Identifying why the employee refuses to take initiative allows you take steps to correct the root cause. There are some things that are so important they must be done as soon as possible. Help Bring in and Nurture New Talent. By facilitating wise proactivity, organizations can foster employees who make the right things happen in the right ways. Why do Some People Lack Behind? Set an exciting goal. You can have a really good worker at whatever the job is, but the person lacks taking initiative. But for those who battle depression, the lack of motivation can be an enemy that seems insurmountable at times ( Depression Can Drain You of Your Will to Live ). A person who takes initiative does the right thing, not because they’re going to get rewarded, thanked or praised for it. Going the next step. Control-oriented approaches reduce the “risk” of proactivity, but they also reduce the proactivity itself. Showing that you can take the initiative and work on projects that may be outside of your daily responsibilities has many benefits. Respond to errors calmly. Six Ways to Empower Employees to Take Initiative. To possess and exercise initiative, one must be not only capable to performing a … They clock in at 9 a.m., go through the motions, and leave at 5 p.m. His work has appeared in the online editions of the "Houston Chronicle" and "USA Today," among other outlets. Seeking out challenges in your day-to-day activities is the key to defining your attitude at work, creating new opportunities for growth, and helping you develop into a more confident and capable professional. But, unfortunately, many staff find the new layout rife with problems, namely constant noise and distractions. Max’s case is unique because neither Max nor his manager was acting wisely. Combating an employee’s lack of initiative depends on the nature of the problem, but generally, publicly rewarding risk-takers encourages employees to think outside the box and take chances. 3. For example, motivate an under-performing salesperson by offering bonuses for new clients she obtains. We can all think of someone who takes proactive steps to benefit themselves but rarely considers the organizational context or the needs of others. It means using your head, and having the drive to achieve. After starting her new job, she was mortified to learn that the company was still using manual data entry for employee records. He came up with an idea to improve productivity at his former company, a brick-making facility, by enabling the kilns to continue running for longer periods of time. If you must give negative feedback -- such as pointing out a serious error -- explain that you value the employee’s effort despite the mistake. Why You Need To Show That You Take Initiative At Work: A person who takes initiative is an invaluable player in any workplace, on any team. The big question, though, is whether or not we introverts really lack initiative or whether it just seems like we do because of our preference to think first before acting. But proactivity can go wrong. If laziness is the cause, explain that an unwillingness to work can lead to dismissal. She pushed through and worked long hours for 12 months to get everyone on board. Moreover, the research shows that people who have long-term career plans are more willing to take initiative. Recruiters and human resource professionals can help by considering job applicants’ ability to balance these three aspects of wisdom when considering candidates. It can also be due to a lack of involvement in decision making, or minimal recognition for their efforts. While it might seem that we work for our salary, studies like this one show we want to feel that our work matters. She was working as a consultant at an IT consulting company and thought the organization would benefit from an ISO management system certification. Introverts have a tendency to observe first before jumping into action, and our brains are wired to process information at a deep level. Provide support and encouragement if low confidence is an issue. Using initiative at work can make you stand out from your co-workers for the right reasons. Had Max felt comfortable confiding in his manager beforehand, the initiative might have been successful. ; 1998, “Managing for Dummies”; Bob Nelson, et al. Individuals who lack initiative aren't fulfilling their potential. Not because they’re going to even be noticed … He attributed the success to luck and undid Max’s changes. “Unwise proactivity” can negatively impact the employee-manager relationship as well. This dynamic has been labeled the “proactivity paradox”: Proactivity is desired, but only if it conforms exactly to the expectations of the person in charge. If employee laziness is the problem, staying involved makes it harder for the employee to goof off unnoticed. Max, a production engineer we spoke with, experienced this himself. Organizations can help by coaching their employees in how to practice the three elements of wise proactivity in a balanced way. Do More Than is Required Of You. How to Deal With Underperforming Employees, How to Evaluate Performance & Provide Positive Feedback, “Motivating Employees”; Anne Bruce, et al. Ability to perfectly implement the delegated tasks is, of course, an … Interdependent work relationship – where you are waiting for someone to complete a task in order to complete your work. The lesson? 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