Many people dream of working for themselves; getting to play an active, passionate role in their career. Regardless of the talent and ambition to drive change in a company, this dream is often swept away by a 9-5 schedule and a tedious workplace routine. This leads most people to full-time employment at a company that they have an insignificant investment in, either financial or psychological. This passive workplace role can be mitigated through employee ownership.
Employee stock ownership is a common solution to help employees achieve the feeling that they have a bigger stake in the company than a salary and a full-time commitment. It has been statistically proven that companies grow faster, more competitively, and have more productive employees when employees have stock ownership. As HBR claims, “..ownership provides a strong incentive for employees to work productively, and opportunities for participation enhance productivity by providing channels for workers’ ideas and talents (1).” It is clear that having a personal stake in the company drives performance as it has the potential to earn an employee more money. However, employee ownership can increase the success of a company as it encourages active participation.
Regardless of company size, stock ownership offers a correlation between employee productivity, workplace growth, and performance because of the impact on worker participation (1). This worker participation can be achieved through other methods than financial ownership, such as programs that actively encourage employees to provide their input. For example, a 360 degree feedback survey encourages employees to play an active role in the development of their peers, managers, and subordinates. This input ultimately influences the future of the organization’s personnel and therefore, the success of the workplace.
360 degree feedback allows for an employee to take ownership in a company without any monetary stake. They are given the opportunity to share feedback regarding other stakeholders of the company, both anonymously or choosing to elaborate on their thoughts personally. Additionally, the opportunity to provide feedback allows for employees at all levels to feel valued and a part of the greater organizational picture. Essentially, 360 degree feedback allows for employees to take ownership through collaboration, leading them to see the value creation in their ideas.
Reasons why employee ownership works in 360 feedback:
A constructive environment. 360 degree feedback evaluation encourages a culture where thoughts are openly shared. The attitude towards this participation changes as it shows that managers do care about their employees’ insights and are willing to take their insight into consideration.
A combination of good and bad data. As employees are inspired to see a positive change within their organization, they are encouraged to share both types of feedback as they are deemed as equally constructive, and supported accordingly by managers. Offering an environment where both types of feedback are encouraged lays the groundwork for honest, straight-forward data that a company can actually use to enhance performance
Workplace enjoyment. Employees will have a more optimistic attitude in their tasks more when they play an active role in the future of their company. The employees can begin to see differences in the culture, communication, and satisfaction of the company once ownership is cultivated
Increased number of meetings. Increased face-to-face interactions with coworkers openly fosters great ideas and encourages an openly communicative environment. 360 feedback should ensure that staff members will meet more often to discuss their current performance and how it aligns with company objectives.
Overall value. Employees get to channel their ideas and creative energy into productive insight to help benefit the company. The empowerment of the employees is the first step towards internal innovation. Providing multisource feedback sets the tone for more organic feedback later in the company’s progression.
Employee ownership can come in a variety of different contexts. Monetary incentives, such as stock ownership, are effective as they offer a direct gain to an employee through effective participation. However, employee ownership through direct participation allows for an employee to find intrinsic motivation in the company and create value themselves.
Rosen & Quarrey. (September 1987). “How Well is Employee Ownership Working?” https://hbr.org/1987/09/how-well-is-employee-ownership-working