Why businesses learned to love intrapreneurs

Numerous pieces of research have pointed towards the fact that Millennials are the true entrepreneurial generation, with more people than ever before wanting to be their own boss. So how do modern day organisations handle the growing trend and retain the best talent?

The game of hiring and retaining top millennial talent has never been more competitive. It is no longer enough to pay a high salary to have company loyalty forever. Now, companies like Google are trying to crack the code by offering free food, on-site haircuts and lap pools as a few perks to attract and retain their talent. But it turns out that there is more to hiring and retention of this new generation graduating into the workforce than giving them free food. Below are three things the majority of millennials want from their workplaces.

1. Flexibility. Ever wonder how services like Uber and Lyft grew so quickly? They offered the number one thing people want from their workplace: flexibility. Uber attracts drivers by giving them the ability to pick when and where they make their money driving, but something they also offer to their office employees is an unlimited vacation policy - and they’re not the only ones.

Silicon Valley’s motto on work tends to be "Work hard and take time when you need it" and, for jobs that can be done remotely, most companies offer a work-from-home day every week. This gives employees the flexibility to balance their work and their personal life so that they don’t burn out from a lack of fun.

2. Impact. "Entrepreneurship" is the buzz word of the decade. College graduates are weighing up the options of joining large established companies willing to give them a wad of cash or joining start-ups where the risk is great, but the reward is greater. In most cases, what they’re really searching for is impact. This young generation wants to feel like they’re making the world a better place on their own terms. 

Successful managers today encourage their employees to be "intrapreneurs". They guide them to pick a piece of their business that isn’t running as effectively as possible or to think of a new idea to pursue within the larger business context.

Read: Entrepreneurship - the new status symbol

The managers help them form hypothesises around how to create a better product, service or experience for their customers and allow them to run experiments to test each hypothesis until they find a working solution. These managers are good at explaining "why" a specific task needs to get done and give their employees the responsibility and flexibility to be creative with finding an effective solution that ultimately helps the customer and company.

3. Challenges within reach.  Millennials naturally enjoy learning new things and don’t like feeling like they’re cogs in a machine doing the same thing every day. Challenges within reach (challenges that are pushing boundaries, yet not defying gravity) is one of the best ways to retain talent. As long as millennials feel like they’re providing value and learning something new, they’re apt to stay in their job and be loyal to a team that is working toward the same goal.  

This is a guest blog and may not represent the views of Virgin.com. Please see virgin.com/terms for more details. Thumbnail from gettyimages.

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