Taking Ownership at Work

by Laura Forshay, Professional Development Manager, METRO


No one wants to be micromanaged. We want to be trusted and given space in the workplace, even when we work as part of a team. Plenty of studies say that increasing employee responsibility and accountability through autonomy will improve both quality of work and employee satisfaction -- a two-in-one proposition!

20150218_TakingOwnership.jpgBut what if our bosses simply aren’t buying into it? This is where independent ownership comes in.

There are lots of ways to exercise personal ownership on an individual level, no matter the circumstances. Proactive problem solving is one example. We’ve all had workplace conversations that turn into gripe sessions. Venting pent up frustrations feels good and can help us articulate exactly where the problem is. However, although we might feel stuck in the moment, there is almost always something we can do to solve the problem. Moving past frustration and onto an actionable next step is what we mean by “taking ownership.”

Having limited authority doesn’t need to short circuit our ability to be proactive. Take ownership over what you can. Innovate on a small scale and ask for what you need!

Of course, taking action to resolve issues in the workplace does carry some risk. Odds are that we’ll make at least one poor decision somewhere down the line. But forward steps bear so much more reward than standing still ever will.

Instructor Kimberly Sweetman will talk more about ownership, autonomy, and how to implement them during Library Professionals in the 21st Century Workplace at METRO on Monday, March 2nd. We hope to see you there!