This is part two of the top methods to foster Intrapreneurship.
Last week, we demonstrated several ways to create the culture necessary to foster Intrapreneurship and to make sure that the creation of such an environment does not create a kink in the flow of your company’s progress. Today we will demonstrate how to best facilitate the creation of projects for the young Intrapreneur to take charge of and how to properly motivate them through recognition.
5. To foster intrapreneurial projects, develop a system of goals that must be met to proceed to the next stage of development–but leave it up to the Intrapreneur to determine how to meet that goal. Chamberlain reported that Adobe’s initiative resulted in an, “Increase in innovation quantity, quality, and speed across the organization.” Creating achievable but difficult short term goals for your Intrapreneurs will not only make them more engaged, as the difficulty of the goal will provide them a satisfaction upon completion, but it will also give them the confidence to move forward with their idea. Pavlov might have been onto something.
6. Recognize when an Intrapreneur accomplishes a goal. While recognition is a trait Dr. Zak’s article promotes in trust building, it is also highly beneficial for Intrapreneurial development. How do your employees know they are succeeding unless you give them positive feedback? Recognizing success is important, but not nearly as important as recognizing failure. Instead of admonishing failure, celebrate it. If you can learn from failure, while developing the Intrapreneurs’ ideas, then your company has grown. This is just as valuable as being successful financially, because it will eventually be beneficial when you do not make the same mistakes again. When your Intrapreneurs’ goals fail, as some ultimately will, you will be able to set new goals in the future based on the data collected through previous failure. And by keeping those goals short term, the failure will not be as burdensome to your company. Recognizing failure and success are only part of the process. In order for failure to succeed, an environment must be created where the Intrapreneur can have the tools to learn from failure, and not be afraid of failing either. One way to validate the efforts of Intrapreneurs is to create a system of rewards for learning. Create contests for best results, or most beneficial failure, that give either a monetary or fun prize. For example, Intuit rented their most valued employee a high-end sports car for a week. Also, be sure to get your entire company involved. Do not just leave recognition to the executives and managers. See who the people on the ground floor think deserves recognition. Not only will it give you a different perspective, but it will also engage the entire company in the process.
7. Have your employees be responsible for the progress of their project. Treating all employees like adults will not only build trust, but it will also put the person most knowledgeable about the project in a position to direct it to the most desirable outcome. Allowing the creator of the product to be responsible will not only be more efficient for the project but it will also develop entrepreneurial skills of the employee directing it. This faith in the employee will create a bond between you and them. However, if you do not foster a high trust culture, you will still have low employee retention rates. Even companies like Google and Amazon, whose cultures highly foster young Intrapreneurs, have some of the highest turnover rates and youngest average ages. So by fostering a culture of trust and engagement your company has the potential to drop its turnover rate by 50%, according to Dr. Zak’s article.
8. Encourage your employees to pick projects they are interested in. Valve, a digital gaming distribution company, has all their desks on wheels. This ensures agility so an employee can work on multiple projects simultaneously. When they are needed for a specific project, Valve employees can just push their desk to where they are needed and have all their tools at their disposal, instead of having to make multiple trips to gather supplies. In addition, Valve encourages their employees to pick projects that excite them, and because they are on wheels they have spent less time transitioning between projects. Valve want to keep their employees motivated by allowing them to pursue their creative desires. Now a complete lack of restrictions would be chaos, but your company could circumvent this problem by adapting a weekly employee meeting that allows for the ideas of Intrapreneurs of your company to be presented. This meeting would allow for employees interested in creating, but not necessarily ready for their own ideas, to gain experience and for them to be engaged.
Following these eight steps is a fantastic first step to pioneer Intrapreneurship in your company. Within months you will notice an increase in wellbeing, productivity, and profit.