Top Warning Signs Your Team Lacks an Ownership Mindset

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How often do you find members of your team throwing up their hands in frustration, stressing out because work has piled up, or feeling like they are going unnoticed and unappreciated?

It gets difficult to maintain a profitable business when team members lack an ownership mindset. Products, processes, and customer service deteriorate rapidly, and you end up with a whole slew of daunting challenges to solve. For teams to succeed, team members need to feel a sense of ownership and responsibility for their work. There are several common attributes employees with an ownership mindset possess. These include;

  • Taking personal responsibility for tasks and the belief that effort equals results.
  • Focusing on the success, efficiency, and performance of the business.
  • Exhibiting qualities such as perseverance, dedication, and problem-solving skills.
  • Challenging the status quo by constantly seeking ways to improve things.
  • Additionally, they have a hunger for learning, taking initiative, being proactive, and being willing to do whatever it takes to succeed.
  • Some people have a mindset of ownership, which can lead to bending either the rules or regulations to provide a better service for clients.
ownership mindset

How to know if your team lacks an ownership mentality

As an entrepreneur, there is a good chance you have been through the following scenario: You identified an opportunity, developed a plan to capitalise on it, and put together a team to make it happen. And then, nothing happens. Days go by without so much as a peep from anyone on your team about taking action on your plan. Sounds familiar?

This might be happening in your business because you don’t have a team with an ownership mindset. So how do you know if your team lacks this all-important mindset?

Several warning signs can indicate this. If your team exhibits any of the following behaviours, it may be time to rethink your company culture:

1. Blaming others for failure

When a team lacks an ownership mindset, members tend to blame others for the team or organisation’s failures. They do not take ownership of their mistakes. This creates a culture of finger-pointing instead of problem-solving. This mindset also breeds a feeling of entitlement and a lack of accountability. As a result, employees stop taking responsibility for their work, and the organisation falls apart.

Team members that are always quick to point fingers at others do not feel responsible for the business’s success or failure.

2. They are not proactive in finding solutions to problems

One of the key indicators that a team lacks an ownership mindset is that the members of the team are not proactive in finding solutions to problems. If individuals on the team are only waiting for direction from management before taking any action or making decisions, then it is a clear sign that they do not feel responsible for the success of the company. It can lead to several negative consequences, such as a lack of creativity, innovation, and reluctance to take risks.

3. The team does not collaborate well

When a team lacks an ownership mindset, it becomes difficult to get them to work collaboratively. This happens because they don’t feel responsible for the end result, and they see their role as just another cog in the wheel. The team will definitely lack cohesion if team members are not working towards a common goal but individual goals and priorities.

4. Members are content with the status quo

The best teams have a sense of ownership. They feel like they are the ones responsible for the company’s success. They are always looking for ways to improve. On the other hand, a team with a lack of ownership mindset is content with the status quo and often lacks motivation or passion, leading to reduced productivity. Employees must constantly push themselves to improve and grow, else, the company will eventually fall behind the competition.

5. Low morale and underperformance

Always lookout for signs of underperformance and low morale. These are the most common signs to show that your team lacks an ownership mindset. Work performance, responsiveness, and morale all tend to take a hit when employees don’t feel “ownership” of the company and their work. If you’re noticing this more broadly, fostering an ownership mentality in your team is a terrific approach to follow to reverse the trend. You can get bespoke business coaching for your employees to develop a high-performing team.

Instilling a culture of ownership in the workplace

People often think of perks like free food or flexible work schedules when they hear “company culture.” While these are important, they are not the only things that make a work culture great. To create a thriving work environment, focus on instilling a culture of ownership in your team.

What does that mean? Quite simply, it means giving employees the sense that they own their work and are responsible for its success or failure. Team members who feel invested in their job and have a sense of ownership are more likely to be productive and engaged.

So how can you instill an ownership mindset in your employees?

To create an environment where people feel like they are part of the company, leaders should focus on creating a culture of empowerment. This includes empowering teammates and delegating tasks or responsibilities to them so that they can take ownership of their work and feel like they are an essential part of the company.

“Responsibility equals accountability equals ownership. And a sense of ownership is the most powerful weapon a team or organisation can have.”

– Pat Summitt (1999). “Reach for the Summit”, p.38, Crown Business

To foster a sense of responsibility and accountability in your team, you need to create an environment where people feel empowered to make decisions. Also, establish clear expectations and hold people accountable for meeting them. When employees feel like they are an integral part of the company, they are more likely to be invested in the business’s success.

Furthermore, encourage employees to take risks, give them the space and time they need, and provide ample opportunity for feedback to make improvements.

Today, businesses are facing unprecedented levels of competition and uncertainty. To survive and thrive in this environment, it is imperative to have a high-performing team. As a Sydney business coach with over 15 years of experience, I guide business owners in all areas of business, including how to develop a winning team.

Your team is your most expensive ‘cost’ of doing business right now. It is time to look at your team as an investment you should get an ROI on by developing a solid, engaged, and winning team. Feel free to reach out by clicking here for an obligation-free, confidential chat.


Get in touch with me for a confidential, complimentary no-obligation chat today.

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