Startup Tips: 5 Ways to Cultivate Ownership Gene in Your Team

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Pic credit: https://www.logomaker.com/

By Shrijay Sheth

Many things contribute to creating a work culture that boosts self-confidence and personal accountability.

It is a state where every team member has the freedom to make decisions and take ownership.

Accountability should not be demanded without understanding that it is not a tool or process.

It starts with making your teammates (yes, not the employees) able to succeed and equipping them with the necessary tools to achieve tasks.

Doing this will ignite an ownership mentality which draws symbiotic benefits for both – your business and their professional life.

Consider implementing these 5 things in your organization to cultivate the ownership gene.

  1. Create Intrapreneurs who take decisions

Creating intrapreneurs within the business means allowing team members to delegate authority and responsibility. This is how they pass on the work ownership to others.

There is an innate sense of belongingness that helps to achieve results – this creates a camaraderie between the task assignor and assignee.

It also distances the owners from all the usual workday nitty-gritty and helps to stay focused on the larger, long-term goals.

Intra-preneurs are the people who will treat the business as their personal responsibility, thus enabling utmost operational efficiency.

They are the CEO of their tasks and goals, responsible for decision-making and creating other leaders.

  1. Power to disagree and prove it

Founders should not surround themselves with people who just agree to everything that is said. Cultivate fearlessness within the organization so that people can disagree with your decisions or calls.

Giving such power to disagree with someone as senior as a founder will also make them bold amongst their peers.

It will push team members to put forward their argument in a rational manner and prove themselves.

Having the courage to disagree with higher authorities involves deep knowledge. While it does take some courage to oppose the leader, remember that it is never personal – it is about the business.

It should be never about one’s belief and ideas. So when any team member is vocal in challenging the ideas given by the leadership it means that this team player is ready to question the status-quo, seeking the right decision.

It is all about the drive and commitment they have for their role in the organization.

As a business owner, one should always stay open to receiving such ideas, proposition and see it getting implemented.

  1. Backing entrepreneurial thinking

This is especially true for entrepreneurs who start a new business to kickstart their growth story. Founders may know how their business is making revenue but do the people know everything about it?

Make the team familiar with the business model, give them tools and platform to think and act like entrepreneurs. First thing is to give your team a structure with resources to help them make reliable business decisions.

This includes training and probably leadership reading sessions on Fridays to learn and implement some of the learning in the coming week.

It is a great idea to have all team members coming under one roof to share their ‘weekly story’ rather than presenting a performance report.

Maybe you can assign someone to compile a performance report. But for others, hear them out and all the small decisions they took.

It will have each team member acting like an owner as they enjoy the freedom to make decisions albeit with accountability.

  1. Backing entrepreneurial thinking

It is important that each one in the team contributes and take the onus for achievement. A team member acknowledging other(s) for the job well done helps reinforce team spirit.

Promote the culture of value-based behaviour where team members acknowledge things like taking up responsibility, task ownership and achieving the desired outcome.

Such positive reinforcement will not happen overnight as a one-off incident, but the owners need to promote and nurture it.

This includes training and probably leadership reading sessions on Fridays to learn and implement some of the learning in the coming week.

It is a great idea to have all team members coming under one roof to share their ‘weekly story’ rather than presenting a performance report.

Maybe you can assign someone to compile a performance report. But for others, hear them out and all the small decisions they took.

It will have each team member acting like an owner as they enjoy the freedom to make decisions albeit with accountability.

5. Nurture positive reinforcement

Always promote and motivate the discretionary decision-making amongst the team members to serve clients better.

It reflects that the owners and head of businesses care about the team and that they have the right mind-set for people to prosper in the organization.

It is also one of the best ways to celebrate a company’s values and behaviours that instil these values.

A startup needs build an A- team who will put in their blood and sweat to achieve the goal. Start appreciating the team efforts and also the people who lead from the front.

The idea is to drive multiple teams across the organization to a single idea. Taking an entire team along will need leaders who are ‘one of them’ to feel that they are being heard.

Start by bouncing off the ideas across departments, promote individual making calls and also hold them firmly if those go wrong.

Conclusion: 

Following these above-mentioned ways will promote task ownership and even in customer-facing departments, there will be owners and not mere employees.

There are team players and then there are individuals who make a difference by their willingness to go beyond mundane responsibilities.

They are the ones who take ownership seriously and command a commitment from everyone they deal with in the organization.

Spotting such talents and promoting them to leadership roles will help individuals to grow with the business.


About Author:

Shrijay Sheth is an entrepreneur with more than ten years of experience in working with hyper-growing digital commerce companies across the globe. Currently, he runs an eCommerce strategy and Analytics consulting company, along with a LegalTech venture in India called https://www.legalwiz.in/

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