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Five ways to help your team take ownership of their work

It is essential for employees to take ownership of their work in order to deliver in line with commitments and help the organisation progress. But this often requires a nudge from the team leaders. Brinda Sarkar shares tips from experts on how leaders can help employees take ownership of their work.

It is important for employees to understand the importance of their work in the larger scheme of things. “Define the work and set the context for personal and organisational relevance of work,” said Kamal Karanth, co-founder of staffing company Xpheno. Leaders must also explain the measurables about the outcome, he said.

It’s crucial to build a culture that fosters ownership. “Leaders must build an environment of trust and give employees the opportunity to employ creativity in their job,” said Pallavi Jha, MD, Dale Carnegie of India. Simultaneously, give employees a say. “When delegating work, also delegate authority to make employees feel part of the process,” she said.

Townhalls can be used to convey the company’s vision, financial data and policy rollouts. Virtual meetings, social media presence, participative and interactive sessions and podcasts can also ensure better communication quality and engagement, said Ravi Vasantraj, global head of business process services and digital risk, Mphasis. “Better engagement leads to better outcomes and thus, better ownership,” he said. “Sharing the larger vision with employees will help people foster a sense of belonging towards their workplace.”

When employees feel motivated about the work they do, they will be much more enthusiastic about taking ownership of their work. “Recognise milestones and appreciate the progress made through rewards as appropriate,” said Karanth.

Leaders must introduce processes and tools to foster better learning and development, which will help employees achieve required outcomes and drive better ownership. “These tools and processes must be agile, hooked to open learning ecosystems and hyper personalised. New learning and talent management systems must combine learning needs with individual goals,” said Vasantraj.