Low engagement levels and employee turnover rates can affect organisations of all sizes and shapes. These statistics have significant economic consequences, as unengaged employees tend to be less productive. Consequently, organisations are forced to spend significant resources on recruitment and training to replace employees who leave.

High performing organisations have consistently higher engagement rates and below-average turnover. They promote “intrapreneurship” by encouraging employees to learn and apply entrepreneurial knowledge, skills, and mindsets.

Three basic “leadership actions” you could take to successfully champion this approach are:

  • Provide the right types of leadership development opportunities
  • Give them the necessary resources and
  • Enable a culture of innovation

The most empowering intrapreneurship-focused leadership development targets the following:

Provide the necessary resources for self-identified, employee-driven projects:

To inspire an intrapreneurial mindset provide the time, space, and financial resources necessary to support employee-driven initiatives and projects.

Design, build, and encourage a “Culture of Innovation:

  • Give employees a high degree of freedom and flexibility, which will promote autonomy and, thus, motivation.
  • Encourage employees to test out competitors and compare your company’s product or service to products and services from a competitor.
  • Encourage staff to ask questions and to challenge processes. Aiming to create a culture where employees are encouraged to poke holes and rethink solutions is a fantastic way to look for better, cheaper, and faster ways to operate.

Give employees permission to fail (or an understanding of which types of failures are acceptable and unacceptable).

  • Organisations that want to enable and empower intrapreneurs should regularly communicate that failure is a natural part of the innovation process.

At the end of the day, many factors drive high levels of employee disengagement and turnover. As leaders and managers, we often assume that these factors are entirely outside of our control, which is a mistake. Promoting and enabling intrapreneurship is one strategy that can benefit both employees and organisations.