Simply put, encouraging an entrepreneurial spirit within your team means empowering them to make decisions proactively and creatively to try and further the business. When your employee becomes an ‘intrapreneur’, they’re able to bring a spirit of independence and energy into the business that helps overall productivity levels tremendously. This is because you spend less time (and therefore money) coaching or micro-managing your team, and more time working with people who are actively seeking ways to further improve your business.
This isn’t the same as losing control of your organisation: management isn’t necessarily a negative thing. It simply means being part of a team that is collaborative and engaged in its approach to problem-solving.
When you’re in the process of hiring, searching for a precise combination of stellar qualities isn’t likely to get you very far. Instead, focus on the potential of an employee, and hone in on their enthusiasm and capability for proactive action.
This will help you differentiate between someone who may be showing up to work simply to leave as soon as it’s closing time and someone who genuinely wants to put in the hours to become better. Ensuring you’re hiring the right culture fit with a proven tendency to approach problem solving creatively will allow you them with the right tools to become ‘intrapreneurs’ once they come on board.
The key to building entrepreneurial spirit in your team lies in just one word: independence. ‘Employees’ require managers, and their expectations at the office boil down to performing the tasks they’ve been asked to do well. While there’s nothing wrong with this in a large corporation, smaller businesses and start-ups are unpredictable, and every day comes with a new set of challenges.
Your team needs to reflect exactly this. Allow your members to be privy to the unique circumstances of any challenges that you may be having issues with, and invite them to participate in brainstorming solutions.
It is also well worth investing in leadership courses or coaches if you have the resources to do so. We’ve written extensively on the ROI of employee training, and this is an extension of that kind of investment. If you don’t have the resources to do so, it may be worth investing in a few books on leadership that employees are able to borrow from the office and discuss notes on. Engaging your team members and indicating your confidence in their ability will go a long way in empowering them to adopt a more entrepreneurial spirit at the office.
Curious to learn more effective management tools? We’ve got the low-down you’re looking for over on our articles page.