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Guest Column: Tapping the potential of the employee entrepreneurs

07-June-2013
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Guest Column: Tapping the potential of the employee entrepreneurs

One of the popular theories is that the human race evolved from apes. If it’s true, then this evolution was a gradual process which took its own time, plus tolerance and patience from a greater force - nature. In my view, this decade will see another evolution; this one will mark the rise of Employee Entrepreneurs (EEs).

Who is an employee entrepreneur?
It’s a mindset, which empowers people to outgrow their defined roles or KRAs. This mindset propels people to think and do what is required over what is asked; what is important over what is imposed; what is meaningful over what is routine.

Employees with entrepreneurial bent of mind are passionate and committed to delivering their best, which often goes beyond the requirements of their job. They are self-motivated and very resourceful in getting the work done.

What fuels an EE?
Depending on the EE, there can be various reasons, however all of them share the passion for work; they simply love their job and like to work with people who are equally committed to achievement of results.

What’s wrong with the current set up?
Everything is system driven, and it’s extremely repetitive. Most of the companies are dictated by number spitting industry czars, who are content with organic growth. In a set-up which has been built to sustain a pattern of work, it is very difficult to identify an EE and give them the space and resources required to grow.

The role of the boss
Employee entrepreneurs look for a sounding board and that’s the role a boss needs to assume. However, this is extremely difficult, especially for bosses who have spent much of their career with hands on policy. They lack the confidence required to let go of things, they lack the ability to accept mistakes required to mould the EEs and boost their confidence. For a boss, it’s a journey of faith, believing in themselves and their EE. Like all good things, an EE does take time to start delivering. It’s like a plane on a runway. It needs space to run its course, gaining momentum before taking off at 300 miles per hour.

Role of HR:
I have always maintained HR to be an extremely important function. Unlike popular beliefs, HR is not only for salary and reimbursements, but for identifying talent. Somewhere, they need to think and act like talent managers rather than go along will the well-defined flow of appraisal.

Once an EE is identified, based on their strength, there has to be a customised approach in managing their career to bring out their best for the company.

What does the future hold?
Exponential growth in knowledge sharing, opportunities and technology will outgrow the traditional well set procedures of “giants” for systematic growth. Going forward, only those companies will continue to lead who have been able to create a culture for EEs to flourish.

Rishikar Krishna is Associate Director - Marketing at Skechers South Asia

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