Employee ownership is one of the most important elements of successful transformations. In fact, it is the number one factor that distinguishes transformational change efforts from others.
To understand why, we conducted research across multiple industries to determine what percentage of employees must participate in a transformation to see significant benefits. We found that a 7% threshold works best for achieving widespread buy-in among employees and ensuring that the entire organization becomes aligned around the goals of the transformation.
In our research, we identified three factors that influence whether a transformation succeeds:
1. Employee Ownership – How much do people believe in the transformation?
2. Alignment – How well does the transformation align with organizational priorities?
3. Commitment – Are people committed to the transformation?
We found that employee ownership plays a critical role in determining how many people support a transformation. When less than 2% of employees are participating, there is little chance of success. However, when over 70% of employees are engaged, the chances of success increase dramatically.
Sharing the responsibility to change
When transforming an organization, it’s important to spread out the workload among employees. But people often feel like they are taking on too much responsibility. They don’t want to make mistakes because they think everything depends on them. And they worry about being blamed for things that go wrong.
In fact, research shows that people tend to take on more responsibility when they believe that others won’t hold them accountable. This is why leaders must lead by example. If you want people to follow suit, you need to show them how to do it. You need to model good behavior.
Leaders who practice what they preach are more effective communicators. Research shows that people trust those who demonstrate integrity. So if you want to inspire your team members, start practicing what you preach.
Make innovation and execution the responsibility of all
The most successful companies today are those that embrace continuous improvement. They realize that there is no end to growth in terms of what you can do for customers, how much you can improve processes, and how far you can push technology. But for many organizations, it seems like the opposite is true. When I speak to executives around the world, one thing becomes clear: Most people still don’t feel empowered to innovate. In fact, some say they’re actively discouraged from doing so.
This isn’t surprising given the way we’ve been taught to think about innovation. We often see it as something that happens outside our department, product, or team. And when it does happen inside, it’s usually because someone else did it.
But the truth is, every single person in an organization—from the CEO down to the newest hire—should be able to make a difference. Every employee should be able to ask questions, challenge assumptions, and come up with solutions. If you want to transform your organization into a place where innovation thrives, you must encourage everyone to participate. You must give everyone permission to be creative.
Enable a large and varied team
Transformations are often seen as disruptive events. They require a lot of work and attention. They involve bringing in new people who will bring new perspectives and insights to the organization. And they usually take place over a longer period of time. But transformations aren’t just about adding new people; they’re also about changing how things are done.
A transformation requires a lot of skill and experience. You need people who know what needs to happen, why it’s important, and how to make it happen. You need people who understand the vision and mission of the organization and who can help you achieve those goals. You need people who can think strategically and tactically.
You need people who can communicate effectively across organizational boundaries. You need people who are comfortable working within a matrix structure and who can build consensus. You need people who have the ability to manage change well and who can adapt quickly to new situations. You need people who don’t mind being uncomfortable and who are willing to learn new things.
And you need people who are passionate about achieving success together.
The good news is that there are many ways to find people like this. There are many resources out there to tap into. Here are some ideas:
1. Look outside of your current organization.
2. Think about your network. Who do you know who could fill one or more of the roles described above?
Make it personal
– Why employees care about purpose
The best way to improve employee satisfaction is to make sure they understand the bigger picture and the impact they are having on others. This is especially true for millennials, whose values are shifting away from materialism and toward social responsibility.
Millennials are looking for companies that provide meaning and purpose to their work. They want to feel like they’re making a difference. And they want to know that there’s a higher cause behind the decisions being made in the company.
In today’s world, where we live in a “me me me” society, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. But when you do connect the dots, you’ll find that your organization is doing good for someone else. You’ll find that you’re helping others because you’re investing in yourself.
Lead by example
Transformations are difficult because they require leadership buyin and strong support. They also require leaders to step up and take charge. This is why it is critical that leaders lead by example. If you want people to follow you, show them what you’re doing. Don’t just tell them about it; demonstrate. Be the person who leads by example. Show them how to do things differently. Tell them what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Make sure everyone knows what you’re trying to accomplish and why. And don’t forget to celebrate your successes along the way.
A transformational leader doesn’t wait around for someone else to make changes happen. Instead, he or she takes action and leads by example. When you lead by example, you inspire others to become better versions of themselves. You encourage them to think outside the box and embrace innovation. Your actions speak louder than words. People notice what you’re doing and emulate your behaviors.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many staff does a small business typically employ?
Small businesses are often thought of as being those with fewer than 99 employees.
The vast majority of small businesses in the country have five or fewer employees. About 70 percent of small businesses have between 1-4 employees, while roughly 15 per cent of small businesses employ between 5-9 people. A mere 7 per cent of small businesses had more than nine employees.
Which sectors have the greatest number of small businesses?
1. Agriculture & Food Manufacturing
The agriculture and food manufacturing industry includes companies involved in producing food and beverages, including meat, dairy products, eggs, fish, poultry, fruit, vegetables, nuts, oils, grains, sugar, alcohol, coffee, tea, spices, herbs, and pet foods. There were 1,859 firms registered in 2016, employing 2,924,000 people (2016).
Construction covers a wide range of activities related to building construction, maintenance and repair. In 2016, there were 5,066 firms registered, employing 616,000 people.
3. Financial Services
Financial services cover a broad range of financial activities, including banking, insurance, investment management, asset management, credit cards, mortgages, pensions, stockbroking, fund management, payment processing, remittance and settlement, and others. There were 4,081 firms registered in 2016,employing 831,000 people.