How to Make Employees Feel Like They Own Their Work
A sense of control leads to engagement.
Most of us spend a lot of time at work. Yet a lot of people feel their jobs are not as fulfilling or engaging as they could be. A 2014 Gallup survey of U.S. workers found that less than one-third were engaged in their jobs, 51% said they were “not engaged,” and 17.5% said they were “actively disengaged.” Unfortunately, the data from global surveys is quite similar.
Worrisome numbers like these have many business leaders wondering what types of big changes could be introduced to improve worker engagement. Fortunately, my research has found that small interventions that increase employees’ sense of psychological ownership of their jobs — like personalizing their offices with photos of their families or favorite posters, allowing them to choose their own work title, and giving them ownership of ideas, a team of people, or a product — can dramatically improve their sense of engagement in and happiness with their jobs, and their productivity as well.