Have you ever wondered why a member of your team hasn’t done something you wanted, or perhaps they have, but you get the feeling that it’s been done with the least effort required to get the job done? I’m sure we’ve all been there. What I want to talk to you about today is how you can create an environment where people want to work for you and want take pride in their work. Its the ONLY way you can grow your business.
Over at Optix Solutions everyone we employ is awesome at their jobs. These are people who have studied the internet industry for many years (in some cases since it pretty much began). We have a group of guys and girls that are proud and passionate about what they do and how they can help their clients. These are people who don’t want to be told what to do, day in day out, with no input of their own. These are people who have a voice and a damn good one too. These are people who want to ‘own’ their work. And there lies the clue…
There is a huge difference between giving someone a task or project and asking them to tell you when it’s done and giving someone ownership or responsibility for that task or project. I’ve found this out the hard way over many years. Here’s the difference:
Straight forward delegation of task:
I’ll ask one of my team to complete a task/project and tell them I need it finished by X date. They’ll take it on, complete it and deliver it back again by that date. This is fine and gets the job done but it’s not half as good as….
I will delegate in exactly the same way but I might use slightly different wording along the lines of, ‘I’d really like you to own this project, you’ve got the authority to make decisions on how it’s done (within boundaries of course) and the responsibility of delivering on X date lies with you’
You see the difference? The impact of this is huge. Why? Because everyone wants to feel wanted, like they have a purpose and ownership of something, like they come to work for a reason. They will take pride in what they do, they will ‘own’ it. What you’ll get back from your team if you start with this approach will exceed your expectations and people will fly.
I was putting together a blog post for the Optix blog recently about the team we have there and I asked everyone what they liked about working for the company. Here are a few choice comments I had back:
Nick – “Flexibility/freedom to use my initiative and be creative”
Kris – “we are all genuinely challenged to be the best we can be, and our Directors actively encourage us to be a part of the company”
Kris – “You’re not just allowed to have your say, you’re listened to. If something doesn’t work or could be done better for a client, you have the power to change it. When we do well we are rewarded and when we make mistakes we’re encouraged to learn from them”
Charlie – “You are encouraged to learn and grow outside of your specific role – this creates real job satisfaction”
Dan – “My input is taken on board and I am my own man”
Dan – “When working in other organisations it has been all too easy to blend into the background and not be a leader. Here at Optix I am encouraged to take control of my own destiny and make things happen. With that comes responsibility, but without great responsibility you cannot have great power! Even Spiderman knows that”
Rich – “We throw a wicked xmas party!”
Ok, so maybe the last one has little to do with ownership but hey its true! 🙂
We understand at Optix that the company can only be successful if we have a team of people who are proud of who they work for, love coming to work and have ownership of the work they do.
How can you foster this environment with your team?
Now Your Thoughts
- Do you give ownership to your staff? What has this brought you?
- Do you have any further thoughts on how to get more from your team beyond this?