Strategies to foster a culture of ownership at work

Here’s how to help employees step up and own their job. By Priya Prakasan

Employees are a company’s most valuable asset, especially those that display ownership and take initiative, helping drive the company forward. A good leader understands the need to cultivate a culture of autonomy, where employees feel empowered to take charge, show more initiative and seek innovative ways to achieve business objectives. Here are five steps that will help you do just that.

Communicate your mission
Your organisation’s vision and mission act as a catalyst for the business’s future, and it is equally important to communicate this guiding vision to your employees. Help them understand that they are part of something bigger and why their work is important. It will not only provide direction, making employees committed towards the same result, but also provide them with the impetus to take initiative.

Align individual goals with organisational objectives
Increase engagement, leading to higher ownership, by helping employees’ individual goals align with organisation’s goals. This increases their personal investment in their work, making them proactive about finding the information gaps, solving problems and taking initiative where there is ambiguity. Employees are likely to be more invested and committed if they understand how their work directly contributes to personal and organisational growth.

Delegate authority
This goes beyond assigning work. We’re talking about passing on some of your leadership tasks. Take a look at the meetings you attend, can you depute something else? What about having someone else from the team make a presentation to a client? Have your senior staff attend a work conference you are invited to. All of these will give them an opportunity to practice and develop their leadership skills, as well as understand their growth in the organisation and gives.

Steer clear of micromanaging
Micromanaging is a big no-no if you’re looking to increase employee ownership. Instead it increases resentment, curbs creativity, and pushes employees to constantly check in and seek guidance to ensure they are on the right track with their boss. It’s hard to take ownership when your boss is breathing down your neck and monitoring/criticising your moves. As a leader you need to steer clear of this behaviour and learn to delegate effectively to develop employees’ decision-making and problem-solving skills. Showcase your trust in them by delegating a part of your authority. Give clear guidelines as well as your expectations about the end result. This avoids any confusion. Resist the urge to meddle post that.

Recognise initiative
Take the time to recognise employee skills, strengths, and other positive attributes that have contributed to success. By appreciating their contribution you are helping build their self-belief and providing positive reinforcement. Genuine recognition will increase their willingness to step up and take ownership. Encourage this attitude with your actions so as to increase productivity and initiative.

Graphic: Freepik 

Categories:   Lifestyle, Work Buzz


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