Pride of Ownership
By Behzad Khorsand
Behzad Khorsand, consultant,
We can all relate to the joy of taking ownership of something we deem valuable. Think of a time when you were able to claim stake to something that was yours. Maybe it was when you got the keys to your first car or when you presented a great idea that was your concept. We take pride in what is ours.
The phrase ‘pride of ownership’ is frequently associated with home ownership, but it can apply to employee ownership as well. Employees that have a stake in the future outcome of their company tend to exude a level of pride not seen in other employees. These owners are more likely to recognize the value of their role within the organization and they tend to foster a sense of camaraderie with their colleagues as they all work towards a common goal. When employees are owners, not only are they proud, but also eager to express it. I recall an interaction with a sales representative who made it a point during our negotiation to mention that he works for an employee-owned firm and that his incentives are aligned with that of the company. He touted the benefits of this type of structure for his position and I clearly noticed his genuine interest in the business as a whole. Essentially, this company had created a spokesperson out of its employee.
Ownership runs deep. We are programmed to place a higher value on those things that we perceive as ours, even though at times it may be irrational. Perhaps this is why there are examples of employee owners at struggling companies who banded together to weather the storm and revive their organizations.
Ownership comes with responsibility. To some, this means taking better care of their own property and in the case of employee owners, it refers to their commitment to drive long-term growth. Furthermore, the company holds the responsibility of building an ownership culture within its organization, which is often vital to the success of any ownership strategy. Ownership can be empowering, but only to the extent to which a company gives its employees the information and tools necessary to grow the business.
For some employee owners, the primary driver of pride is not simply the company culture of ownership, but rather what that philosophy says about them as a person. Remember, we take pride in what is ours, regardless of its form.
We would love to hear from you. Send us examples that demonstrate ‘pride of ownership’ within your organization.