In any organization, fostering a sense of ownership among employees can have a profound impact on productivity, innovation, and overall success. As a CEO, it is your responsibility to create an environment where individuals feel empowered, engaged, and motivated to take ownership of their work.
If you find yourself or your leaders needing to “hold people accountable”, you may have an ownership problem. You’ll achieve business results much quicker when people take personal ownership for their impact. So, how do you encourage ownership in the workplace as a CEO? In this blog post, we explore effective strategies to encourage more ownership for your employees and unlock the full potential of your team.
GUIDING YOUR TEAMS TO SUCCESS: CULTIVATING OWNERSHIP IN THE WORKPLACE
As someone who has spent over 20 years coaching executives and teams, and who enjoys hiking and camping in the wilderness in my spare time, I’ve come to appreciate the transformative power of ownership. When you’re navigating rugged terrain, you have to own your decisions, sometimes there isn’t much room for error, and there’s nobody to blame. In much the same way, as a CEO, encouraging ownership requires careful steps and a thoughtful approach.
1. Lead By Example & Take Ownership
As the CEO, your actions and behavior set the tone for the entire organization. Lead by example and demonstrate the qualities of ownership you expect from your team. Show your passion for the company’s vision, take ownership of your decisions, and openly admit and learn from your mistakes. By embodying a sense of ownership, you inspire your employees to do the same.
Ownership is the most powerful and important when someone falls short. Being able to say “I dropped the ball and here’s what I’m going to do to fix it.” avoids the accountability conversation and creates a self-corrective culture. Modeling that needs to start in the C-Suite. Otherwise it’s not safe for others to be that vulnerable.
2. Foster a Culture of Trust and Autonomy
Trust forms the foundation for an ownership-driven workplace. As a CEO, it is vital to trust your employees and empower them with autonomy. Delegate responsibilities, provide the necessary resources and support, and give individuals the freedom to make decisions within their areas of expertise. By doing so, you show that you believe in their capabilities, which in turn instills confidence and a sense of ownership. When someone drops a ball, encourage them for taking ownership and provide feedback that will help them learn and improve next time.
3. Learn To Delegate Well
Clearly define roles and responsibilities, ensuring that each employee understands their contribution to the organization’s goals. Set measurable objectives and establish regular check-ins to track progress. Encourage your teams to take ownership of their results and provide constructive feedback when needed. Celebrate their achievements and recognize your employees who consistently demonstrate accountability, as this reinforces the desired behavior throughout the organization.
4. Recognize and Reward Ownership
Acknowledging and rewarding ownership behavior is essential for sustaining a culture of ownership. Implement recognition programs that highlight and celebrate individuals who consistently demonstrate ownership and go above and beyond in their roles. This can include verbal recognition, monetary rewards, promotions, or additional responsibilities. Publicly sharing success stories of employees who exemplify ownership reinforces the desired behavior and motivates others to follow suit.
Encouraging ownership in the workplace is a critical aspect of effective leadership. By establishing a clear vision, fostering trust, promoting accountability, cultivating a learning culture, leading by example, and recognizing ownership, you create an environment where employees feel empowered and motivated to take ownership of their work. As a CEO, investing in these strategies will not only drive employee engagement and productivity but also contribute to the long-term success of your organization.
5. Find The Path Together
Resist the temptation to go it alone. Others may have seen a sign or have an idea you missed. Engage in open dialogue, allowing your employees to share their perspectives and ideas. When individuals understand how their work fits into the bigger picture, they are more likely to take ownership of their roles. There may be times when you can’t make everyone happy. At that point, take ownership for the decisions you ultimately make.
6. Celebrate Victories And The Journey
Acknowledging and rewarding ownership behavior is crucial for its sustenance. Implement recognition programs that celebrate individuals who consistently demonstrate ownership. Whether it’s through verbal recognition, monetary rewards, promotions, or additional responsibilities, these gestures highlight the triumphs of your team members and reinforce the desired behavior.
Encouraging ownership in the workplace is a fundamental aspect of effective leadership. By following the steps above, you create an environment where employees feel safe saying “I dropped the ball and here’s what I’m going to do to fix it.” avoids the accountability conversation and creates a self-corrective culture. Investing in these strategies drives engagement and productivity and creates a self-corrective culture where needing to hold people accountable is the exception, not the rule. Together, let’s guide our teams to summit success!