“Keeping talented people engaged involves some form of ownership.”
What motivates your employees to “give their best” at work, collaborating with a sense of purpose and passion, instead of just showing up and stewing till quitting time?
The traditional answer–straight-up salary increases or equity stake–are rarely feasible in today’s culture of budget constraints, and research shows the temporary boost in performance fails to gain traction in the longer term.
For this reason, in this series of two blog posts, we’re exploring more “intrinsic” rewards, from flexible hours to a sense of fun to the feeling of empowerment, that inspire employees to take pride in and ownership of their performance.
Research shows that disengagement on the job—just “going through the motions” without a sense of investment—poses a significant challenge to businesses of all sizes. On the bright side, that same research shows that providing a sense of meaning at work allows for expectations of higher performance, both by individuals and the organization as a whole. Employees who understand the importance of fulfillment are mindful of treating employees as “internal customers,” knowing they are critical to the success of an organization. Building a culture of ownership involves a growth mindset of deep respect, continued learning and constant evolution—remembering that employees can teach managers just as much as managers can teach them.
Strategies to cultivate ownership include:
Implement self-directed work teams: teams operated by employees with ample tools and resources provided by management, but minimal management involvement, to instill a sense of importance and accountability. New technology can even knit together virtual teams in offices across the globe.
Provide growth opportunities for your employees, including pathways to further learning and training. Cultures that successfully instill ownership in employees take the form of learning organizations, where leaders and employees are empowered to learn more from each other each day. The CEO of one catering company helps his workers launch small companies for a side income – related to the core business, but not undercutting or competing with it.
Focus more on intrinsic rewards (recognition, employee growth, learning opportunities, having fun at work, flexible hours, employee empowerment) and focus less on other rewards such as salary increase.
Thanks to our background in budgeting and accounting, we can help your organization explore the intrinsic rewards, growth opportunities, and other strategies that strengthen employee ownership and your bottom line.