Remote Teams & Modern Equity: Casey Fenton's Insights for Building an Ownership Mindset in Remote Teams

Casey Fenton

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September 2, 2023

The Transformational Power of an Ownership Mindset

As the founder of Upstock.io and Couchsurfing.com, I've seen firsthand how a shared ownership mindset can supercharge a team's performance. I want to bring you into that world of shared ownership, of shared struggles and successes, where everyone feels like a co-founder of the business. Upstock equity plan is designed to do just that – to inspire and empower your entire team through a tangible stake in the company.

I invite you to watch my keynote in Lisbon, Portugal from Running Remote 2023, the number one remote work conference for Enterprises and SMEs. In this presentation, I explore the numerous benefits of equity for remote teams, emphasizing the power of an ownership mindset. Join me as I take a deep dive into this fascinating topic.

Remote Teams and the Importance of Ownership Mentality on Company Culture

Company culture plays a crucial role in cultivating an ownership mentality within the remote staff. A positive workplace culture is something that creates an environment where team members feel valued, feeling appreciated, and connected. It fosters a sense of ownership and team accountability. As communication is key in leading a remote staff, trust and transparency become as equally important.

Moreover, collaboration and communication are essential for promoting a collective sense of ownership and shared responsibility for the team's success. Ideally, when there is flexibility and work-life balance considerations for remote staff, the team members are also allowed to take ownership of their time and deliver results.

Meanwhile, recognition and appreciation are crucial in building and maintaining an ownership mentality among employees. Regularly acknowledging members’' contributions and achievements fosters an ownership mindset and a sense of pride. As a business owner, being able to offer professional development opportunities demonstrates a commitment to members' success and encourages them to take ownership of their career progression.

Ownership Mindset in Remote Teams

The numerous benefits of cultivating an ownership mindset within remote staff are far-reaching and impact various aspects of team performance. When team members feel a sense of ownership, they are more motivated and engaged in their work. They take initiative, show dedication, and go the extra mile to achieve their goals, leading to higher levels of productivity and performance.

An ownership mindset empowers team members to make informed decisions and take calculated risks. They become more proactive in identifying and resolving issues, leading to improved decision making and problem-solving abilities within small teams. This also frees the business owner from unnecessary micromanaging that could result in the low morale of employees.

Moreover, an ownership mentality also enhances collaboration and teamwork. When team members feel a sense of ownership, they are more likely to support and help one another. They start taking responsibility for the success of the organization as a whole, leading to increased trust, cooperation, and a stronger sense of camaraderie.

Fostering an Ownership Mindset in A Remote Team Member

To foster an ownership mentality within a remote staff, several key strategies can be implemented:

1. Clear Expectations

As the manager and business owner, you should provide team members with clear goals, roles, and responsibilities. Clearly communicate expectations and ensure alignment with the overall vision and objectives of a big or even small company.

2. Empowerment and Autonomy

Encourage team members to take ownership of their work by giving them autonomy and decision making authority. Provide opportunities for them to contribute their ideas and opinions.

3. Continuous Learning and Development

Invest in the growth and development of team members. To induce employee buy-in, offer them training, workshops, and mentorship programs to enhance their skills and knowledge, enabling them to take on more responsibility and ownership.

4. Open Communication

Foster a workplace culture of open and transparent communication. Encourage team members to share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns to allow employee buy-in. Actively listen to their feedback and provide regular updates on the company's progress and direction.

5. Recognition and Rewards

Recognize and reward team members for their contributions and achievements. Celebrate successes and milestones, both at the individual and entire team levels. This reinforces a culture of ownership and appreciation.

6. Lead by Example

Leaders and managers should demonstrate an ownership mindset themselves. Model the behaviors and attitudes you want to see in your employees. Show trust, team accountability, and a commitment to become a successful team.

The Importance of Leadership Skills in Fostering an Ownership Mindset

Effective leadership plays a crucial role in cultivating an ownership mindset within a team. People with strong managerial skills can inspire and motivate members to take ownership of their work and contribute to the team's success.

One of the key leadership traits that foster an ownership mindset is the ability to communicate a clear vision and goals. When employees understand the big picture and how their work contributes to the overall objectives, they are more likely to feel a sense of ownership and purpose. Leaders should ensure that they effectively communicate the company's mission, values, and expectations to instill a shared sense of ownership among the team.

Another important leadership skill is creating an environment of psychological safety. Employees should feel comfortable speaking up, sharing ideas, and taking calculated risks without the fear of judgment, a flip side, or negative repercussions. Leaders should encourage open dialogue, active listening, and constructive feedback to create a safe and supportive space for members to express themselves and start taking ownership of their work.

Leaders also need to empower members by delegating responsibilities and providing them with the authority to make decisions. When members have more autonomy and responsibility, they are more likely to feel a strong sense of psychological ownership and accountability for their actions. Leaders should provide guidance and support while allowing members the freedom to make most but not all the decisions and induce an increased motivation to start taking ownership of their projects, thus inspiring them to cultivate a project mindset.

A female remote worker engaged in a project discussion with her teammates from across the globe while enjoying an afternoon shade outdoors.
Far enough from the office to enjoy life outdoors yet engaged enough to contribute to the company's success. This is one of the beauties of instilling an ownership mindset in remote teams.

Building Trust and Accountability in Remote Staff

Trust and accountability are foundational elements of an ownership culture within the remote staff. Without trust, members may hesitate to take more ownership and feel responsible for their work. Similarly, without accountability, the goal to become a successful team may be compromised.

To build trust within remote staff, leaders should create an environment that promotes transparency, open communication, and collaboration. Regular team meetings, video conferences, and virtual collaboration tools can help foster connection and build trust among members, even across different time zones.

Accountability can be fostered by setting clear expectations, establishing measurable goals, and providing regular feedback. When members have a clear understanding of what is expected of them and how their work contributes to the success of the organization, they are more likely to take more ownership and be accountable for their actions. Regular check-ins, progress updates, and performance evaluations can help ensure that each team member is on track and accountable for their responsibilities.

The Positive Impacts of an Ownership Culture on the Entire Team

When an ownership culture is cultivated within a remote team, it can have numerous benefits for both the individual members and the entire team as a whole.

For an individual team member, an ownership mentality can lead to increased job satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment. When you make people feel heard, valued, and appreciated for their contributions, the employees tend to be engaged and motivated in their work. They have a clear sense of purpose and pride in their accomplishments, which can enhance their overall job satisfaction.

On a team level, a culture of psychological ownership promotes collaboration, innovation, and problem-solving. Every team member takes initiative, shares valuable insights, and takes calculated risks to drive the company’s success. There is a higher level of trust, cooperation, and support among other members, which leads to improved team dynamics and performance.

Additionally, psychological ownership can also increase visibility and team accountability within the entire team. When members feel ownership, they are more likely to start taking responsibility for their actions and outcomes. This reduces the tendency for finger pointing or blaming others when challenges arise, leading to a more constructive and supportive work environment.

The Role of Ownership in Enhancing the Customer Experience

An ownership mentality not only benefits the internal dynamics of a remote team but also has a direct impact on the customer experience. When members feel ownership, they are more invested in delivering exceptional results and providing excellent customer service.

A team member with an ownership mindset is more proactive in identifying and addressing customer needs. They take the initiative to do sales calls and go the extra mile, anticipate potential issues, and find innovative solutions to ensure a positive customer experience. This level of dedication and commitment can significantly enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Furthermore, an ownership mentality within a remote team can foster a startup vibe, even within a larger organization. It creates an agile and dynamic work environment where members are motivated to take ownership of their projects and drive results. This entrepreneurial spirit backed by a project mindset can lead to increased creativity, adaptability, and responsiveness to customer demands.

Cultivating an ownership mindset within a remote staff is a transformative approach that can unlock the full potential of team members and drive the success of the organization. It requires clear communication, effective leadership, building trust and team accountability, and fostering a culture where members feel ownership and purpose.

A female remote worker talking with her team leader over her mobile phone and checking the project progress on her laptop, depicting an ownership mindset cultivated through effective communications.
Effective communication is a significant key to remote team collaboration. This further enhances a sense of ownership among remote workers despite the distance between them.

Why Equity Matters in the Long Run

Equity isn't just about financial incentives. It's about creating feelings of shared destiny, where everyone is aligned toward the long-term success of the company. Equity is valuable throughout the life of a business, not just at an exit. It's a powerful signal to potential investors, showing your commitment to long-term growth and alignment.  

For workers, equity can foster an ownership mindset that drives better decisions and higher performance. The feeling of ownership is contagious – it creates an environment where employees feel empowered to take risks and be creative. In the long run, this can lead to bigger breakthroughs and a more resilient organization.

Benefits of Equity Incentives

Offering equity has become an increasingly popular way for most companies to motivate employees and keep them engaged. It allows employees to have a stake in the company's success and rewards them for their hard work and dedication. Additionally, offering equity can help build trust between employers and employees, as it creates a sense of ownership in the company, which translates into a long-term ownership mindset that lasts way beyond the end of tenure and into retirement years.

Equity incentives also provide most companies with an alternative to cash bonuses which can be expensive and difficult to manage.  With equity, companies can provide incentives that are more resilient to economic downturns or layoffs.

Equity and the Future of Work

Moving forward, alignment will be the key to the future of work. As we gain access to better tools and technologies, we'll be better able to identify areas of misalignment or miscommunication, leading to more efficient and harmonious teams. 

Upstock's equity plan serves as a catalyst for creating such alignment, fostering an environment where each team member feels deeply connected to the journey and ultimate success of the company. This alignment paves the way for shared ownership and responsibility between employees, which can ultimately lead to greater collaboration, innovation, and organizational performance.

Upstock: A Tool for Fostering Ownership Mindset

Upstock's equity plan is more than just a tool – it’s a catalyst for change. It's about creating a culture where everyone feels like an owner, and where everyone is motivated to contribute to the long-term success of the company. Our intuitive dashboard helps both owners and workers comprehend RSUs and tracking metrics in real-time, allowing you to stay ahead of the game and drive employee engagement and loyalty toward a bright financial future.  With Upstock, we take care of the equity plan communication with stakeholders. Our goal is to make equity offering easy so you can focus on growing your business.

Ready to foster an ownership mindset within your team? 

Book a demo with Upstock today and experience the transformative power of our modern equity plan. Upstock can help you achieve alignment, revolutionizing your equity plan. Join the future of work with Upstock today!

Thank you for joining us at the Running Remote 2023 conference! I wish you all the best as you embark on your journey to build an ownership mindset within your remote staff.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Casey Fenton

Founder, Upstock & Couchsurfing, AI and Equity Innovator

Casey Fenton, the founder of Upstock & Couchsurfing and an AI and equity innovator, has revolutionized how we perceive and implement equity in the workplace. His foresight in creating platforms that not only connect people but also align their interests towards communal and corporate prosperity has established him as a pivotal figure in technology and community building. Casey speaks worldwide on topics including ownership mindset, worker equity, With Upstock and Couchsurfing, he has demonstrated an unparalleled expertise in harnessing technology for the betterment of community interaction and organizational benefits.

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