Initiative In Business
Recognizing and doing what needs to be done before I am asked to do it
To practice Initiative I will:
- contribute to the success of the whole team
- be part of the solution rather than the problem
- do what is right before being asked
- look for ways to help others
- not procrastinate
“Confidence Feeds Initiative”
Part of my job required that I visit steel mills which meant safety training each year for each mill. One of the key points in the safety training is that every employee, vendor and contractor has the right to stop a job or refuse an assignment that they feel is too dangerous for themselves or others. Think about what must go through an employee’s mind when they consider hitting that stop button. It takes initiative, confidence and courage to hit that button.
If anyone who had previously stopped a job been reprimanded in any way, it will affect that person when they make their own decision. The employee must have confidence that the employer will stand behind what they preach. If shutting down a job ever has a negative consequence, it will stifle employee initiative. Upper management may be 100% behind safety being Job 1 but what about an individual supervisor or those with whom the employee works? Is everyone onboard? When a job or a production line is shut down, it can affect the pay of the workers as it may cause them to lose a bonus. It is imperative then, that the company constantly keep employees focused on safety above all else. Everyone needs to feel that responsibility to feel comfortable being the one that takes the initiative and speaks up.
This concept about creating an environment where employee initiative is honored translates to any company that wants to encourage employee initiative in any setting. Companies must intentionally create and sustain an environment that empowers employees to think for themselves. They must allow their people to try new things and fail without consequences. They must see their employees as individuals with valid contributions and not just cogs in the system.
This month, look for ways to give others the confidence to use Initiative.