Creating an Ownership Mentality

Build an Ownership Mentality in the Workplace with These Tips


Employees taking ownership of their work results in a sense of psychological ownership of the organization. In turn, this positively affects their attitude (organizational commitment and job satisfaction) and their work behavior (performance and organizational citizenship) according to a study performed by Linn Van Dyne of Michigan State University and Jon L. Pierce of the University of Minnesota. This sense of psychological ownership increases an employee’s sense of engagement and encourages employees to exhibit helpful behaviors toward the organization and to other co-workers. But how does a company create a sense of ownership in its employees to capitalize on ownership mentality and enjoy the benefits?

At Employer Support Services, we explain how your company can create an ownership mentality in its employees so you can see the rewards in their happiness, engagement, and most importantly, their productivity.


Team of employees creating an ownership mentality.Delegate Work Properly

Task delegation is an important part of creating ownership mentality in the workplace as it gives an employee control over a project or task. When an employee is instilled with that feeling of ownership from having control, they become leaders of the project and feel personally responsible for the outcome.

And, when they have that sense of leadership associated with ownership, they are more likely to produce at a high level and encourage others to do the same. Leaders who produce at higher levels set an example for coworkers. As a company, you should always delegate work to individuals who exhibit that ownership and leadership mentality for better results.

Hold Employees Accountable

Harvard Business Review defines accountability as “delivering on commitment and taking responsibility for an outcome.” Holding your employees accountable for their work increases their engagement and ownership because their feedback is directly related to the result. To hold your employees accountable, set clear expectations, establish concise goals that are achievable, and measure these goals as the project moves along to encourage success.


In addition, provide feedback throughout the project. If the employee is not meeting expectations, be honest so they can easily address the problems. Finally, hold firm on consequences. Employees who have no consequences will never improve. Give advice on how they can produce better results next time or make the decision that they are not able to perform the work you need completed and take immediate disciplinary actions.


Man sitting at computer working on creating an ownership mentality.Ask Impactful Questions

There are situations where asking employees “yes or no” questions are necessary, but not all questions you ask them should be shallow or task specific. When you ask your employees impactful questions such as “How do you think we should handle this?”, you give them an opportunity to engage with the project. In turn, if the employee feels more involved with finding a solution, they will accept more responsibility and take ownership of the project and future ones. The ownership that the employee shows will help the company be more productive and successful.


Show Employees You Trust Them

Along with asking impactful questions, you must show your employees that you trust their decisions. One of the key motivating factors among employees is their level of control over their work. A LinkedIn survey found that 64 percent of employees would prefer having more control over how they work over a 10 percent raise. If employees do not feel trusted to effectively complete their jobs, they will be less motivated and less likely to take ownership of their work.

To build trust among your employees, show that you trust them through actions. Allow employees to take on projects that they have proven they are capable of handling. As a result, you will improve motivation for additional work and instill the employees’ trust in the company and in their abilities in their job role.


Team working to create an ownership mentality together. Lead by Example

As an employer, your employees look to you to set the example for how they should approach their job responsibilities. If you consistently shift blame or make excuses for your actions, employees will mimic your attitude. Instead, take ownership of your work and its results and expect the same from your employees. Your employees will begin to approach their responsibilities in the same way.

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