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How to Give Your Employees Ownership of an Idea

Your company makes widgets. You sell widgets to clients who use them to make contraptions.

Yesterday, an employee named Frieda came to you with an idea for a new widget that would make the customer’s contraptions even better.

Conventional wisdom says you have two choices. You determine that the new widget is not something you want to produce or you decided to take Frieda’s idea and put the new widget into production.  Because she works for your company, her intellectual property belongs to you.

But what if there were a third solution that would help your company and Frieda.

Allow Frieda to take full ownership of the design and engineering of the product.

“What?” you say. “But Frieda works in packaging! She doesn’t have the skills to design and engineer a widget.”

Well, how do you know until you see what she can do? Frieda might not be an engineer, but she has access to your best and brightest employees and maybe she can put together a team and manage the process. She can be the mini-CEO of her project that might just result in a major innovation for your business. An innovation that only Frieda could have implemented and she deserves credit and recognition for that.

A website and organization called CEOFlow suggests just that. By trusting your employees to take ownership of their own idea and oversee the project from start to finish you are engaging them in your business in a more complete and thorough way. Get your employees to care about the success of your business as much as you do.

Here are four simple things you can to do give your employees ownership of their projects.

  1. Make sure they are clear about the end result.
  2. Reward creative thinking.
  3. Allow all decisions and discussion to be open and transparent.
  4. Encourage collaboration.

Take a good honest look at your business and see where people could be contributing more. Assess their talents and allow them ownership of new projects or processes.

As a manager, are you looking for more ways to engage your employees and make them happy on the job? I can help you with that. My name is Cheri Britton and I offer management coaching and dynamite motivational speaking for your office or meeting. Contact me today to learn more.

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