1. Decide What's Important Before You Begin
Before you start to encourage initiative in your team, it's important to understand your goals and what you want to achieve.
Define end goals Add to My Personal Learning Plan. When people have clear and concise goals to work toward, they can take ownership and responsibility for achieving them. (Asking your team members to help you draft your mission statement can help here.)
Prioritize goals over processes. Encourage people to prioritize personal, team and organizational goals, and emphasize that processes need to be flexible and open to change.
Analyze risks Add to My Personal Learning Plan. By analyzing and communicating risks in common situations, you encourage people to take informed initiative when it's appropriate.
Establish quality checks and performance standards. As a manager, you need to ensure that your team members are performing effectively and producing high-quality work. Fostering initiative doesn't mean relinquishing your responsibilities; it means fulfilling them in a more participative way. Think about how you can support and monitor Add to My Personal Learning Plan your team members from a distance.
Define "fixed areas" and core values. It's important to identify and communicate your organization's core values Add to My Personal Learning Plan, so that people know when they should stick to the rule book. Establish guidelines Add to My Personal Learning Plan on what team members should do in common situations, and highlight fixed responsibilities and processes. Avoid setting too many parameters, though, or you could hinder their initiative.
2. Build Competence
People must be competent and empowered within their role, so that they can think and act for themselves, and perform professionally.
Provide training Add to My Personal Learning Plan. Training your team members appropriately allows them to show initiative and come up with innovative solutions. Focus your training on initiative-taking by helping them to identify their own skill and knowledge gaps, and include critical thinking Add to My Personal Learning Plan, cross-training Add to My Personal Learning Plan, decision making, risk management, and general skills development, so that they can evaluate situations and take competent action.
Give people access to information Add to My Personal Learning Plan. Provide your team members with resources and knowledge Add to My Personal Learning Plan, so that they can make informed decisions and turn good ideas into successful actions.
Assign authority levels. Make sure that your team members have the appropriate authority to carry out their role. For example, they may need discretionary powers, such as invoice sign-off or vendor management rights, if there's a financial or people-management element to their roles.
Encourage initiative. Encourage people to think for themselves and show initiative in the way that they work. This is where the phrase "Don't come to me with problems, come to me with solutions" is so important!
3. Build Confidence
Competence alone isn't enough for people to take the initiative successfully – they also need to feel confident Add to My Personal Learning Plan.
Remove fear from the equation Add to My Personal Learning Plan. When people experience fear at work, they're unlikely to leave the rule book behind and think independently. Reassure them that you support them, and give them the security they need to excel.
Put contingency plans Add to My Personal Learning Plan in place. People will likely feel more confident when there's a good "plan B." When your team members know what to do when things go wrong, they are able to recover quickly from setbacks and make good decisions under pressure Add to My Personal Learning Plan.
Build two-way trusting Add to My Personal Learning Plan relationships. Fostering mutual, trusting relationships is important, particularly in more flexible workplaces where monitoring team members' performance against key criteria isn't easy. People need to feel confident that they have an effective, secure relationship Add to My Personal Learning Plan with you.
Help people to feel that they're a vital contributor to the organization's mission. Encourage your team members to feel that they contribute to the organization's mission by providing constructive feedback Add to My Personal Learning Plan, and by engaging them in decision making. When people are invested in their company and team missions Add to My Personal Learning Plan, they'll go the "extra mile."
Encourage creativity Add to My Personal Learning Plan. You can do this by asking people to speak up Add to My Personal Learning Plan, debate and brainstorm Add to My Personal Learning Plan. This helps them to take the initiative by creatively finding ways Add to My Personal Learning Plan to improve existing set-ups and contribute new ideas.
Institutionalize initiative. Make taking the initiative a part of how your organization works. Encourage teams and departments to adopt the Kaizen Add to My Personal Learning Plan philosophy, and focus on continuous improvement.https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/fostering-initiative-team.htm