Stock Options & Shares Aside: What is one way to create a sense of ownership for
leaders and employees in a company?
To help you instill a sense of ownership into the talent at your business, we asked
human resource professionals and other business leaders this question for their best
ideas. From allowing autonomy to make decisions to tying results to individuals and
teams, not the company, there are several pieces of advice that may help boost your
employees’ sense of ownership, without relying on stock options and share programs.
Here are nine recommendations for creating a sense of ownership within a company’s leaders and employees:
- Allow Autonomy to Make Decisions
- Include Employees in the Decision-Making Process
- Implement Net Income Compensation Plans
- Facilitate Employee Access & Mastery of Products
- Promote Internally
- Be Transparent with Financial Reporting
- Prominently Share & Embody the Mission Statement
- Delegate Authority
- Tie Results to Individuals & Teams, Not the Company
Allow Autonomy to Make Decisions
One way to create a sense of ownership for leaders and employees in a company is to give them the autonomy to make decisions. This could mean allowing employees the freedom to experiment with new ideas or allowing leaders to make decisions without going through a lengthy approval process. Creating a culture of ownership can help increase employee engagement and motivation, and may improve the company’s overall performance.
Andre Oentoro, Breadnbeyond
Include Employees in the Decision-Making Process
Traditionally, leadership teams make decisions and then present them to employees. This top-down approach can work in some cases, but it often doesn’t foster a sense of ownership among employees. When people are included in the decision-making process, they’re more likely to buy into the decision that’s made and feel a sense of responsibility for it.
One way to involve employees in this process is to let them know about upcoming changes or challenges that the company is facing. Then, gather input from employees on what they think would be the best way to address the issue. By getting employees involved early on, they’ll have a stake in the outcome and be more likely to support it.
Todd Saunders, BIG Safety
Implement Net Income Compensation Plans
Net income sharing compensation plans can give employees a sense of ownership without giving them equity. Net income sharing or ‘phantom’ equity plans can mimic the ownership effect of stock options. This compensation style rewards employees based upon an agreement of net income that is to be shared. Instead of giving an employee 5% equity, they can receive 5% of the company’s income. This will incentivize employees to work and produce for the company as if it were their own. Net income sharing is a powerful way to incentivize personnel.
Sean Doherty, Box Genie
Facilitate Employee Access & Mastery of Products
One way to give employees a sense of ownership and connection to a company is to grant them exclusive access to the products they sell. Depending on the product, businesses can give discounts, limited free merchandise, or host workshops with the products so that employees can use, feel, and understand products more effectively. Alienating employees from the products they handle, represent, or sell inevitably diminishes their expertise and sense of ownership for what they do.
For employees to fully understand, support, and get behind a company, businesses need to be open to connecting employees to the products they sell. In retail, for example, that might look like letting each employee choose an item of apparel for their personal wardrobe. When exposure to a product increases expertise, insights, and emotional connection to a business, it’s in businesses’ best interests to give teams a taste of the customer experience.
Jason Panzer, Hexclad
Promote internally, at least where and whenever possible. In order for employees to invest loyalty in addition to their time, they need to see an opportunity for growth and that they’ll be rewarded for their efforts. If a company demonstrates that it values its employees’ commitment this way, it creates a more insular team atmosphere that can take pride in the work they have done.
Someone who earned a promotion within the company can take ownership of their accomplishments, and be elevated as a model of success for others to follow. Why would employees feel valued and feel pride for their work when outside hires are brought in to be their new boss?
Theresia Le Battistini, Fashion League
Be Transparent with Financial Reporting
One way to create a sense of ownership in a company is by giving employees access to the finances. This can be done through clear financial reporting that is accessible to all employees, and it can also be done by setting up an open-book accounting system so that they actually see how their work impacts the bottom line.
This type of transparency gives employees more information about how they’re doing, which helps them understand what they need to do to succeed as individuals and as part of the team. It also creates a sense of ownership because they can see how their hard work is paying off for everyone involved.
Tiffany Homan, Texas Divorce Laws
Prominently Share & Embody the Mission Statement
Most organizations have a vision statement and one that is usually hanging on a wall; is captured in an employee handbook; and may be on the company website. However, having a mission, a clear statement of why the organization exists and its overall goals, that is lived and actualized allows the leaders and the workforce to create a shared ownership in the organization. If members of the organization feel that they are a part of and have a stake in striving and working towards that mission, commitment will increase.
Jacqueline Ross, Jacqueline C Ross LLC
Delegating authority is one way to create a sense of ownership for leaders and employees in a company. When leaders delegate authority, they are giving employees the power to make decisions and take action. This can help employees to feel more invested in the company and its success.
Delegating authority can also help to develop leadership skills among employees. As they learn to make decisions and take action, they will be better prepared to assume leadership roles in the future. Delegating authority is an effective way to create a sense of ownership among leaders and employees. It can help employees to feel more invested in the company and its success, and it can also help to develop leadership skills among employees.
Marc J. Shuman, Shuman Legal
Tie Results to Individuals & Teams, Not the Company
People invest more in results that are connected to them personally or their team. In contrast, many people feel invisible and less accountable when the results are attributed to the entire company, which may have thousands of employees and senior staff.
Moreover, connecting results to individuals and teams makes staff more visible through their work. This can improve their sense of belonging, help them understand how their contributions matter—as well as what they could improve on. I’ve seen this approach encourage people to more often collaborate, take on leadership roles, and present at company meetings.Jon Torres, SEO Marketing Guy
Special thanks to all who contributed to this article as well as to the many leaders across the globe pursuing their dreams of business owners. Ready to take it to the next level? Want to unlock the guidance your business needs, with simplicity & trust?
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