This is the fourth and final episode in a series dedicated to employee retention. Today we are focusing on the idea of ownership. If you can empower your employees to feel and act like owners, they will stay with you.
Before I jump into ownership, I wanted to throw out a little something from yesterday. Yesterday we talked about appreciation. One of the pieces I forgot to mention yesterday was around compensation. So let me talk through that for a second here. While many people don’t tie appreciation with money, everyone wants to be paid what they are worth. If you are paying 25% less (or 30% less) than the competition, you will lose your talented employee whether they tie appreciation to money or not. In that instance, it isn’t about appreciation, it’s about feeling like you are being taken advantage of.
You don’t want to damage their trust in you by making them feel like they are not worth the market price for the job they are doing. Ensure the compensation you are paying your team is competitive and then you can focus on appreciating them in the way in which they have defined appreciation.
Now, back to ownership. As I said previously, the fourth key pillar of employee retention is ownership. If you can make them feel like they are part of the team, part of the decision-making process. If you can give them a voice, make them feel heard, and ensure they feel like they are contributing to the overall company, they will feel like an owner.
Your goal is to be honest with your total team about how the company is performing, what’s on the horizon for the company relative to the vision, any risk, concerns, problems, etc. Whatever is going on, if you will share that with your employees, they will feel like an owner. They will start to take responsibility for being part of the solution. When that happens you have 10s to 100s of people staying up at night thinking about the problems you shared and working to come up with a solution. Not only does it make your business better, it makes your employees more loyal to the company.
As we have been discussing, if they can be the hero, if they can contribute and make the business better, they will feel better about what they are doing personally. To have that feeling inside of themselves. To know they are making the business better. To know they are appreciated for it. To know they are trusted with the knowledge of what’s happening in the business and they are not only empowered to do their job but to help the overall company, they feel like an owner. They are an owner without all of the responsibility. For most employees, this is the ideal situation for them. Fulfillment without risk.
As you reflect on your team, are you challenging them to be owners? Are you allowing them/expecting them to share their ideas, their feedback, their solutions? Are you empowering them to be more than just an employee in your company? Are you expecting them to be part of the solution or growth that the company is experiencing?
If you are, keep doing it! Continue to find ways to create owners within your team.
If you aren’t creating owners, you just aren’t doing it yet. So think about how you can share more information with your employees (without sharing more than you feel comfortable sharing). Build a routine around providing regular updates to your team and think about how you can regularly talk to the group about problem solving, contributing with new ideas, suggestions, and solutions.