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Encouraging Employees to Take the Initiative at the Workplace

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Encouraging Employees to Take the Initiative at the Workplace

Most employees feel comfortable about doing work only when they get detailed instructions from their managers about the tasks that need to be performed by them. They wait for their managers to give them directions about what needs to be done and how to go about doing it. When managers specify their expectations regarding the task and give some concrete guidelines, employees tend to proceed with the work enthusiastically. However, managers prefer employees who are self-driven and are pro-active. They want employees to take the initiative if a situation demands it and to manage to complete the task overcoming any hurdles that they face during the process.

What does it mean to take the initiative?

Situations may arise in your career wherein, in the absence of your supervisor, the members of your team need to decide on a particular issue. In such situations, employees are hesitant to take decisions which could clearly indicate that they are afraid to shoulder responsibility. If everyone holds back from acting in times of need, it may result in great loss to the organization. Therefore, employees need to take the initiative and decide on the course of action in the manager’s absence.

Encourage employees to take initiative

Employees can take the initiative in matters that are related to improving the quality of services offered by the organization or by resolving existing problems. Managers should create situations that encourage employees to take initiatives without hesitation. Managers should encourage their employees to act responsibly even if employees falter in the beginning. Only then will employees feel more responsible and take the first step. If you criticize and admonish employees, they may never take the initiative fearlessly and refrain from taking risks or learning new things. The organization also may not benefit from the creative ideas of such employees as they will remain in their cocoons for fear of failure and ridicule. Thus it will be a mutual loss for the organization as well as for the employees.

Involve employees in decision-making

The confidence to take decisions comes only if employees have a clear knowledge about what is best for the success of the organization. This is possible only when managers involve employees in their discussions and learning sessions. Senior leaders should identify employees with leadership qualities and groom them to become future leaders. Based on the enthusiasm and willingness shown by the employees, the succession planning can take place accordingly.

Appreciate employees who take the initiative

When employees take the initiative in their own small ways, managers should recognize them. They need to appreciate such employees and reward them for walking that extra mile for the benefit of the organization.

By helping employees take the initiative, an opportunity is automatically created for employees to climb their career ladder. This, in turn, takes the organization to the next level.

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