I recently listened to an interesting recent Business Week podcast interview by columnist Karen E. Klein titled, “Why a Sense of Ownership Matters: Reasons and Ways to Empower Employees.” The guest for the interview was Joe Wheeler, author of The Ownership Quotient.
I’m a big believer in the customer service impacts of improving employee morale, and this interview confirmed my long-held beliefs. Mr. Wheeler found in his research that businesses with a high employee ownership quotient also had the following characteristics.
- Current employees actively recruited new employees. Employees were eager to recommend their employers to friends and bring friends aboard. It simplifies hiring if quality employees bring in a steady stream of new quality employees.
- Employees were active in suggesting new products and services. They were very interested in improving the market positions of their employers because they have a a real “ownership” mentality.
- Employees were very involved in improving business processes. Again, employees were interested in developing better, more efficient and effective business processes for their employers.
Mr. Wheeler said, “you can smell it when you walk into one of these companies because the employees feel like they are a part of something special, something greater than themselves.” These companies are also characterized by low levels of employee turnover and high levels of retention. The employees stay because they feel they’re an important part of the business and they feel appreciated for their efforts.
Does your company have these “employee ownership” traits? In my experience, most do not. Management still tends to view employees as cogs hired to fit into the boxes described by their position descriptions. Employee suggestions for new products and services and employee suggestions for changes business processes are not encouraged and sometimes are discouraged. Employees complain about their work to their friends — they don’t encourage their friends to join them.
If you’re company doesn’t foster a sense of employee ownership, you are “whipping a dead horse” when you exhort your employees to provide greater levels of customer service. They don’t care that much and they are always looking for an opportunity to flee to a better job. Experiencing high employee turnover? You can either raise your payroll costs or you can foster a sense of business ownership in your employees.
Need help turning that situation around? Contact Rust Reviews today!