Getting Our Employees to Think “My Company” Instead of “My Paycheck”
Just imagine what it would be like if everyone in your company related to your company as if it were his/her company too. What else could you accomplish if everyone didn’t just show up to collect a paycheck? How much more fun might you have together too?
I was coaching one of my clients the other day, and as he takes over what is now a third-generation family business from his father over the next year he’s committed to creating a “My Company” mentality for everyone on his staff. We may not be 100% certain about how he will do that yet. We are, however, quite certain about the powerful message that will send to his staff and what the potential is for what will soon be his fourth-generation business if he can achieve that.
Creating a culture of engagement and ownership like this will shift everyone’s mindset from merely being workers to being stewards of the business. We expect everyone to show up and play all out – being much smarter and more intentional about their actions instead of simply coming to work and punching a clock. And if they do that, literally anything is possible for the future. Corporate expansion, merger and acquisition, maybe just increased industry recognition is all on the table as being possible when employees want to be at work because they get the value of their contributions. And yes, these enlightened employees would also reap the benefits of their dedication and commitment similar to any other business owner.
Just to be clear, I’m not talking about instituting an employee stock ownership plan (or ESOP) to make our employees owners of our companies. Many companies do that, and it might actually be a good solution for you to consider. I, however, am merely suggesting a strategic culture change such that our employees feel and act like owners of our companies instead of employees.
As an entrepreneur and small business owner, I continually ask myself how I can get others to be as committed to my company’s success as I am. Over the years, I’ve tried more of an open book management approach at times, sharing our financials with total transparency. I have also included everyone in setting our strategic goals.
Regardless of the tactic, after 11 years now, it’s clearly not just a job for me. It’s a way of life. It is a conscious choice for me to own a firm that enables me to pursue my personal passion for improving performance and implementing positive changes in organizations and in people’s lives. I’m confident I could do that in other places if I wanted to. I’m also confident I am more successful in achieving that goal whenever my team members feel like it is their goal too and see how their actions either promote that or prevent it from happening.
We all spend way too much time at work not to feel empowered and engaged. What can you do to have your employees think “My Company” instead of “My Paycheck”?