How to Get Your Employees Thinking Like Owners

Team of successful business colleagues with their hands together

If you don't subscribe to the Humetrics newsletter, you missed out on a pretty rad one this month. If you haven't heard of it, here's the gist: Humetrics (which is an awful name for a great thing), in its own words "help[s] employers standardize and systemize the way they recruit, select, and retain frontline hourly employees and their managers."

Anyway, the April newsletter zeroes in on employee retention, and also how to get your employees thinking like managers, or to become "the kind of folks who take responsibility and then take action, who don't wait for a problem before they look for a solution."

Essentially, it's a two-step process and also a two-way street. The newsletter drives home the point that as a manager it's your job to reinforce this mindset in performance reviews. Zoom out from the day-to-day and instead think -- and definitely talk -- about how an employee can redefine their own role, not in terms of giving them a promotion, but just giving them license to help accomplish tasks that otherwise they might not be privy to.

Obviously, this advice seems a bit broad, and you should use your own judgment, but essentially it helps to re-contextualize as much as you can and not get used to things going as they always have -- because if you do that, you'll only always get what you've always gotten.

On the other end of that same fence, change should come from you: "When you focus on results rather than activities, you leave people free to interpret their jobs in a way that works for them (just tell them what you want them to accomplish, how you’re going to keep score, then stay out of their way and let them do it).

But don't just stand back. Keep an eye on things and make sure the results are measurable.

Hop over to Humetrics and while you're at it, and check out their newsletter, too. It's pretty nifty.

David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a columnist for EGM. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.

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