Gaining employee buy-in is a big deal.   How do we get someone’s best if they’re not committed?   The answer is that we don’t.  Without buy-in, we may get compliance but we don’t get commitment.   Clearly we want our team to be as committed as we are to achieving goals.  Sometimes they are, sometimes they are not.  How do we tip the scale in favor of commitment over compliance?

Well, that’s what ownership is all about.  Not just ownership over a task or project but real ownership in the company.   I’ve heard people say that it would be great if everyone acted like they owned the company.  Why not give them that opportunity?

Employee stock options can be an effective tools to have employees take ownership in the company, literally.  Instead of thinking like an employee, they can begin to think and act like an owner.  After all, the success of the company is their success and will impact them financially.

Some business owners I know are hesitant about allowing employees to own stock in a company that they themselves have built up for the last 20 years with their blood, sweat, and tears.  Now, they say, is the time for them to enjoy the fruits of their labor.  And that is totally fine.  But unless you want to keep putting the blood, sweat, and tears into the company, how are you going to take it to the next level?  Get others to put their energy into it and leverage it.  The question to ask is, “Do I want to have a smaller piece of a bigger pie or do I want the entire small pie all to myself?”  Only you can answer that one.

Is that the only way to create buy-in?  Absolutely not.  However it is a possibility that may make sense depending on the culture you want to create.  Think about your organization.  Does your team have ownership in what they do?  If not, what can you do to get them to own it?



John Ryan

Host of Key Conversations for Leaders Podcast, Executive Coach, Consultant, and Trainer

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