Making “Renters into Owners” in the workplace

In my last post we talked about the concept of making renters in the workplace into owners.  The characteristics of renters were listed, and I list them again below for your review:

  • may have some level of commitment, but may also be looking for the next place to rent on a regular basis
  • understands what the basic rules are, but will usually not go outside the normal bounds when it comes to dealing with issues or “fixing” things
  • may not pay much attention to other renters in the organization
  • may be put off by owners or those who seek to become owners versus renters
  • might be looking for a way to reduce their investment in the company
  • looking only at the short term, not the long term
  • if not looking to become an owner, they may be unwilling to save up their capital for future investments either in your workplace or another

Owners have different behaviors and I have listed them below again for your review:

  • always looking for ways to make the workplace increase in value
  • realize that there will always be renters willing to move in
  • seek out other owners as potential partners for the current or future situation
  • willing to put aside short term needs in order to save for long term investments
  • understand the concept of “sweat equity”
  • they are willing to do the unpopular or less visible roles in order to keep the house in order
  • looking for others who can help increase the value of the workplace

Making renters into owners may sound easy, but it is similar to making a long journey.  You may know where you are and where you are going, but the journey and the planning make all of the difference.  Let’s take a few moments today to talk about the “journey” from renter to owner for your own staff members.  In doing this, we will look at the first 3 of the questions from the Gallup Q12 instrument as our guide.

1.  I know what is expected of me at work

Most of you may scoff when you read this, but think again.  I know that many employees have a basic understanding of what their day to day responsibilities are, but that is only the beginning.  What we do day to day is one thing, but understanding how it fits into the big picture is something altogether different.  Employees who see how their piece of the puzzle fits the overall scheme tend to be much more engaged than those who see themselves as more of an appendage to the organization.  When you talk with your staff members, don’t just tell them what to do today.  Tell them how this fits into the big picture.  Even more, let them be a part of crafting that big picture.  You will be very surprised at how much of a difference this makes.

2.  I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right

This may seem elementary, but I know so many circumstances where firms fumble this on the first week.  New employees come to work and nothing is ready for them.  Consider what life would be like if you brought a new infant home from the hospital with no preparation; no bed, no high chair, nothing.  New employees are not infants, but a little preparation goes a long way.  Fast forward to everyday work and consider how often just the slightest investment could make a marked impact on the productivity and attitude of an employee or staff member.  So many firms are penny wise and pound foolish in this area

3.  At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.

Most firms know what they want their staff members to do at the outset, but few firms take the time to really know the long-term intent and interests of their team members.  Employees-staff members are like any other growing organism.  Where they start and how they grow may be significantly different.  Take the time to know where your team members fit best currently and also where they want to be in 5 to 10 years.  Plans can be useless, but planning is essential according to Dwight Eisenhower.  If Ike says planning is important, I will take his word on that.

I’ll be back next time with more tips on how to make your renters into owners.

See you then.