Developing an Ownership Mindset

Ever have one of those days where you just wish your staff would do things the same way you would? Answer staff questions the same way you would, speak to parents the same way you would, and wheel and deal and make the enrollments happen the same way you would. If so, you are not alone! 

At one point or another, all of us have felt like this. We lead by example, demonstrating each task, and spending time building relationships, and we expect this to be enough for our team to speak, act, and handle situations the same as we do. And this works with some of our team members, but more often than not, they need something “more” to push them into the role you want them in.

I’m talking about ownership mentality. Too often we delegate things to our team members without giving them any real reason to complete the tasks the way we expect them to. What is the missing piece? What does it take for our team members to act as if they have a vested interest in our business?

The answer is in the question. They need a vested interest in our business. Now, I’m not talking about making your team members shareholders, co-owners, or officers on your board of directors. I’m talking about letting them have some skin in the game. 

Let’s take a step back and look at what an ownership mentality really is. When a team member has an ownership mentality, their decisions are not only just about what is the best for the children, families, and staff – but now also what is the best for the company itself. A broader view of the day to day. A deeper dive into what makes the business sustainable. An understanding of what it takes to run the business. And the ability to do what is in the best interest of the business. After all, when your business can’t survive, you can’t provide childcare to parents, education to children, or jobs to your team members. An ownership mentality knows that every choice affects the business and knows how to make the right choices to move the business forward. 

Does that sound like your staff? Your director? Your leadership team? If not, don’t worry, these are some easy steps you can take to start empowering your team to have an ownership mentality and a vested interest in your business. 

1. Dig deep into their training.

Spend time with them. Let them shadow you and watch and learn how to handle situations. You can’t skip this step. There are no shortcuts here. If you want them to emulate you, then they have to put the time in to get to know and anticipate how you act and react to different situations. 

2. Find out what makes them tick! 

Don’t spend time and money on things you think make them tick. Ask them. What do they value? What can you do for them to show that they are important? How can you recognize them? What do they want you to do for them when they do a great job?

3. Cut them a piece of the pie.

Tie what you want them to do, with what they would like to receive, and reward them. Do you have an enrollment goal? Then give your team that goal, if they meet it, give them a reward that they will value. Do you have a profit goal? Then give your team that goal and give them a percent of the profit!

Whatever you choose, you have to get them to where they have some skin in the game! Tie their performance to their pay. When the business does good, they do good. Do you want them to have an ownership mentality? Then they have to have a vested interest. Your goals have to align.

Try this today with your director, or your leadership team: 

    • Ask them what they would like to receive in exchange for them reaching a business goal you set.
    •  Challenge them to reach that goal and you’ll be suprised how quickly they go from punching the clock to investing in your business. 

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