Your employees are actually entrepreneurs—you know that, right?

For workers in the new global economy, there was one and only one lesson from the economic downturn: We are all entrepreneurs.

Businesses–and especially large ones–found out they need the capacity to quickly grow, shrink or change business models to meet emerging conditions.  Employees get it.  The old career-loyalty contract is shredded, replaced by a mutual-interest agreement that is dynamically renegotiated and frequently revisited.  Companies asked for employment-at-will, and workers have responded with employed-at-will.

In the end, it’s a much more mature relationship.  Concepts like “family” and “the company takes care of me” never really belonged in the workplace.  The upside for companies is a new cohort of talent that is more business-savvy and insistent on results and beneficial value.  They’ll want to know all about your business–but they’ll expect you to want to know what they think of it, too.

No surprise that there is energy behind training youth at both the primary and secondary levels globally in the ethos of entrepreneurship.  This new thought leadership piece, which I was proud to author for the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship in time for this year’s World Economic Forum, describes the imperative to start ’em young.

This educational background will arguably shape your next generation of workers more powerfully than an MBA.  Do your communications with your employees respect their role as entrepreneurs?