When Your Employees Own Your Business

As a business owner, how often have you imagined what your business could be like if only your employees shared your vision? In other words, if they shared your sense of ownership? A truly outstanding business is a place where the entire staff shares a strong vision of the future of the business.

An ‘ownership’ culture happens when people stop speaking about ‘the’ company and start speaking about ‘their’ company. ‘The company’ isn't having its best year ever ‘we're’ having our best year ever. ‘The company’ isn't coming out with a new product line, ‘we're’ coming out with a new product line.

Is this happening at your business?

There’s no doubt you need an inspired and motivated staff to bring your company to the next level. However, instilling a sense of ownership in your team isn’t simple. It’s a process, it’s an important investment, and ultimately, it begins with you as a leader. Here’s how.

As the leader, you need to make sure that your business is the type of place that attracts first-rate people. If you haven’t already, you need to implement clear and effective systems across all levels of your business. An effective, efficient business lets people know you're on a mission and will attract a team who is inspired by efficiency.

Next, you need to be a motivating leader. You, as a person. Great employees want a motivating employee/employer relationship- the kind that draws its strength from the power of shared goals. To be able to offer this kind of relationship to your people, you first need a strong management philosophy yourself. Just as a sports coach must align him/herself with the goals of both his athletes and the team, so must a manager align him/herself with the goals of both his staff and the organization. In doing so, you can instantly and dramatically increase everyone's productivity.

To shape your philosophy, consider these attributes. If you can shift your own approach in this direction, you’ll achieve the Owner-driven culture you’ve always dreamed of.

10 Attributes of a Motivating Leader

1. You encourage your employees to set ambitious yet realistic goals. You work with them to create strategies for reaching those goals, and hold them accountable for their actions.

2. You commit yourself to the success of your individual employees and to the overall success of your organization.

3. You bring an educated, objective, long-term perspective to the work at hand. Your perspective is the opposite of remaining static. (Remember, it's the manager's job to keep a watchful eye on the horizon. Is the work that is currently being done pulling your business into the future?)

4. You care about the personal welfare of your employees. Yes, in theory we should all leave our personal life at the door when we come to work but we all know that’s not reality. When you are sensitive to the personal needs of your employees (i.e. when a family member passes away, or when someone has recently returned from maternity leave) they will reward you with loyalty and renewed devotion to their work.

5. When you’re with them, you give your employees your undivided attention.

6. You encourage your employees to book themselves a private meeting with you at any time, but discourage them from dropping in unexpectedly. Blocking off time for the individuals on your team will allow you to give them your undivided attention. This approach will show your employees that you value their input without infringing on the time you need to focus on your own work.

7. You stand behind your people through the winning and the losing. You shoulder the blame for the losses and give credit for the victories. That’s why your people go the extra mile for you.

8. You admit when you make a mistake and never let your pride bring you down.

9. You expect excellence from people and they tend to live up to your expectations.

10. You give and demand respect at all times.
You treat everyone you work with and everything you do with the greatest respect. If an employee has an idea, you take it seriously. If an employee has a complaint, you take it seriously. That’s why everyone has so much respect for you and for “their company.”

By Mark Wardell

May 24, 2019

Wardell Professional Development

President & Founder of Wardell Professional Development, an advisory group helping business owners plan and execute the growth. Mark also writes regularly for Profit Magazine, The Globe & Mail, and CGA Magazine.