I have been married for some time. I became engaged in 1977. That engagement had many implications that can only be appreciated after thirty-four years of marriage. Engagement implies connection, desire, hope, investment, and commitment. If I had not moved beyond engagement in those 35 years, you might question my intentions.
I am aware working for a company is not a marriage, but it is a commitment that results in a quality of relationship. The relationship is influenced by connection, desire, hope, commitment, and mutual benefit of those who create the organization.
Many employees tell me they do not experience these qualities in their organizations. That may be why we have such a difficult time defining employee engagement or determining how to measure it effectively.
Those who do have this quality of relationship to their company have moved beyond engagement to ownership. They are connected, contributing, and finding fulfillment in being a part of the company that makes this quality of connection possible. Engagement is important because it is the path to ownership.
What is it that moves people from engagement to ownership?
1. Clear, Compelling Direction
The leadership capacity of vision sets a clear compelling direction for the organization. When an organization has a vision that its members desire to be a part of and become willing to create, ownership develops.
2. A Shared Mission that Transforms
The leadership capacity of transformation integrates stakeholders into the mission of the organization. Mission brings meaning to work by defining why it is important and the difference it makes. Work is work. Many days it is challenging, tiring, and mundane. Mission is meaning that defines why work is important. A mission worth sharing and owning moves people beyond engagement.
3. Skilled Leadership
Leaders with the capacity to engage people in a compelling vision and a transforming mission can create ownership. This occurs at the team level as that is the primary connection point for the individual. Most leaders cultivate this capacity through development over time.
As you may have noticed, there are two leadership levels required to develop engagement that creates ownership. Leaders at the organizational level have to provide a compelling vision and transforming mission. Team leaders then have the resources to connect people to an organization in a manner that creates ownership.
Our complimentary webinar, Creating Employee Ownership through the Five Levels of Accountability, is a resource that will equip team leaders to make that connection. This is our second and last time to offer it this year so don’t miss out. It will be on Friday, September 28 at 1 p.m. Sign up here.