Business leaders are increasingly finding that strict hierarchies and closed-door policies aren't the most effective ways to structure a company. While many companies today encourage employee collaboration and input at all levels, some are giving their staff the freedom to be "intrapreneurs."
"Intrapreneurship is when employees have an entrepreneurial spirit internally," said Phil Shawe, co-founder and co-CEO of business language services firm TransPerfect. "It's as if [each member of your] staff is running his or her own business. They can do it on their own or within [their department]. It's all about having a good system in place."
A company culture that promotes internal entrepreneurial thinking starts with a leader who exemplifies it. Shawe offered four tips for fostering intrapreneurship in your workplace. [3 Ways to Improve Your Company Culture]
Be transparent. Trusting your employees with important company information and including them in companywide decisions can make them feel like they're more involved in day-to-day business processes, regardless of their individual roles. Shawe suggested getting your staff's feedback on the information you distribute as well.
Reward proactive behavior. Leaders and managers shouldn't be controlling every detail of what their employees do. Instead, they should be more "hands-off" and reward individuals who take charge and find ways to improve sales, efficiency, etc., on their own.
Fix problems as they arise. When an issue occurs in a startup setting, entrepreneurs must take responsibility and address it right away. If they don't, the problem could escalate and cause the business to fail. Instill this sense of urgency in your employees, and teach them to fix all problems, large or small, as they arise.
Encourage healthy competition. Like entrepreneurs, intrapreneurial employees should have a healthy sense of competition with one another to do the best job they can and get results. But as a leader, it's your job to make sure they remember that their success is intertwined.
"At the end of the day, you're all one team," Shawe told Business News Daily. "Make people understand and feel that they're part of something larger."
Originally published on Business News Daily.