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?

Getting Our Employees to Think "My Company" Instead of "My Paycheck"

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”?

Posted in employee engagement, Employee Ownership, Employee Stock Ownership Plan, Empowerment, ESOP, Leadership, Open Book Management, organizational culture, Strategic Culture Change
2 comments on “Getting Our Employees to Think “My Company” Instead of “My Paycheck”
  1. niron says:

    Well you idea is what I call Balanced Score Card is employer-employee relations. Often times, employers expect 150% loyalty from employees but sadly forget to understand that striking a strategic partnership with employees are critical to the attainment of corporate goals. Today, employees have a choice! In order to achieve ‘My company feeling” in an employee; not only should the employee create an ‘intrapreneurial’ climate where the ownership is transferred to employees. They are allowed to make decisions at the same time are monitored and managed performance -wise. The expectation of the employer and the aspiration of the employee MUST meet somewhere. It must be WIN-WIN. Anything short of that is penny wise, pound foolish for an un-discerning employer.

  2. Mrs. Shaw says:

    I once worked for a man who literally had us save every napkin because that was .10 cents out of the company budget. At first, I thought it was crazy. However, when I developed a deeper relationship with my boss and respected him for the “tight” business man he was, I too, became very cautious of whether or not the .22 cent ketchup packet should be saved. If employers would spend the extra time to let the employee feel appreciated and that the company would not survive without them, the employee may take a little more ownership in their decisions. The man’s business ended up going under because his employees did not consider it their own. Even still, I believe that made all the difference. Thank you for your article!

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