Nowadays, it is a fundamental goal for every team leader to build a culture of ownership in their teams.
As a leader, I have studied and investigated this subject. In the following paragraphs, I will share a list of some of my learnings and experiences.
Are you willing to take the ownership of your work in a professional development environment? Let’s build the best team together! Check out our open positions to join our team.
Building an Ownership Culture is a Process
As a leader, the first thing you need to understand is that creating a culture of ownership is a process. Nothing will happen with just one action or one step. And as it is a process, repetition and constant adjustment, are the keys to success.
Listen to Your Team
It is crucial to get to know the people who are working with you. Listen to them. Try to understand their motivation as a group and as individuals. Be open-minded about their ideas on how to achieve goals. It is also important that employees feel like an essential part of your team and that most of the time their ideas can be carried out.
Leading by Example
Maybe one of the most influential actions that you can take as a leader is to show your team how you take ownership of your assignments. You cannot pretend that your team has ownership if you do not have it. And it is easier for them to follow a leader than to try to discover something by themselves.
Finding a Common Goal
Every team needs a common goal. If your team does not have it, then, it is not a team, it is just a group of people. That is a fact. For example, the goal of a software development team would be to build some application.
But, when we talk about ownership, we need to find a secondary and challenging goal for the team. The challenge facing the leader is to ensure that everyone shares that common goal. For example, if the company does not have a Quality Policy, you can define a purpose such as “Our next app will be a trustworthy application.”
Building a Reliable Plan
As part of leading by example, you need to build a plan. And not just build it, you need to show and explain the project to your team. You need to be sure that your team comprehends the plan, and trusts it. Another important fact is that this plan will not be too detailed. It is a strategic plan, not an operative one. If you detail everything in your plan, there is no space for ownership. For example: “Our next app, will be a trustworthy application.
1) Understand how to measure quality.
2) Build a dashboard for understanding our issues.
3) Fix those issues.
Team members with leadership skills will adopt the ownership culture more easily. Find them, teach them soft skills – and empower them. The rest of the team will follow. Also, share some of your ideas with these members. They can help you make some decisions, and consequently, you will be showing how important they are to the team.
The proper delegation of responsibility is a key in our quest for the culture of ownership. There are tons of literature about how to delegate properly. Some basics for proper delegation that can help you in your daily quest are:
- Be clear about the objectives of the assignment that you are delegating.
- Agree on deadlines and checkpoints with the person who has been assigned.
- Be a reference – not a boss – when the person needs help with the assignment.
Everyone is Accountable
Once you have appropriately delegated a task, the person to whom the task has been assigned to is the new owner of that task. Be clear about that. They need to know that the success or failure of what was assigned to them is now their responsibility.
Last but not least, one of the most important points in the pursuit of building an ownership culture is feedback. Give your team regular feedback on their performance. Share results, ideas and plans. Celebrate positive results and attitudes. Listen to them. Ask them for new ideas. As times goes by, active participation, collaboration and taking ownership of projects will become a natural behavior within your team.
Are you willing to take the ownership of your work in a tech-saavy environment? Let’s build the best team together! Check out our open positions to join our team.