QLeadership – Make employees feel like partners

If you want your employees to be motivated to do their best, and if you want them to be the most valuable asset on your balance sheet, then let them feel and experience ownership in the organization.

The best managers make every employee feel like a business partner. Why? Because when people feel ownership of something, they look out for it, protect it, and pour themselves into it.

One way world-class organizations and their managers help create workplaces alive with entrepreneurial thinking and a sense of owner­ ship (aside from the usual profit-sharing and stock options) is to retitle their employe.es’ positions. For example: Starbucks and TD industries refer to their employees as partners. Guidant, famous maker of pacemakers, uses the term employee-owners. And LensCrafters, Marriott, W.L. Gore, Publix Super Markets, and Capital One all call their people associates.

Making everyone feel like a partner in the business is one way managers empower their people. Here are some other ways you can do the same:

Encourage entrepreneurial thinking: This goes beyond profit sharing and stock options.     It’s about the attitude instilled in others by you, the manager. Instilling an entrepreneurial               mindset requires employees to think like business owners, not employees. The term also conveys a sense of feeling joint ownership and caring about the success of the business and happiness of its people. When employees feel like entrepreneurs, they’re motivated to take exceptional pride in their work because they are treated like business partners, not hired help.

Explain how the business is run: Help employees better under­ stand what’s going on outside the walls of your department. When employees know how they fit in and the difference they make, they can do their work more intelligently. Give employees information about the organization’s history to help establish a greater sense of pride and identity. Instruct employees on how to read the company’s annual report, if one is available. Point out the CEO’s message to help clarify organizational goals, mission, vision, and progress. Encourage employees to identify things they can do to contribute directly to achieving the organization’s strategic goals. Then let them act on their ideas.

Help employees feel as If they own the business: If you want your employees to put more of themselves into their work, help them find more of themselves in the work they do. Here’s the key: if you want your employees to be motivated to perform at their highest lev­ els, then help them gain more control of their jobs; help them feel as if they belong to a community, and most of all, as if they own the business!

“Its surprising how much you can accomplish, if you don’t care who gets the credit.,,

-Abraham Lincoln

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