Cultivate the Entrepreneurial Spirit
Looking to increase your competitive advantage?
Foster a workplace culture that challenges the norm by rewarding people for developing new solutions that consistently propel the business forward. Transfer as much decision-making as possible to your employees, driving it down and throughout your organization. Doing so will nurture innovation, instill ownership and build accountability for company success. It will also ignite an electric yet sustainable energy and enthusiasm that will set your company apart from other, more traditional organizations.
Companies that are alive with the entrepreneurial spirit are on fire. From the moment you walk in their doors, you immediately notice these businesses are different — in a good way. Their products and services stand apart, providing solutions or demonstrating feats of creativity that make life smarter, easier or better. And the people behind these organizations — from the receptionist or greeter to mid-level managers and top-tier leaders — all these folks are happy to be working in an environment that’s so different and dynamic. How have such cultures been achieved? Among other things, these companies have learned how to:
Hire the right people. When it comes to staffing for success, companies that foster an entrepreneurial spirit don’t hire “warm bodies”. They invest resources upfront to screen potential candidates with the goal of onboarding the right people for the right positions. They also hire people who understand the value of teamwork and demonstrate a willingness to serve as a team member. When interviewing, these businesses will even ask potential hires for examples of how their skills and talents could support and enhance team well-being. No doubt, how these hires respond can be very telling.
Empower the staff. The solutions to all your company’s challenges lie within your people. The goal is to create a workplace environment in which the right solutions surface, e.g., one in which everyone feels comfortable sharing ideas, discussing and developing answers to problems, and using their skills and talents to transform those possibilities into real products or services. While your staff will require clearly defined boundaries, goals, and metrics aligned with their targets, you have to trust your people and give them the rope they need to explore new directions, take occasional risks, and even push the envelope from time to time to achieve their goals. In an entrepreneurial culture, this is precisely how employees learn and evolve for the better. Over time, they become increasingly more committed, deeply invested and consistently inspired.
Reward success. Just as you assign measurements of success to your company’s goals, you’ve got to recognize achievements and establish a system of rewards that clearly relates to what you’re asking your people to do. For instance, if it’s uncertain why people are getting honored for certain achievements but not others, the culture becomes confused, unmotivated and possibly even distrustful, undermining all your best goal-setting and management intentions. Rewarding the right behaviors is a technique that encourages and reinforces success. And in an entrepreneurial environment, this is one of the easiest, best ways to get more of the behaviors you want and the results your company needs.
What sort of ways are you rewarding success within your organization?