Be a Valuable Employee: Think Like an Owner

There are many traits that appeal to employers, but one that stands out is thinking like a business owner, instead of as an employee. What is meant by this? It largely has to do with being proactive employees.


Many employees see work as simply completing the tasks assigned to them. Every day, they come to the office, sit at their desk, and do what is in front of them. They probably perform their tasks well, otherwise they may be fired or having to deal with a frustrated boss.

Anytime they don’t have a task right in front of them, they happily sit at their desk and do nothing. They are satisfied with this type of situation: earning a salary while just sitting in an office, regardless of whether there are other things they could be doing. As a boss, you are focused on managing passive employees, when you could be focused on operating and expanding a business.


1. Be Great: A Great Employee is a Proactive Employee

Let’s change the paradigm here. Imagine if that same employee thought and acted as if they owned the business; this employee is world-class talent. They would understand that if they don’t earn any money for the business, then they won’t get paid.  And if other employees sit around doing the bare minimum, the company is going to have a hard time staying in business. Thinking like an owner is the preferred way for an employee to be!

So, what are some behaviors associated with thinking like an owner?

a. Make sure every action employees take has a business focus on customers.

Something that is often detrimental to an employee’s performance is getting caught up in workplace politics; the employee stays self-centered while the customers get forgotten. They must analyze every move from the viewpoint of their company’s customers. Will spending money in a certain way help their customer succeed?

b. Think like business owners is to embrace change, not fight it.

Owners understand that these days, technological change is happening at an unprecedented pace. In order to best serve customers, employees should seek out ways to utilize new technologies.

In addition, if employees take a more proactive mindset to work, they will feel less pressure from their supervisors, because they will already be strongly performing their tasks, and seeking out new ones. In the world today, competition amongst companies for good employees is fierce. Employers will pay a high salary for excellent employees. The mutual payoff of employees thinking like owners, both for the company and for the employee, is huge.

2. What Employees Gain from Thinking Like an Owner

Employees gain a lot when thinking like an owner:

  • First: Employees are likely to receive satisfactory pay and benefits. A company can be run in a much more profitable manner if their employees are thinking like owners, and so employers will want to incentivize such behavior.
  • Second: They will experience professional growth from taking on more responsibilities.
  • Third: Employees who think like owners will have a better chance of getting promoted than those who don’t. If an employee is already in a habit of searching for more ways to make the company money, they will have an easy transition to management.
  • Fourth: They will have more job security than other employees who don’t think in a proactive way.

In the end, thinking like an owner is a win-win for all parties. With proactive employees, before you know it your business may be growing exponentially and even expanding globally.

NNRoad specializes in HR outsourcing and market entry and is here to make expanding globally easier for you. Get in touch with us to see how we can help you expand internationally. 

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