Google’s CEO has a brilliantly simple plan for recession-proofing his staff. Any business can use it

In a recent email to all staff, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai referred to the potential for a recession and how it could affect the company. “We must be more entrepreneurial, working with greater urgency, sharper focus and more hunger than we have shown on sunny days,” he wrote. Many thought Pichai’s words sounded bleak, according to TechCrunch, which missed the overarching message within the email.

What Pichai really meant is that he has a brilliantly simple plan to help top employees not only weather uncertain times, but become recession-proof. It’s done in just three words: “Be more entrepreneurial.”

As one of the most sought-after employers in the world, Google naturally has some of the most sought-after staff in the world. By encouraging employees to act “more entrepreneurially,” Pichai is helping to elevate Google’s staff even further. In return, making them even more valuable.

So instead of cutting staff to cut costs, the plan is to use staff so that they become more productive and valuable to the company. This shows that there are ways to cut costs without cutting staff. And it’s something almost any business can use as a first line of defense in times of economic uncertainty.

As Pichai takes the first step by setting expectations and advising staff to act on his plan, there are three key ways for employees to connect the dots between more entrepreneurial action and increased productivity to effectively cut costs. And it’s not just for employees, but for entrepreneurs looking to turn the tides.

1. Get out of your Comfort Zone

It’s easy for staff at a trillion-dollar company to get a little complacent. With “quiet” roles, more money than most can really understand and thousands of staff around the world, it’s easy to settle into a specific role and inhabit the box that contains it. But it’s important to get out of your comfort zone and feel a degree of uncertainty like entrepreneurs do.

Entrepreneurs are used to operating under a great deal of uncertainty. Without knowing what will come after each turn—or even knowing when the turns will be—entrepreneurs must work harder to be very calculated about how they will achieve their goals. By going off autopilot, you get the hunger and innovation that comes with it.

2. Be resourceful

Early-stage entrepreneurs typically work with a limited budget and few resources. Because of this, it is vital to maximize existing resources as much as possible to help build or maintain sustainability. By taking this frugal approach, they maximize their resources, saving themselves money and operating much more efficiently. However, employees are often not as aware of the resources they use and how they use them. If you can encourage them to take an entrepreneurial approach, there is not only less waste, but also much greater efficiency.

3. Be motivated by challenges

Entrepreneurs generally enjoy the chase involved in chasing something bigger – because they tend to see more of what is, and instead see what could be. Entrepreneurs and employees often differ in how they view obstacles. Being more entrepreneurial, employees will also see challenges as motivation rather than a burden. They will be excited about their prospect, rather than stressed.

In an ideal world, every employee would think like an entrepreneur. Not only does it give them the hunger that serves as a driving force, but it makes them the best employees possible. It’s what inspires innovation, drives change and builds a trillion dollar business.

For employees who want to be excited about what they do, Pichai’s plan will help preserve their place at the company. In the process, it will help separate those who are excited about the road ahead and those who are just along for the ride.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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