“Taking complete ownership of your outcomes by holding no one but yourself responsible for them is the most powerful thing you can do to drive success.” – Gary W. Keller
One of the most recurring complaints in organizations is a lack of accountability and responsibility on the part of employees. For example, if one is late for an important meeting, he or she will often come up with an excuse like ‘the traffic was terrible’ or ‘my car broke down’ or something on similar lines. This is a simple example of not taking accountability of our actions instead of just accepting that ‘I didn’t leave on time.’
A true culture of ownership comes when employees feel that they have an equal role to play in the company’s overall success. This promotes an environment where people are guided more by values more than rules and see a clear line between their actions and the company’s cumulative success.
When employees feel like they are the owners of the business, they make better decisions, take better care of the clients, are more creative, and most important, are more engaged in the success of the organization. As they begin to feel that their decisions have an impact on the overall organizational success and that they are a part of the bigger picture, they work harder, and as a result, genuinely enjoy coming to work.
To encourage such a culture, leaders should not play the blame game and instead, allow employees to take responsibility for their actions. Whatever is the result, success or failure, they will learn to take ownership and hold themselves responsible for their actions.
As a leader, one should ensure that each employee has a clear sense of responsibility and if a task remains undone, he or she would be held accountable for the same. Building an effective team does not mean that every member looks into everything; instead, it ensures that everyone is given one aspect of work that they’re solely accountable for completing in time and to perfection. It is also important to ensure that employees feel their actions can and will make a lasting impact. All in all, creating an atmosphere of accountability is one of the best ways to harbor a mentality of ownership at the workplace.
We’re human, and mistakes come naturally to us. Leaders should create room for improvement with timely feedback to employees for their performance. It is essential for companies to build a secure working environment, which has space for errors and mistakes – as long as it does not impact the business, disrupt the working environment, or create significant losses. As a leader, allow mistakes to happen so that your team is not hesitant to learn, experiment, and innovate with new concepts and ideas.
One of the key factors when it comes to building an ownership culture is to establish realistic goals for the employees and to define what success looks like. This implies defining the end goal effectively. When leaders do this, they instill trust in their employees, which in turn empowers them to be more mindful about their actions. Trust is a fundamental part of ownership and employees who are given responsibility, take responsibility.
As a leader, if you do everything in your power to let your employees grow and learn, you may be surprised by what they can accomplish. A higher sense of ownership infused in the workforce will not only enable businesses to reach new heights of success, but will also ensure a happy and satisfied workforce.