Here are four quick tips for creating a stronger sense of project ownership in your employees.
Set expectations from the beginning
Clear, concise communication is the key. Sometimes, your employees may not understand how involved you want them to be in a project. Are they simply completing tasks from a list, or do you expect them to take the ball and run only checking in for an occasional status update? Setting those expectations at the beginning of the project will help remove that ambiguity and foster a stronger sense of ownership going forward.
Give them a voice in the planning process
It’s much easier to feel connected to a project when you had a voice in the planning process from day one. Engaging employees who will be working on the initiative in the initial stages of development not only ensures everyone’s voice is heard, it also provides a different point of view that could lead to new, innovative ideas.
Empower them to make decisions
In a survey from Comparably, respondents overwhelmingly ranked “micromanager” as the worst quality to have in a boss. That’s not saying leaders shouldn’t provide oversight; however, if you’re constantly checking up on every minute detail of a project, it will be difficult for employees to truly engage in the work and develop a sense of ownership for the project as a whole. This requires being able to trust that your people have the foresight and experience to make decisions without having to run each one up a long chain of command.
A SHRM/Globoforce survey found that 84% of leaders say employee recognition programs help build employee engagement. A few words of encouragement can go a long way toward helping employees feel confident about the work they’ve done so far and keep them engaged and connected to the work that still needs to be done.