Are You Fostering Ownership of Your Team?

Joe Weinlick
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While traditional leadership styles call for managing your work teams, excessive management may actually restrict innovation, risk-taking, and growth among your employees. One alternative is to let employees start managing themselves. You can accomplish this by fostering a culture of ownership among your work teams, which allows them more independence to take control and invest themselves in the growth of their organization.

What Is a Culture of Ownership?

This type of culture results when employees feel comfortable enough to start taking ownership of tasks, implementing their own initiatives and resources to succeed. Employees who take ownership are willing to express issues, actively look for solutions and ask for help when they need it, especially because owning something makes workers care more about seeing it succeed. This also means employees feel comfortable owning up to their failures as well as their successes, according to Forbes.

Start Rethinking Failures and Mistakes

If you want to promote ownership among your work teams, create an office culture that doesn't shame employees for inevitable failure. A culture of blame and finger-pointing is likely to only make team members avoid taking risks or owning larger projects, two factors that can make or break a company's growth. This results in timid, fearful employees and mediocre efforts.

The first step toward remedying this problem is for leaders to encourage employees to always be honest and own up to their mistakes. If the employee failed while taking a risk, leaders should respect the attempt while tasking employee with coming up with a strategy to avoid a repeat of the situation. Leaders should also reward workers for coming clean about mistakes so the rest of the work team understands that honesty isn't punished in the workplace.

Invest in Rewards and Foster Healthy Competition

Rewarding your work teams is a strong strategy for promoting ownership as team members feel more valued and are, therefore, more likely to care about and invest themselves in the company. This also promotes a culture of recognition as work teams receive tangible rewards for their hard work and accomplishments. Rewards might be prizes for hitting a goal, tangible rewards for giving maximum effort, or even simply a few words of recognition for a job well done. Leaders can also introduce some friendly competition to spur on their work teams, such as pool tournaments or a contest to meet a certain goal.

Give work teams the credit they deserve by letting them own up and take the wheel when it comes to professional projects and key tasks. The result is more dedicated workers and a culture of innovation and growth. By reshaping the way your company looks at failures, encouraging honesty, and implementing some rewards and competition, you can start fostering ownership among your work teams today.

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