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Fundamentals of Ownership Culture
Practical Ideas for Creating a Great Employee Ownership Company
by Corey Rosen and Loren Rodgers
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Format: PDF, 134 pages
Publication date: December 2011
Status: Available for electronic delivery
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Introduction: The Essentials of Effective Employee Ownership
1. Helping People Understand What Ownership Means at Your Company
2. Open-Book Management and Other Entrepreneurship Programs
3. Involving Employees at the Strategic Level
4. Short-Term Incentives
6. Mission, Vision, and Values
7. Employee Involvement: Getting Started
8. Advanced Employee Involvement
9. Case Studies
Appendix: The Research on Employee Ownership and Corporate Performance
From Chapter 8, "Advanced Employee Involvement"Sometimes companies embark on employee involvement programs only to run into a stone wall from managers, supervisors, and/or employees. "We tried that before," they say, "and it just didn't work." A lot of this frustration has to do with the inevitable ambiguity that arises when people's roles change. Managers and supervisors now are supposed to coach and listen; employees to share ideas and information.
Defining these new roles can be difficult, but it is essential to developing realistic expectations of just what participation involves. Typically, there's a learning curve for each of the groups. Management needs to learn how to balance giving up control while continuing to provide leadership. Middle managers must learn to give up some authority and become catalysts for employee input and decision making. Employees need to learn new skills that will allow them to contribute. Lastly, each group needs to understand how everyone else contributes.
One way to address these issues is to get people together in small groups, with representation from each group at each table. You will need a facilitator to lead the exercise. Have each group think of an example in the company where employee participation was tried. Now ask each member to take on the role of someone representing a point of view different than their own. For example, a non-management employee will act as a senior manager or supervisor, a middle manager will become a non-management employee or senior manager, and the senior manager will act as a non-management employee or supervisor.
Have each group discuss the participation effort from the point of view they represent based on the following:
- Who had input into the design and implementation?
- How was the effort communicated?
- Did you have enough information? Was it understandable?
- Did you understand what your role was?
- Did you get involved?
- Did you support the effort?
- Did you have training to help you adjust to the change?
- Were you able to discuss your concerns with management, supervisors, and employees?
- Were comments thoughtful or just venting frustration?
- Was enough time given?
- Was there a system for feedback and follow-through?
- Were the goals clear and achievable?
- Were the necessary resources available?
- Did you feel appreciated? Is that a reasonable expectation?