The word entrepreneur originates from the French word “entreprendre” which means undertaking or setting out on a new mission or venture. So, based on this definition, anyone can be an entrepreneur. But there is a catch.
If you wish to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to learn to take risks. Most famous entrepreneurs were not born with a golden spoon in their mouth. The secret to their success is the entrepreneurial culture they instilled into their organizations right from the very start. However, an entrepreneurial culture cannot be built in one day.
Entrepreneurial company culture
According to Jennifer Prosek, CEO of CJP Communications and the author of Army of Entrepreneurs: Create an Engaged and Empowered Workforce for Exceptional Business Growth, “Building a culture that encourages autonomy, risk-taking, and entrepreneurial behavior is challenging.” As an entrepreneur, you need to instill a sense of culture right from the start. This is because company culture is a reflection of brand values.
Instilling the right culture contributes to rapid rapidly, longevity and customer satisfaction (among other things). For startups that struggle to carve out a foothold in their industry, culture offers a strong competitive advantage.
Entrepreneurs and business leaders must nurture, monitor and adjust company culture on a consistent basis. This means blending the right ingredients, at the right time and in the right way. Here are three ways you can build an entrepreneurial culture within your organization.
1. Respect your people
Respect and trust help to build toward a vibrant and sustainable company culture. Prosek suggests, “An entrepreneurial culture is based on the idea that each individual can be a powerful force for change in the organization.” Satisfied employees are more productive and loyal.
Companies that treat their employees with respect also have better retention rates. According to a research by University of Warwick, “happiness made people around 12 percent more productive.” You know about Google, but do you know the secret behind their massive success? They are known for their company culture and they keep their employees happy.
So if you are really serious about creating an entrepreneurial culture, make your employees happy, motivated and more productive from day-one with these tips:
Offer flexibility: According to a Staples and WorkforceTrends.com study, about one-third employees reported some flexibility in their work schedule would increase happiness and reduce burnout.
Maintain transparency: Involve employees in decision that impact them. Keeping secrets will increase insecurity among employees.
Reward good work: Rewards do not always mean a raise in the salary. Acknowledge good work during meetings or sponsor an off-site retreat for top performing employees.
Encourage communication:Listen to what your employees have to say and act accordingly. Maintain an open door policy.
Offer growth opportunities: Stagnation leads to dissatisfaction and is a roadblock to success. So, offer employee training and encourage them to taking responsibilities and help them grow.
2. Handle mistakes thoughtfully
“If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything.” – John Wooden
Mistakes are inevitable. We must learn to accept our mistakes (as well as our employee’s) gracefully. We often read about successful business leaders and their success stories, but their success often came at a great price; after a series of failures, challenges, errors and mistakes.
It is okay if an employee missed the deadline. Instead of focusing on the mistake, help them understand why it happened and how to can overcome it. Mistakes are not failures. Mistakes are a part of the process as you eliminate methods that don’t work.
In order to create an entrepreneurial culture, learn to own your mistakes, fix them and put safeguards in place to ensure they aren’t repeated. Help your team learn from their mistakes.
3. Make a continuous effort
Fostering an entrepreneurial culture demands continuous effort. You cannot lay the rules and forget about them. Make sure the entrepreneurial vision is a part of your company culture and that it is nurtured every day.
Lead by example. People take cues from their leaders. You set the tone for what the company and its people should be doing. So take risks and show your team how to benefit from doing so. You may fail, but you will also rise.
Show your team that failure is not final. Rise above it and keep working towards success. Create a work environment where people can become intrapreneurs. Strike a balance between authoritative and leniency. It is only through continuous effort that you can empower your employees and build an entrepreneurial culture.
Build strong from the start
When you build the right company culture it will improve the overall performance and efficiency of your organization. It takes a lot of hard work and perseverance. Creating an entrepreneurial culture starts with hiring the right people, nurturing their skills and helping them grow. Remember to:
Screen candidates carefully
Respect the people who work for you
Offer rewards whenever they do something good, and
Help them learn from their mistakes
Keep the above points in mind and you’ll be amazed by the personal and professional growth for your team. Take risks, learn from your mistakes and keep moving ahead.
This article has been edited.
Brian Zeng is the owner of Ponbee.com. He is an entrepreneur by spirit. Through Ponbee, Brian would like to share his insights on an array of topics related to business, e-commerce, digital marketing, and entrepreneurship. Connect with @ponbeecom on Twitter.