How Ownership Improves Meaning and Value

Discover how trust impacts one's work ownership and improves its sense of meaning and perceived value.
Source: Lison Mage Youtube Channel

Trust Increases Ownership. Ownership Improves Meaning and Value.

In my last video, I explained how we could avoid “death by e-mails” (namely starting the day already exhausted with the simple thought that our inbox refilled entirely overnight), using direct communication (face-to-face or over the phone) and trust.

Trust enables growth. Growth leads to success.

Trusting your team has many other benefits, such as increasing meaning at the workplace. Recent studies found out that younger generations are in search not only for a job position that pays well, with many benefits, but also they want to find meaning in the work they perform, to see and measure their impact on the world.

As outstanding at it might sound, one of the studies, conducted with more than 2,000 North American participants, highlighted that, on average, they would access a pay cut of USD 20,000 per year if in exchange they were sure that, every single day, their job would be meaningful.

It goes a long way to demonstrate how mentalities and work expectations have changed over the years.

When managers trust their team, they give them ownership of their work. Ownership improves both meaning and value.

It has been demonstrated with a behavioral study that coined the term of “IKEA effect”. In this specific study, participants were asked to build something, either an IKEA furniture or an origami. The latter requires a person to fold a piece of paper, following several steps, to obtain an animal paper representation.

Needless to say, the first attempts are always disastrous and the piece of paper doesn’t look like an animal. Nonetheless, when asked for how much they would buy their work, the participants were, on average, willing to spend three times more than a normal bystander.

This sense of work ownership: they did, all by themselves, all the steps of the origami to obtain the animal, creates a higher sense of perceived value.

Thus, empowering employees to own a task, a project, will give them a broader view (or a different view) on their job outcomes (and consequently their impact) and also increase the value of their work.

Learn more about Trust and Great Companies

If you want to know more about how to build great organizations, I recommend reading the book: “Good to Great – Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t” by Jim Collins.

Good to Great by Jim Collins
Title: Good To Great, Author: Jim Collins

An interesting point explained in the book by Jim relates well with how trust is an important factor in building a successful team and company. The author mechanizes the concept using the following sentence: “First Who Then What”.

The rule stipulates that every leader should first ensure he has the right team (a team of persons he can trust, that can execute, bring ideas, challenge the status-quo) before starting any activities.

Jim Collins gives in his book the example of a chairman that was freshly nominated. The company was bleeding money and the shareholders were urging him to present an action plan. Instead of doing so, he conducted extensive interviews within the company to establish his board of executive directors.

Every day, the pressure was mounted and the company debt ballooning, but the chairman kept searching for the “right” persons. After 6 months, when the positions were filled with the best possible candidates, he worked with them to lay out the plan and ended up being successful.

Had it inverse the steps, focusing on the “what?” rather than the “who?”, the chairman would certainly have taken either inefficient or wrong decisions because of his lack of understanding of the company.

If you want to know more about this book” “Good To Great – Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Other Don’t”, use this link

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Lison Mage

I help clever individuals and teams conquer overthinking and perform at their full potential. Together, we can go from a place of uncertainty and being paralyzed by doubt to gaining clarity on your current situation, where you want to go, and how to get you there!


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