By: Emma Miller
Companies that encourage and reward intrapreneurship have a great advantage when it comes to retaining the best talents – especially important in today’s creative climate. Here are a few ways that your company can turn your employees into highly-engaged intrepreneurs.
If you’ve noticed that some of your employees have a great entrepreneurial spirit, be sure to cultivate it. They can use their talents and realize ideas within a company. Many corporate giants such as Intel, Google, Apple and Toyota have achieved massive growth thanks to the entrepreneurs within.
The companies that encourage that kind of climate, by fostering the culture of intrapreneurship, have a distinct advantage when it comes to keeping their best talents. The employees who are given resources, tools, and recognition – as well as the freedom of being innovative – are much more satisfied and motivated to do their jobs. This results in better products and services, and a highly engaged workforce. Both the intrapreneur and the company reap the benefits of a company culture that encourages intrapreneurship.
These are some of the ways to build the right climate and turn your employees into highly engaged intrapreneurs.
1. Find them
It’s not a matter of creating intrapreneurs, but discovering them. There are probably intrapreneurs within your organization, and once you start encouraging them – they’ll rise to the surface. Intrapreneurs can be found anywhere from production lines and finance offices to delivery routes, which means that they don’t fall into a single profile. Make it easier for your employees to approach you and your managers a present their innovative ideas.
2. Encourage teamwork
Good collaboration can spread enthusiasm around the office, encouraging good ideas and moving them along much faster. Employees that can get an instant feedback on their ideas and absorb the ideas, thoughts, and energy from their colleagues tend to be more inspired and passionate about their job.
3. Allow them to grow outside their job positions
In other words – give them enough room to play around. When employees get an opportunity to take some time away from their everyday tasks, they can play around with possibilities and ideas. Many companies are already doing this, instead of making them focus strictly on the tasks at hand.
4. Teach your employees how to create and sell innovation
Simply having an idea is not enough, because a successful entrepreneur also has to know how to present and sell that idea. Take DreamWorks Animations, for example, the employees there are trained to properly pitch their ideas, whether it concerns a food choice for the cafeteria or creative input for a new project. Think about what range of innovation objectives can be achieved with your innovation capabilities, start evaluating your employee performance additionally according to their innovation capacities and skills, and provide those ready to take on the challenge with a support system. Your employees will then be able to really create, develop and pitch their new ideas.
5. Individuality beats conventionality
According to New York Times, the connection between clean spaces and moral righteousness was made 50 years ago, by the anthropologist Mary Douglas. Psychologists have, more recently, shown that the scent of cleaning products can affect people and raise their ethical standards. So, the question is, can we say that messiness can steer people away from conventions and toward new directions? Yes, a messy room or workspace can encourage us to break convention, and that favors innovative thinking as its key component. People are inspired by different environments, so your employees should be free to create a workspace that sparks new ideas in them.
6. Failure and risk can’t be avoided
They should really be made acceptable. It would be silly to think that you can make something new and different without losing anything. In order to feel free to innovate, you should have a higher tolerance for failure and face the risks. Allow your intrapreneurs to learn from failure and move on to other, better-planned attempts. Intrapreneurs shouldn’t feel like they’ll be punished if they fail. Empowering them will have a direct, positive effect on their job performance. Let them know that you believe in their capabilities, provide them with resources and set them free.
7. Reward intrapreneurial behavior
Recognize your intrapreneurs, praise them and call them out to send a strong signal to other employees that activation and innovation are greatly valued by the organization. Acknowledgment is a powerful motivator, and by encouraging and rewarding your employees, you’ll see an increase in creative endeavors and contributions within the company.
Also, rewarding them with small things and interesting gifts will show them that you’re engaged in the whole process as well, which can help you develop a better relationship. According to CEB, an advisory company, US citizens spent $130 billion on gift cards in 2015 (a 6% increase from 2014). Many people prefer giving or receiving gift cards over regular gifts. Motivate your intrapreneurs with both acknowledgments and the right presents.
8. Organize brainstorming sessions
Creativity comes in different shapes. To make brainstorming work best, there are two elements that have to come together: diversity of people (employees from different groups and departments coming together to solve problems and think of new ideas) and expertise of the topic at hand. Tapping into all the types of creativity is necessary if you want to create new things, while brainstorming sessions can be a way to encourage creative thinking. Meet to discuss and address problems, company visions as well as goals, and make sure that new ideas are in tune with main goals of your organization.
9. Create a common fund for intrapreneurs
Create a fund, and make that money available to intrapreneurs. This fund will be dedicated to removing a big obstacle when it comes to implementing new ideas. Treat intrapreneurs like any entrepreneur that seeks an investment from the business. The funds will help their ventures get off the ground, but they should be required to pitch their business plans and ideas in order to be allowed to access those funds.
Teach your team of innovative employees to move along with the competition, instead of fighting with them. Intrapreneurs change the ways they work and think, which can spark different ideas that can be crucial for business progress. It’s a kind of workforce that every company wants on their team.
By Emma Miller
About the author
Emma Miller is a marketer and a writer from Sydney. Her focuses are digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends. She’s a contributor at Bizzmark blog.