Do you want to have more motivated co-workers? Higher productivity and better performance? And employees that believe in your vision? Then you need to encourage them to take more ownership. Read all about it in part 2 of our “ownership”-series
Studies have shown that organizations actually benefit from employees with more responsibility and accountability. They implement processes successfully and have co-workers that stay in the company for a longer period. Here is how you get started making your strategy into everybody’s strategy.
Communication and transparency
Talking about your strategy and sharing your vision is one of the first steps to creating a culture of more ownership. Your employees deserve to know what they are working for and you should explain the Why of your strategy to give them a goal and a purpose.
This helps, in addition, to make your vision more transparent. If it is visible how your strategy is planned out more employees can commit to it and it helps to motivate them and believe in your idea.
To further engage your team members, involve them in the goal-setting and planning activities and give them a voice. Let them give you feedback and share their opinion. This way, they want to take more responsibility and contribute to the cause.
Responsibility and Accountability
When you delegate responsibility, it is essential that you also need to give authority and accountability if you would like people to act. If you don’t, you risk that people don’t know what to do, become unnecessarily stressed and/or don't deliver anything.
Moreover, support your team members’ freedom and responsibility! Set defined goals together and let your co-workers choose how they want to execute them. If they can do it their way, employees are more likely to take on new tasks with more risk and to accept leading projects.
Additionally, you should hold employees accountable and let them know how to improve using constructive feedback. People need to know who is in charge of a project, who to communicate to, and who to reach out to in critical situations. Furthermore, providing an overview of everyone’s tasks gives you and your co-workers a full picture of who and what is in progress. If a project landscape is established it gives everybody the ability to think of tactics or strategies and, thereby, act on the total direction instead of just their own.
Trust and respect
Taking ownership also requires building trust and respect between leaders and employees. Giving your employees a feeling of trust for being able to take over new tasks with more responsibility gives them confidence and motivates them.
You can enhance this by leading by example and embracing the values you have in the company. Sharing ideas, a vision, and values will help you to have your employees aligned with your strategy which will lead to a higher commitment to your project and more ownership. You can share your values and ideas by being transparent about your strategy and vision and communicating these effectively.
Moreover, you should encourage employees to solve problems and learn from mistakes and wins. It might require guidance in the beginning from you as their leader and the one who has the total overview. You should see it as an investment as it over time will pay back as you will get more self-going, knowledgeable and confident employees. This will build mutual trust and respect and, even better, you will be able to celebrate your victories together.
Increasing the ownership in your company can help you to have a more structured development process and, thereby, increase productivity. It is a long process to establish an ownership culture and requires tight collaboration with your co-workers.
To encourage your employees to take more ownership you need to listen to their needs and let them execute tasks on their conditions. Moreover, communicate effectively and share ideas and values to increase commitment while motivating your co-workers to take on responsibility.
Additionally, involve employees in strategy planning and give them the feeling of being appreciated. If people think that their actions matter they will be more engaged.