Engagement and Ownership are about accepting responsibility and taking charge, and they exist to the degree that an employee can influence outcomes.
Why is Engagement and Ownership Important?
Studies show that workers with higher levels of Engagement and Ownership are 25%-65% less likely to leave a company, and they are approximately 20% more productive. Think about that for a second. A team of five highly-Engaged employees, who truly Own their work, are as productive as a team of six who aren’t and don’t. Consider the savings to the cost of production that stem from optimal productivity and lower attrition rates.
Internal Question: How much would a 20% productivity boost impact your bottom line, and how much stress and financial relief would 25%-65% less attrition bring to your team?
What are Common Key Elements of Cultures that Support Engagement and Ownership?
- Employees have a clear understanding of Objectives, Resources, and Values.
- Objectives – What we want to accomplish.
- Resources – The people, equipment, material, tools, and time we have to accomplish Objectives.
- Values – Our fundamental principles that guide how we use our resources to accomplish the Objective.
- Leaders support “Boots on the Ground” planning, resource allocation, and process improvement. The more influence/control employees feel they have, the more likely they are to be Engaged and Own their work, and the more likely they will continually improve personal and corporate efficiency.
- Leaders and workers jointly establish Social Norms/Expectations for performance. This builds a “tribe” mentality, which helps facilitate group and peer-based accountability.
- Accountability is routine. An employee who isn’t Engaging and Owning his work to the level of team expectations is supported, trained, and coached, to bring him up to speed, but if these efforts fail, then he is removed from the team.
- Leaders are Servants/Resource Providers to their workers – not directors/dictators. The team leader’s primary role is to ensure that her people know what to do, have what they need to do it, and is available for questions and guidance, when needed.
- Leaders check with team members regularly to verify that they feel they have the resources and authority to influence outcomes.
QUESTIONS FOR TEAMS TO HELP IMPROVE ENGAGEMENT & OWNERSHIP:
- What do we do best here to develop a culture of Engagement and Ownership?
- If you could change 1 thing to improve Engagement and Ownership, what would it be?
- How could we better handle accountability, when one of our team members isn’t Owning his part of the job?
- What does Engagement and Ownership look like for our each of our team members?
For additional information on employee Engagement and Ownership, I recommend Drive, by Daniel Pink.