Ownership in organizations

Ownership in  organizations

'Do you have any training programs to coach our employees to feel ownership in the organization?' is a question often asked of me when companies...

"Do you have any training programs to coach our employees to feel ownership in the organization?" is a question often asked of me when companies approach me for leadership, behavioural and management training. I cannot but help wonder at how critically important such a simple concept as ownership has become in the corporate scenario today that people need to be trained in it! Today, there are articles and surveys done on ownership culture in organizations to see how much employees feel a sense of owning the company. From engaging them in decision-making to creating an atmosphere to innovate are some of the steps that organizations today take to give employees the feeling that it is their company and not one that they just work for. Of course, the word "ownership" is not alien to anyone. In simpler terms, it is also called being accountable for one's actions and also feeling a sense of responsibility towards one's items and goals. Right from childhood we are made to understand by our parents and our teachers that we need to take care of our things and we have to behave in a responsible manner. So, if we consider these to be the basic parameters that make up ownership, we can then define it simply as: Ownership = Responsibility X Accountability i.e. being responsible X being accountable For any organization to achieve this, there are three major factors that come into play and impact it: Sincerity towards one's tasks: An individual who feels a sense of ownership will take any assigned task and perform it in a sincere and meticulous way. She / he will explore every available option to get the tasks done and put in the resources of whatever time, effort and energy required getting it completed. They will learn the skills and competencies required and discuss with experts and supervisors and independently be able to accomplish these tasks by taking the guidance and help they need. Some items can just be delegated to them and they will go about working on them in any which way they can. They would love challenges and take on deadlines with strength and determination to make things happen. Taking responsibility for one's tasks and actions is an important part of making one accountable for their behaviour and work and increase the sense of ownership towards the organization.
Awareness about team targets: It is so often said in every team-building program request that an employee should be able to put their needs and desires aside in the interest of the company's goals and vision; that they need to look beyond what they need or want and look at what the team needs and where the team and organization goals align. Employees who feel a sense of ownership seem to do this seamlessly and effortlessly. In fact, when they think of what they want in the organization, they begin with the big picture of the organization and then work backwards to align to how they can achieve their individual goals and desires in the organization while working together in the team they are in currently. These employees take into account that not everything is in their control and that some requests cannot be met and that some can and they work to build their goals around the requests that can get met. These employees will be able to step aside and let the team function towards its goal, believing that they will have their chance afterwards and that the organization will offer support to them then. They will not only have the focus of their tasks but will also have the peripheral vision to keep track of what else is happening around in the team and are ready to pitch in wherever they are needed. No blame and empowerment in the organization: Employees who feel a sense of ownership need to be empowered in the organization. Which means, when the organization is looking for employees to take ownership, even it has to make certain guidelines for them to function. There needs to be a transparent and open policy about projects, and the company has to, most importantly, be willing to let employees try doing things their way. When employees experiment, of course within the boundaries of the resources made available to them, sometimes they may commit mistakes or things may not go the exact way expected. When this happens, the tendency is to quickly blame someone for these mistakes and make them take responsibility. Instead, having a no-blame zone in an organization, says the international concept Directive Communication Psychology, helps employees, in fact, come forward proactively to accept responsibility, thus creating a stronger sense of ownership. In today's corporate world, the organization's need for employees to feel ownership is soon replacing the need for it wanting them to feel engaged and aligned to organization � and for all the right reasons! Who could be more loyal to a company and perform more effectively and productively for any organization than an owner? Help yourself and your colleagues feel the ownership... You have the power! (Revathi Turaga is an International Trainer and Inspirational Speaker.
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