Are your employees owners or renters?
Studies have shown that employees who take an ownership in their jobs are more accountable for their performance, helping lead the company to greater success.
A leader’s first step in building accountability in a company’s culture is making sure everyone owns something. Everyone needs to be an OWNER.
You can’t expect accountability out of your employees if you don’t allow them to own what they do. If they don’t own their jobs, then they are merely RENTERS — renting a job.
What does a company full of renters look like?
- Turnover is high and consistent
- There is low employee engagement
- There are poor working relationships and little to no socialization outside of work.
I remember how exciting it was to move out of my college dorm for the first time. Moving into the dorm was one thing, but that first apartment in college was another level of excitement. I still remember my first shower curtain, which had a spread of aces from a deck of cards. It was so cheesy, but it was mine — in my apartment.
However, before we could move in there and hang that curtain, there was a minor business transaction that had to be executed. We signed a one-year lease and was informed that after a year it goes month to month. We lived in that apartment for exactly one year and moved out. We moved into another apartment for a year and then moved out.
Renting for most is a short-term relationship. It NEVER crossed our minds to upgrade or improve the apartment. After the initial excitement wore off, we just lived there. We actually left the apartment in worse shape than when we moved in. It was a miracle we actually got our security deposit back.
But we all know what happens when we buy our first home. We get crazed and have a totally different attitude and approach. I don’t care if you build it from the ground up or bought an existing home. Our attitude and engagement are totally different as OWNERS versus RENTERS. We care! And we care a lot! Our hearts are in it from Day 1.
It’s the same in the business world. Some companies have a culture where employees are merely renting a job. No wonder they have high turnover and poor employee engagement. The building is full of RENTERS.
And those companies lose top performers too easily. Top performers are OWNERS, and need to be surrounded by OWNERS.
Here are three tips for creating a company full of owners:
1. Clearly lay out the expectation of ownership when you hire new employees.
2. When you become an owner, you take the credit and blame. So you want to hire people that love to perform under pressure.
3. Always show your employees you have confidence in them and trust them publicly and privately. The confidence you give them will encourage them in their ownership efforts.