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In the second installment of our three-part intrapreneurship series, we look at the practical ways companies can help turn employees into intrapreneurs, and the benefits they can expect. Though there are unlimited ways to encourage practical innovation, companies should bear in mind the following objectives.
Intrapreneurship is not just for the chosen few - almost anybody within an organization can (and should!) be an intrapreneur. This means making time and resources available, including on-the-job training, to participate in these kinds of initiatives. It’s also not just about individuals. Promoting collective intrapreneurship can be even more effective, so people feel encouraged to team up with others in order to work on new initiatives.
It’s fine if not every new initiative becomes an instant success - in fact, it’s completely normal. The more initiatives a company promotes, however, the greater the chances of implementing them. This goes back to the importance of resource allocation mentioned earlier.
The criteria for assessing the quality, potential, and feasibility of each initiative must be completely transparent and understandable - everyone should know how the process works at every stage of initiative selection and implementation. This helps improve employees’ proposals, and prevents inadvertently discouraging them from presenting ideas.
Finally, support from top management must be visible to all. Their effective sponsoring can make a huge difference.
“Employer brand equity” is gaining importance on a par with customer brand equity, and companies do well to highlight their commitment to social responsibility. Not only that, but high employee turnover and the corresponding recruitment costs can significantly impact the corporate bottom line in the most dynamic and competitive industries. Meanwhile, recruiting high-potential talent can pose a real challenge in smaller industries.
When companies demonstrate that innovation and intrapreneurship are at the heart of what they do, they increase their chances of attracting the talent they need and keeping them on board.
To find out more about fostering intrapreneurship and its benefits, download the new HEC Paris white paper: ‘Learning from the Experts: How to start your own business’. In our next installment, we will look at what the future holds for intrapreneurs.
Article based on an interview with Gérard de Maupeou, Professor of Strategy at HEC Paris, in an interview for Hays
Read more: Intrapreneurship: innovating from the inside