Dear Optimist, Pessimist and Realist,
While you guys were busy arguing about the glass of water, I drank it!
This essentially is the mantra of entrepreneurship! An entrepreneur is known to seinse opportunities, take risks, has a high level of energy and strives hard to achieve results. And considering this wouldn’t you want all your employees to have an entrepreneurial spirit when they come into work? “Entrepreneurship”, entrepreneurial spirit or the culture of the organisation – call it what you will, it all points to the same characteristics of an employee. It signifies an employee working within the organisational framework, but as if he were the owner of the business. She/he takes full responsibility for any project assigned to him/her and ensures completion integrating innovative approaches to alleviate the risks as well as creative reward and management techniques required to mobilise the required resources. The idea of cultivating an entrepreneurial culture in an organisation is to leverage the resources and the reach of a large organization without compromising on the nimble agility of a start-up.
Organisations and teams benefit tremendously from employees who work as if it were their own company. After all who wouldn’t like cautious use of funds and maximizing output while minimizing waste? Would you want your employees to become more entrepreneurial? How do you determine whether you are doing your bit to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit in your organisation? If your answer to these questions is a resounding “Yes” read on:
The follow are some of the characteristics of entrepreneurial employees and how as a manager you can provide an impetus to them.
They take risks and experiment
In an economy where new jobs are hard to come by and a smallest mistake can taint your career forever, employees think several times before they take a risk. Employees in entrepreneurial organisations however, thrive on risks & uncertainty, thus leading to a high level of creativity and innovation in the organisation. They understand the costs and benefits of engaging in the unknown. As a manager you will need to provide your employees the confidence that not only will you support their clutter breaking ideas but will also stand by them in case of failure. To encourage the employees to take risks will also mean that you yourself will be taking a risk as at times you will also need to permit them to deviate from the well-accepted norms.
They learn from their mistakes
A new plan or method however fool-proof runs the risk of failure. Mistakes do not discourage employees with entrepreneurial qualities. These employees treat mistakes as opportunities to learn and improve and also try to ensure that they don’t make the same mistakes again. To encourage this streak both the organisation as well as the manager needs to be more tolerant of mistakes. It may also be essential to tweak certain organisational processes especially those to related performance management and rewards in a manner that supports this culture.
They display high passion and energy
An entrepreneurial culture will encourage employees with the passion that will help them complete the tasks they set out to do. Passion will help them overcome any obstacles that may arise and set aside any negativity. The key to building an entrepreneurial culture is to hire for passion. Most managers agree that candidates who have been hired for their passion rather than matching of skills are more likely to succeed in tough situations. As a manager, you also need to identify the passion of your team members. Once a person takes on a mission that resonates with his passion, he/she’s almost unstoppable.
They trust their instincts
With so much at stake in the business world today, employees tend to rely a lot on data and analysis before taking decisions. Entrepreneurs will agree that they have been more successful when they make decisions based on their gut feeling or instinct. The manager needs to ensure that he/she does not curb the entrepreneurial urge by constantly asking for more data and analysis. The organisation needs to be clear about areas in which they are willing to take risks and get breakthrough results.
They focus on execution
For entrepreneurial employees execution of their plans and strategies is crucial. The successful execution of one project propels them to bigger challenges. As the team leader your role in these situations is that of a consultant or mentor rather than being an active team leader. While they are so focused on the execution they may require you as manager mobilise all the resources required for successful execution through your network within the organisation.
They are competitive
A lot of entrepreneurs are successful because they believe they can do something better than others. Similarly employees in entrepreneurial organisations receive a thrust when surrounded by healthy competition. Though such employees are self – motivated by their own success, they also tend to measure their accomplishments by a relative comparison to the others in the team or organisation. Your role as a manager is to promote healthy competition among your team members. Though entrepreneurial employees are very focused and ambitious, its important to keep them grounded to reality as well and help them understand the constraints that they may face in their attempt to achieve very high risk goals.
They expect rewards
Entrepreneurial employees thrive on their own success, but also expect praise and recognition from their colleagues and managers. The recognition does not necessarily need to be monetary though incentives and high stakes propel the entrepreneurial spirit even more. The organisation needs to inculcate praise and recognition as a way of being to encourage employees. In an entrepreneurial culture even if employees do not entirely achieve whatever they set out to its extremely crucial to give cognisance to small victories to encourage future behaviour.
Overall it’s safe to say that an entrepreneurial culture requires not only passionate and independent employees but also managers or leaders who can support and encourage them. And the organisation also needs to play its role in ensuring that the processes and systems also align with the culture being inculcated.
Head of Training and Development