Two reports last year talked about the dismal state of employee engagement in the workforce with no signs of improvement.  The current economic climate has contributed to an unhealthy work environment where employees are stressed and totally disengaged.

Intrapreneurs on the other hand are not sitting around waiting for things to get better.  Many have left the corporate world to start new ventures or they are making the most of where they are.  They have a deep desire to stay active and connected.  Even incremental improvements can have an impact in a slow economy.

EngagedIntrapreneurs are highly engaged in their work.  They love the excitement of a challenge.  They don’t wait for opportunities they create them.  Their passion and determination inspire others to get involved and be engaged.  They are self motivated and good at motivating others. Plus they have a high tolerance for stress.

Intrapreneurs thrive in different work environments because they want to stretch and grow.  It’s in their nature to be curious and that leads them to explore new things.  They are active learners.  They take responsibility for their own growth and development.  Even in a down economy.

On the other hand the 70% of employees that are disengaged or highly disengaged at work are doing a disservice to themselves and their organizations.  According to Gallup over $450 billion is being lost in productivity.  The pressure to do more with less is at a breaking point.

Reports by Gallup and Towers Watson state that engagement is an organizational responsibility, one that organizations are not doing very well.  It is easy to point to the economy as the main reason for low engagement levels but it goes beyond that.  According to Towers Watson, “Companies are running 21st-century businesses with a 20th– century workplace practices and programs.”

The only way out of the economic mess is getting the economy growing again.  That is what Intrapreneurs and entrepreneurially minded people are all about – generating new business growth.

So it was surprising to read a report that some companies that have started actively recruiting again are hiring far fewer self-employed individuals.  “That’s ironic, says Vickie Elmer, because company executives and human resources say they want self starters, innovative hires, a certain entrepreneurial spirit.”  

No wonder companies are struggling.  No wonder that employees are not engaged.

Intrapreneurs are the very people that organizations need to turn things around.  They take initiative, find opportunities, don’t let barriers get in their way and get things done.

Organizations that see the value of hiring Intrapreneurs and individuals who were forced to jump into self-employment during the economic downturn will have a bright future. Those that don’t will continue to live in the dark ages.

Engagement is not just an organizational issue it is an individual issue too.

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