Benchmark Business Group

Taking Ownership of Management

July 26, 2016

This month we've focused on how, as a business owner, you get your team to take on ownership of a single task. If you've followed along you've defined what taking ownership of a task means, you've created a guide to handing ownership of a task over to an individual, and you've looked at the time you need to devote to this. The last step is making sure that the idea of ownership is not a one-and-done topic in your business.
Having a business where your team takes on ownership of a task is often a welcome relief for business owners, but imagine if your team had ownership of every task they are responsible for completing? This is a part of what we call, "Value Realized." It's what we work with business owners every day to accomplish, but it doesn't end here. If you truly want the vision of a business where every employee has ownership, then YOU need to take ownership of the culture that drives the vision.
  • Schedule the next check in on this task - Even with the best employee and following the previous steps, you will need to check in with an employee on a task. Don't expect perfection from day one. Expect that there will be stumbles and frustrations in implementing ownership of a task. Set realistic expectations, be prepared to go back through the process till the business gets it right, and mark time on your calendar so you don't forget to check in on the progress. Remember, the entries on your calendar are insights into what is important to your business. If you're not willing to calendar time for this you're sending a strong signal to your business about what is really important.
  • Pick the next task from job description - When you are feeling confident that an employee has ownership of one task, don't stop! We often see business owners make the fatal assumption that because they have ownership of one task they now have ownership of all tasks. Each task or responsibility has its own unique set of barriers to overcome that will stop an employee from taking on ownership. Over time, you may see that employees develop a different way of thinking about tasks, but it takes repetition. Stopping this process too early will set the employee up for failure and lead to disappointment.
  • Know that not all employees will make the cut -This isn't a magic pill. You will still have employees that either decides not to be a part of your team or that don't have the skill sets. This process makes sure that you give your team every advantage and opportunity to play, but if someone simply doesn't have the skills or the desire, you will have to make a tough decision. With that in mind, know the work you've done in this process isn't in vain. The work will help you train the next employee faster and with better results.
In the end, having employees that take ownership of a task begins at the top of the business. The business has to take ownership of providing employees with what they need to take ownership of each task, which can include training, systems, and resources. As we mentioned earlier in the month, this can sometimes point out flaws in how your business is currently designed, but there is a proven solution. You just have to decide, are you willing to take on ownership of it?

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