As a business grows and becomes more established, it can be a worry that the entrepreneurial spirit is fading.
But before you start implementing strategies to rejuvenate the spirit, make sure that it is ‘entrepreneurial’ spirit you’re after. After all, entrepreneurs are famously unemployable, that’s why they work for themselves! If you hired entrepreneurs, you’d end up with an environment with a lot of head-butting.
If by ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ you mean passion and commitment to the business, self-reliance and motivation, initiative, and treating the company’s money as though they were investing their own money, try the three tactics below to bring the spark back to your business and build a great culture.
The game plan
1. Hire for passion.
It’s easier to channel energy and passion that is already there versus trying to create passion inside of disinterested people.
No matter how great the environment and culture, if the person is not willing to bring passion with them, you’re not going to get anywhere. So, before you reach the stage of having to flog dead horses, look for enthusiasm during the interview process. If someone exudes passion they will be able to relate stories in their life that involved risk, achievement and celebration.
2. Reward initiative and risk taking.
In order to show initiative and independence, employees need to step into the firing line and take a risk that may backfire on them. If you want to see more of these qualities, you need to seek out and reward actions and behaviour that embody these qualities, even if the outcome isn’t as expected.
The quickest killer of people’s willingness to take repeated risks is negative comments and being humiliated for failing. Make sure your staff are aware that ridicule is not acceptable.
3. Talk money with employees.
It’s not easy for many people to see how their actions and choices impact a business’s financial viability.
Since it’s an abstract idea some employees continue to chew away on company resources without conscience. You don’t need to divulge everything to your staff, but the way around this is to teach them about financial issues like variable costs, fixed costs, gross margin, incremental margin, and contribution.
A basic understanding of how the money works can help employees better understand their own decisions as investment choices.