Are you an owner or a renter?
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Are you an owner or a renter of your career?
I first encountered “owner versus renter” when reading Quint Studer’s Hardwiring Excellence. Let’s say you rented a car for a business trip. How do you treat it? Do you take the car to the car wash before bringing it to the rental facility?
What about the way you treat an apartment versus a home with a mortgage?
The point is we are more likely to take better care about something when we “own” it.
When you think about this in regards to your job, it’s also a way to gauge your happiness and engagement. If you feel like a renter at work, maybe it’s not a good fit or some things need to change . If you feel like an owner, you’re most likely an engaged, high performing employee. This is a two-way street. It takes effort on the part of the employee and the employer to make “ownership” a reality.
If you’re an employer, there are 5 must-haves Quint says are necessary in creating a culture of ownership (edited from a healthcare perspective):
- “Practice the fine art of managing up. ‘Managing up’ means positioning people well. It means constantly looking for ways to accentuate the positive and build good will. Also, it’s a practical tool for reinforcing specific behaviors.
- Round on your employees, especially front-line workers every single day. It’s called “rounding,” and it’s a technique Studer swears by. For an hour a day, touch base with your employees in their everyday environment. Walk up to them and ask very specific questions: Is there anything we can do better? Do you have the tools and equipment you need to do the job? Then, do everything in your power to give them what they need.
- Deal with your low performers and understand the impact they have on your team. Don’t be afraid to let disruptive people go. If you don’t, these low performers will affect your high performers, causing them to 1) leave the organization, 2) channel their positive energies into outside interests, or 3) pace themselves and slow down.
- Send thank-you notes to employees when they do a great job. Nothing garners as much genuine appreciation and sense of pride as a personal acknowledgment of a job well done. You might also encourage other leaders to regularly e-mail you about nurses who deserve a compliment. Ask them to include details so that you can write a descriptive message thanking the nurse for his or her contribution. Make sure the note is handwritten and mailed home—typed letters or e-mails won’t cut it!
- Understand the connection between employee satisfaction and the bottom line. Remember, satisfied employees are always better performers. When employees feel appreciated and recognized by their leaders, they seek out opportunities to do good things for the company and its customers. They think like owners, not renters.”
What’s your advice on how to become an owner?