Why Your Employees Should Adopt the Ownership Mindset

Why Your Employees Should Adopt the Ownership Mindset

Are you curious about what an "ownership mindset" is? An ownership mindset in the workplace is one where employees feel a personal stake in the company's performance. Employees who are allowed the freedom to adopt an ownership mindset can make decisions and then take accountability for those decisions. Employees who are more involved with the company and its performance are also more highly engaged. 


Did you know that organizations boasting a high level of engagement report that they have over 20% more productivity than before they had a high level of employee engagement? 


In this blog, we will discover why it's so critical that leaders allow their employees to adopt an ownership mindset.  


Renter vs. Owner Mentality


Before we discuss the differences between renter and owner mentalities, I want to provide some context around employee engagement. Here are a few statistics that center around employee engagement:


  • Disengaged employees cost US companies $450-$550 billion annually in lost revenues. (HR Drive)


  • A 2020 poll showed that only 36% of US employees are engaged in their work and workplace. (Gallup)


  • A poll in 2021 shows that 74% of actively disengaged workers are either actively looking for new employment or watching for openings. (Gallup)


Employee engagement is a hot topic with leadership teams because they know disengaged workers are costing them lots of money. It's usually up to human resource departments to try and fix the issue. Unfortunately, solving the problem of disengaged employees is complex. That's why leadership teams, human resource departments, and management must start to have their employees adopt an ownership mentality. It requires campaigning, training, and communication from the highest level of the organization.


What is a Renter Mindset in the Workplace?


"Renter" employees do what they are told to do. They follow the rules that management has set forth. They allow others to define what they do and how they do it. Now, you might wonder, 'What exactly is wrong with a renter employee?' They do what they are told when they are told to do it. But consider the possibilities if they were to challenge the status quo. What if they had ideas or suggestions to make a process more efficient or streamlined? What if they stepped outside of the box that was drawn for them? While it's great to have employees who do what they are told, it's often better to have employees who are empowered to do even more. But remember, it's up to you to empower them with the time and mental resources to possess an ownership mentality. 


What is an Owner Mindset in the Workplace?


Contrary to "renter" employees, "owner" employees take charge. If they see something broken, they will fix it. Owner employees can tackle situations and improve processes without needing a directive from leadership. They are highly engaged in driving process improvements for the company. However, you must understand the employee can't just decide to have this mentality. Leadership must allow employees the freedom to do this, which takes more than words. You may give them freedom, but if your employees have a never-ending list of tasks, they don't have the opportunity to take advantage of that freedom. 


To put this in perspective, consider the difference between owning a home and renting a home. If you rent a home, you are less likely to be invested in routine maintenance and cleaning; that is the landlord's job. But if it's a home you own, you have a vested interest in maintaining the house. You should want your employees to have this mentality in the workplace.


Owners of an organization or business act and think differently than most employees. They are passionate about their business and want to succeed. When the organization succeeds, the owners have succeeded. Why not include the employees in this journey and have them highly involved? Organizations that are successful at engaging employees and having them adopt an ownership mindset know that they will have created a culture of employees who will do what they are supposed to be doing even when no one is looking. We want to empower our employees to make the same decisions an owner would make.   

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