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Foster Intrapreneurship to Sustain Growth

by Yeap Kok Leong, CEO & Managing Director, Tricor Malaysia

Sharon Cheng, Chief People Officer, Tricor Group

Entrepreneurs are universally admired for their visionary can-do attitude, perseverance and work ethic. Inspiring examples like Jack Ma and Steve Jobs motivate others around the world to work hard, think out of the box and take risks that can reshape their lives — as well as the world around them.

Yet, as companies grow to achieve ever bigger success, it can be challenging to continue nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit that has once characterised the initial growth. Procedures and protocols can replace spontaneous innovation. Growing headcount can hinder the close relationship and immediate rapport of founders. Growing customers and investors can make it tempting to only take safe choices.

In turn, companies of all sizes can protect themselves against growth stagnation by fostering a culture of “intrapreneurship”, empowering employees to act like entrepreneurs for the benefit of the company. Creating this environment can be challenging, but the benefit is clear: intrapreneurship helps even the most successful organisation to remain competitive long after it has achieved profitability. Below are five tips to help companies of any size by unleashing the “intrapreneurs” on their staff to stimulate growth in the long term.

1. Stay agile

Maintaining agility is integral to building “intrapreneurship”. Many multi-national companies which handle their payroll internally struggle to balance their global processes with flexibility for local specifications. Multi-national companies which outsource their payroll processing functions often find managing multiple partners arduous and time-consuming. A complete and centralised outsourced payroll solution that is tailored to any business’s specific goals and requirements can help save HR professionals from such minutiae in the long run.

With the help of the latest integrated cloud-based payroll solutions, employees can own, subscribe, deploy, use and maintain customisable and mobile modules from one single service provider. As the first step towards an agile workplace culture, everyone on the team can better take up ownership and become more efficient as an “intrapreneur” for any companies.

2. Persistent innovation of products and services

Driven by agility, successful companies will see no limit to improvement for a great product or service. Once a loyal base of customers has been developed, never stay complacent and assume that their needs will remain the same. A service that works well today may not be as relevant in five years’ time. Continual, customer-centric innovation is central to “intrapreneurship”.

3. Grow to become diversified and open-minded to new ideas

When companies hire staff or select partners, it can be tempting to choose those whose profile is familiar to one’s team. However, if they are to achieve sustainable growth, it would be better to look to those with different skills and experiences who can help unlock new ideas and growth opportunities. More importantly, young graduates can bring in waves after waves of new ideas and different perspectives, thus creating the vibes and energy in an organisation.

In addition, companies can maintain their competitive edge by cultivating a culture where employees are encouraged to support each other as “intrapreneurs”.

4. Strategic “intrepreneurship” to accelerate success

Globalisation, digitisation, compliance, integration and new generation talent represent key driving forces for HR teams to be more strategic and forward-thinking. Shifting from gatekeeping to being a business partner is the only way to accelerate success.

Not every idea borne out of a company will succeed. “Intrapreneurial” spirit is not defined by singular success, but rather by the willingness to push the envelope, learn from multiple failures and never compromise the quality.

5. All for people investment

Evidently, any businesses’ biggest investment, opportunity and challenge are their people. An organisation must thoroughly understand its workforce to make quick, informed business decisions and get ahead of the curve.

Part of the effort to recruit and retain top talent involves the effective and resourceful management of benefits, which requires careful planning. Led by experienced professionals, and supported by proprietary information technology systems, HR teams can drive “intrapreneurship” in their enterprises and maximise returns on investment across a multitude of markets by getting the most from everyone on the team.

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