In the typical office, several different personality types are necessary to comprise a fully functioning, pleasant workplace environment. This means that not everyone can be, or should be, an entrepreneur living out their dream of inventing, creating and initiating new developments and projects. However, there is a valid reason for companies of all sizes and types to encourage a sense of the entrepreneurial spirit in all of their staff members.
Having an entrepreneurial spirit means more than wanting to start your own business, although that is a route taken by many entrepreneurs; it means holding values like creativity, passion and innovation on a higher level than profit, stability and predictability. Perhaps these are traits you recognize in yourself or in your colleagues; these are a few of the characteristics required for the success of small businesses and for achieving personal fulfilment from your career.
Great, but why foster individuality among a collective group of employees?
The Value of Creativity in the Workplace
Everyone expects the marketing department to be creative, but expanding that expectation to your entire staff force can benefit your business in surprising ways. Encouraging employees to think outside the box and share their ideas will open up your pool of resources to include everyone from the accountants to the interns. Plus, allowing employees to voice unique opinions and perspectives proves you value their input and bolsters office morale.
If your company has aged beyond the start-up phase, you might be thinking that this concept doesn’t apply because your business is already well established in its corporate procedures; however, a company doesn’t need to be a tiny start-up to promote an internal entrepreneurial culture! Growth is fantastic and essential to business, but it doesn’t mean you should lose sight of your core values or what your brand originally represented in its infancy.
Even a mid-sized or large company can benefit from this mindset; the tricky part is continuing to motivate and inspire creativity among individual employees as the business grows.
How to Jump-start Motivation
Your employees don’t necessarily need to be entrepreneurs to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit of hard work and innovation. However, some people are naturally inclined to think a bit more creatively and try new things. But how can you foster this type of passion in your staff members as a whole? Here are a few things you can try to get your team excited:
- Encourage Input: Make it clear to employees that new ideas are always welcome and feedback is appreciated from all departments. Acknowledge innovators positively, even if their concept won’t make it past the brainstorming session. A company can get stuck in a rut by doing things the same old way when new, more efficient options are available.
- Introduce ‘No Blame’ Culture: One way to encourage an entrepreneurial spirit is to adopt a culture that doesn’t place blame on the individual. A more worthwhile way to ensure that an unfavorable outcome is not repeated is to analyze what led up to the decision and the scenario in which it failed. Blaming employees directly for every shortcoming is a sure way to discourage innovation and creativity.
- Provide Feedback Regularly: Frequent feedback is key to helping employees realize the value of their position within a company. If hardworking staff members are never acknowledged for their efforts, they may take your silence as apathy, which will in turn influence the quality of their work. Even short comments and feedback remind an employee that they are a recognized member of a team and will promote positivity, confidence and a strong work ethic.
Re-igniting Lost Passions
Starting up or taking over a new business has several parallels to beginning a new relationship: everyone begins with a strong sense excitement and optimism, but little to no idea of the challenges to appear in the long run. As time passes, the day-to-day truth of running a company replaces the intoxicating dream of becoming a wildly successful business right off the bat. When the going gets tough, you need to motivate your employees to stay passionate, but you also need to reignite those dwindling emotions in yourself.
A passionate leader will do more to inspire employees than any company policy ever could. If you’re struggling to rekindle your own entrepreneurial spirit, reflect on the reasons you chose to start a business; focus on the positive aspects of being a leader and having the ability to influence and inspire your entire staff force. Once your re-inspire yourself and accept that you will always be an entrepreneur at heart, you’ll find that employees are more receptive to your influence and motivational initiatives.
Motivate, Inspire, Succeed
I hope you find that motivating and challenging your employees to think creatively has a positive influence on the success of your business. Inspired workers will always perform a better job than those who have grown bored, unenthused, or were never really interested in the business in the first place. Remember that entrepreneurs can make excellent employees if you give them the right tools and allow them to showcase their creativity and individuality.
About the Author
Emily is a freelance writer based in Toronto, Ontario who covers a range of topics from technology to travel. She holds a Bachelor in English Literature and Business from the University of Waterloo. No matter how many projects she is working on, Emily always finds time for baking, reading, and yoga.