving them responsibilities and the chance to make mistakes and learn accordingly. The bottom line, though, is that ownership comes from developing leadership. A leader has to let go and delegate tasks which allow people to grow; share detailed plans, but allow individuals to innovate, be creative, and pursue their goals. For their part, individuals must demonstrate initiative and accountability; they shouldn’t be working to avoid punishment, but must genuinely strive to attain shared goals. By playing a part in developing the qualities of a leader across the board, you can take the first step towards improving ownership on both personal and team levels.
Creating an open culture
The first person in any business whom you’d expect to demonstrate ownership would be the owner, of course. They have an overview of all factors affecting success and how individual performance relates to those goals; it enables entrepreneurial thinking and allows them to make decisions that are in the best interest of the collective. In order for other people to share this sense of ownership, a culture of openness is required; employees can’t act like true stakeholders if they don’t have the information that helps them align their tasks and results with the broader objectives. Leaders must promote this transparency; any professional can develop greater ownership within their organization by taking an interest in its history and other areas of operations, studying its processes, techniques, and metrics and finding ways to improve them.
Good communication is an essential aspect that drives the success of any group endeavor. Team members at any level tend to be more engaged and productive if positive communication is an integral part of the environment. People are more open to feedback and will be unafraid to give voice to their ideas and suggestions; this creates an escalating positive loop which makes everyone feel more involved in the group’s success. No matter what your position may be within a team hierarchy – or that of the people you interact with – make sure that you communicate in a positive manner, listen to your colleagues with respect, and don’t hesitate to call out anyone who’s being disrespectful or negative in their communications.
No one is born with a sense of ownership, but it’s a vital quality for everyone at all levels of an organization. Use these tips to help develop ownership as an individual and within a team.