Are there employees in your organisation that are disengaged at work? Is this disengaged demeanour affecting overall productivity? If the answers to these questions is ‘yes’ then there’s something to worry about.
A study shows that 48 percent of employees across the world are unhappy in their current jobs and 43 percent said that they frequently think about quitting their jobs.
Be it due to external or internal factors, more and more employees are increasingly unwilling to give their best at work. As the HR, you might be reading this article because you have tried every trick in the book to make your employees more engaged at work and are seeking new ways. Well, we suggest you to encourage intrapreneurship in your organisation to boost employee engagement.
Who Qualifies as an Intrapreneur?
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Intrapreneurship is the process of developing entrepreneurship in the workplace. An intrapreneur is any employee who comes up with unique ideas at work or for a project that he/she takes full ownership, right from formulation to completion. Such employees create something new for the organization and with the organization, instead of stepping out to explore better opportunities.
Intrapreneurs exist in all companies, if you know how to seek them. These are the people who come up with creative, ‘outside the box’ solutions to problems and question the ‘chal raha hai, chalne do’ attitude. Such people thrive when given more freedom and micro-managed less, and actively seek opportunities to learn and grow.
What makes intrapreneurship important for employee engagement?
Intrapreneurs in a workplace are like treasure troves who are waiting to be discovered. Such employees bring creative ideas that can help create new solutions with improved quality. Their ideas can help your company adapt to a changing work environment or new process sooner, innovate, and find new ways to provide outstanding customer service. When you encourage and reward the intrapreneurial spirit among your employees, not only does it improve engagement but also bring out the best in them.
A few companies that have embraced and benefitted from rewarding the intrapreneurial spirit are:
- Intel: Intel’s New Business Initiative (NBI) provides a space for employees to pitch their business ideas and receive funding.
- Dreamworks Pictures: Employees are taught the art of formulating a pitch and are given the opportunity to practice in front of senior executives.
- Google: Google used to have a program called ‘20% Time’ which allowed its engineers to spend 20 percent of their time on projects that interested them. During this time, employees could dabble in ideas without a superior breathing down their neck, telling them what to do and what not to do. It was discontinued a few years back but replaced with a team that helmed creative thinking and ideation.
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Encouraging intrapreneurship is a great way to drive employee engagement. When employees are exposed to a culture where their ideas can drive remarkable changes, it fosters ownership and problem-solving skills. If their ideas are heard by the organisation, they feel appreciated and recognised.
Ways to Encourage Intrapreneurship in the Workplace
Creating a culture within your organisation that encourages and rewards creativity is an attainable goal. The trick is to provide your employees the freedom to express their talents and think like entrepreneurs. Here are a few steps that will help your company move toward this culture:
#1 Risk and Failure are Inevitable, Embrace Them
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Most employees are afraid of employing their creativity at work. This stems from the fear of job safety, should they challenge existing norms. To help employees overcome this fear, you need to be open to feedback and accept that there might be operational issues which you aren’t aware of. Your employees can come up with better ideas to growth hurdles, which you never imagined as an organization before.
If it’s not possible for employees to approach senior management directly, create single and secure platform where employees can post their ideas for careful consideration. You can use HRMS software and create modules to help employees upload their ideas right away from anywhere and anytime. Unless your employees feel like they are being heard, their productivity will drop. They will stop sharing their innovative ideas and can possibly start looking for better opportunities.
The idea of encouraging employees to share their ideas at work and assuring that their failures won’t be penalised, goes a long way in taking off the pressure and letting intrapreneurs thrive.
#2 Reward Ideas and Productivity
Everyone likes to be rewarded for a job well done and intrapreneurs are no different. Rewarding such employees for a great idea devised or executed goes a long way in building loyalty and encourages engagement at work. Rewards don’t have to be monetary either. Handing out an appreciation card in front of their team and a few words to say kudos, can do wonders in fostering employee engagement.
To track the productivity of your employees, you can use HRMS software. It has modules where employees can enter their daily work done and add comments explaining their work flow. Managers can assess employee productivity through this module and filter out those who performed well and came up with unique ideas to achieve work efficiency. Consequently, identification of such employees will allow you to reward them accordingly.
#3 Organise Events that Encourage Intrapreneurial Ideas
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Organising events is a great way to discover budding intrapreneurs within your organisation and encourage them. Events can range from team activities to hackathons, which include metrics to help identify intrapreneurs. Such events present a specific business problem and participants are expected to come up with a solution. Intrapreneurs usually come up with unique and interesting ideas during such events. Interestingly, the ‘Like’ button of Facebook came out of such a hackathon when a junior staff member pitched this idea. The global thumbs up that Facebook has received since the launch of its ‘Like’ feature is testament to what a simple idea can do for an organisation.
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Not every idea generated during such an event might be a good one. For every good idea, you might receive nine bad ones but it’s important to let the creative process flow. However, such events create competitiveness among your employees and motivate them to come up with new and unique ideas. Additionally, such events are great for employee engagement and team-building.
Intrapreneurial employees follow the mission to bring their best for their own career advances and organisation’s growth, at the same time. They have a sense of ownership and understand how their role contributes to the bigger picture of growth and profitability. And, by supporting the intrapreneurial spirit, you can turn your disengaged employees into highly engaged innovators.