Getting Buy-In by Actually Letting Them Buy-In

by Michael Haberman on February 1, 2011 · 0 comments


I read an article in Entrepreneur Magazine online entitled How To Stop Micromanaging Your Team written by Marcus Erb that prompted this post. Mr.Erb had 5 suggestions for getting committment from employees that he garnered from the 2010 Great Place to Work rankings in Entrepreneur. These five steps include:

  1. Committ to hiring the right people. He says it is easier to get accountability by hiring people who want to be accountable.
  2. Make people accountable to each other. Ah… the power of peer pressure.
  3. Clearly and frequently articulate expectations. Communication, communication, communication.
  4. Give employees decision making power. Let employees decide things about the company.
  5. Give them an ownership stake. If you want people to act like an owner, then make them an owner.

In reality these five items are not new, nor earthshattering information. They are perhaps not frequently applied because if they were we would have more Best Places to Work nominees. However, on number 5 the company that was used as an example had a novel approach.

Rather than making employees “owners” of the company in general they made them “owners” of the project or product they were working on. The employees were given shares in the product or project and had the opportunity to buy more shares if they desired. I really like this idea! Talk about getting someone to actually “buy in” to their work! Apparently it has been successful. The profiled company, Hilcorp, paid out $130.7 million between 1997 and 2008.

Anyone reading this do something similar? If yes, has it been successful for you? If NO, how do you like the idea? I am intrigued by it. I would like some feedback from the compensation specialist in the crowd. Let us know.

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