Leaders, it’s time to think about your smart, innovative, driven employees, who are working in top positions of your company and streamlining your system and increasing your morale. Would you say they remind you of yourself and are entrepreneurial? The answer is some of them are Global Entrepreneurship Monitor gave a report last year which says about these people that about 15-20% of the employees are involved in starting a start-up. Due to some barriers and also cost of the idea they fail do so easily. But it is not easy to accept that some of your employees are thinking to make their own team to play the game.
So what should a CEO do?
Always look at some warning signs
Generally people who want to start their own company try to increase their presence. They start to increase their presence on LinkedIn. They also increase their presence on blog and post as much as possible about their work, on different platforms of social media.
They also start to meet more account representatives and client contacts. They do so both online and in person. They increase their involvement in industry clubs and community organisations. They explore the stuffs related to the process of becoming an entrepreneur. It can be tweeting, reading and sharing different posts from the websites which covers online marketing, small business and dream chasing.
Proactive approach should be considered
If you suspect any employee of your own company as one of the best employees and who may want to become an entrepreneur, approach them about this issue. This is quite hard for someone but getting the news at any friday morning about their departure is worse than knowing the exact time of their existence so as to reposition their empty space. You can know about this by asking that where they exactly see them after few years or you may directly ask them about their plan to be an entrepreneur. It is very difficult for the CEO as this can result in many can and worms for them but some employees may bow their seed to start a business. If you discuss the plan in an open way this can result in you to work out a non-compete agreement that always protect your employees and clients. You can also offer the high-visible projects.
Their drive should be capitalized
If a person has entrepreneurial skills, he knows that he works for himself. These types of people give a little importance to the place where they are working. Their ambition can be used in your own advantage. The major thing is that let them own and also let them promote the projects in which they are ‘elite’. Hopefully the more you will do it the more they will stay with you. You should always keep in your mind the concept of ‘intrapreneur’ strategy or some corporate culture where the people with entrepreneurship skills lead to stay up there in the company. HP, Google and Unilever are well known for this.
If you attach their name to any project then they definitely will give some strong efforts for the promotion and execution of the project. Make sure that the project is in the profit of company and increases the value of your business.
Their solo success should be publicized
Their success should be capitalized as Company Alumnus. Other go-getters, who want to be the best and learn something from the present best, will also be attracted by this. Yes, you should change the hiring technique for those risky employees. But you can use the tricks given in point number two. You can also make them commit to stay at your company for a certain span of time by contract. This may mean that the best employee of your company is not lifer but is just news flash. The era of lifers is now over. As each of your previous employees are getting success, the company parallel looks better. You are the growing leader, helping the economy and creator of more and more jobs.
Always the lines of communication should be kept open
While your employees may start their own business and leave yours, I suggest that the line of communication should always be opened. This is the time to take some big roles and also have some impact which is larger in the vision of an entrepreneur. You can be a mentor and provide the opportunities especially those related to networking. You can also offer introductions. Not only it feels good to do so but also there is a possibility of reciprocity.
I do believe as a former executive, that this is a new era. Now, it is quite safe to say that your best employee can be a contractor. They are going to stay only for few years. But in that short time they improve morale, revitalize departments, also solve major problems and help in making your company much better than it had ever been, only if you are going to let them.