As a small-business owner, you understand the importance of finding and retaining qualified employees. The kind of people you hire can, quite literally, make or break your business. The ideal employee, therefore, is much more than someone who simply shows up on time, follows directions, and exhibits desirable character traits: He or she is also an entrepreneur.
Here are four reasons why you need more entrepreneurs on your team, along with several tips for encouraging this mindset among your employees.
- Entrepreneurial employees are innovators. Employees who have an entrepreneurial mindset don’t just do their jobs; they look for ways to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively. They proactively engage in creative problem solving. In some cases, they even contribute significantly to the company’s sales growth by creating an entirely new product line, as did a 3M employee back in 1974, when he conceived what we now know as the Post-it note.
- Entrepreneurial employees are results-oriented. As noted above, people who are entrepreneurs at heart are not people who simply go through the motions to fulfill the responsibilities set forth in their job descriptions. These are can-do employees who want to see the fruits of their labor. As a result, they are typically more diligent, goal-driven workers who accomplish more than what’s required of them.
- Entrepreneurial employees act like business partners. If you have an entrepreneur on your team, then you have someone who is looking out for your interests. Entrepreneurial employees take ownership of their work. As a result, they exercise more care when performing their day-to-day duties. They’re also mindful of the company’s overall performance and do what they can to contribute to the bottom line.
- Entrepreneurial employees take risks. As an entrepreneur yourself, you should understand and cherish the willingness of someone to take chances. Entrepreneurial employees aren’t afraid to innovate. The fear of failure does not prevent them trying something new or tackling a business challenge that colleagues may be unwilling to address. Instead, they use the uncertainty of the outcome as a motivational force.
How to Encourage Entrepreneurial Thinking
Want to build entrepreneurs out of the staff you already have? Start here.
- Ask your employees for advice. If you want your employees to think like business partners, then treat them like business partners. Ask for their input from time to time.
- Reward employees with additional responsibility. If your employees are exercising entrepreneurial principles in a lower-level job, then they’re likely to follow those principles when they’re given more responsibility. This is also a great way to reward employees without increasing their pay.
- Offer incentives. Use good, old-fashioned pay-for-performance incentives. Your employees will realize that their own financial success is tied to the success of their work, which encourages entrepreneurial thinking.