How do I get my employees to have a greater sense of ownership in the company?

Brief Case


Terry Rowinski

President and chief executive officer

Health Payment Systems Inc.

“Perception of an organization’s culture changes in an instant. A random tweet, a customer complaint, a change to an employee policy or a leadership change can all be disruptive, often leading to the challenge that one’s culture, for good or bad, has been forever changed.

“Creating and maintaining a culture that will last – where employees truly live ownership for their organization and their own work within it – is not an elusive goal. It is, however, often underachieved due to an organization’s tendency to focus more on what it does and how it’s doing it, instead of on the reason for existing in the first place.

“We have always placed a high value on engagement with our employees, our business partners and our investors. We regularly measure it, study it, discuss it and we work hard to enhance it.

“As we have grown and changed over the years, we have maintained our ‘why’ as our true north and each team member measures his or her actions against this. It’s amazing to participate in a discussion and to realize that our action does not fit our ‘why.’ As a result, we have changed course and walked away from an idea or potential relationship.

“If you desire to create a culture of a truly engaged and passionate team, focus them on your ‘why’ and fixate on it together, so you can all collaboratively bring value to the marketplace.”


Laura Hanoski

Owner and managing member

Premier Medical Staffing Services LLC

“That feeling of having a greater sense of ownership of your role at an organization and inside the company is more than signing a piece of paper. It involves accountability, respect and opportunities to create feelings of empowerment, independence and trust. Sixteen years ago, my husband, Mark, and I signed many pieces of paper to start our own health care staffing firm, Premier Medical Staffing Services. We wanted to improve the ways health care professionals and providers could make a difference. There was accountability to provide quality staffing and exceed expectations. Taking ownership of these goals provided us with success.

“Our company’s successes are due to providing our employees the opportunities to be independent, while knowing they believe in the company’s goals and mission. Having employees take ownership allows management and employees opportunities to create and execute new strategies. This enables them to achieve success while helping their clients, employees and community.

“I asked my employees’ perspective on how management helps them feel a great sense of ownership. Their top responses include: Given opportunities to negotiate contracts; create and implement incentive programs for staff; hold themselves accountable; lead brainstorms to solve challenges; receive professional development; ability to create and implement training procedures for new employees; and lead community engagement activities.”


Joseph Taylor

Chief executive officer

Penrod Software LLC

“As a whole, Penrod likes its employees to take ownership of all projects and clients we work with. Penrod works with some of the greatest clients in the world, and those clients are relying on us to transform their business. 

“One thing Penrod does to ensure that employees have a great sense of ownership is allowing them to be their authentic selves. Part of our culture code is to be silly and own it. From allowing employees to come in dressed up as their favorite character or our ‘Use your best judgment’ policy, we trust our employees will make the right decisions when it’s needed. 

“We also know that just because a role is not right for someone, it doesn’t mean there is not a different role that is right for them. We understand that hiring smart, talented people is the best way to succeed and sometimes not everything is for everyone. Failure is not only OK at times; it might even lead to a better path. We meet with employees one-on-one every week to track success, and receive and give feedback to ensure success.

“We also go out of our way to have daily company shout-outs highlighting the successes of our employees. At any point, anyone is free to ‘shout-out’ anyone else in the company for their amazing work.”

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