Initiative in the workplace is essential to the growth and success of your company. Employees who take initiative are the ones who will help you spark new ideas, reach your goals more quickly, and push your business into the future. Unfortunately, in many workplaces initiative is stifled by a number of common initiative killers. Take a look at these four most common initiative killers and consider how you can change workplace culture to do away with them:
A boss who watches over your every move and has to have their say in every little thing that you do is not only an annoying person to work with; such a boss can actually stifle creativity, commitment, and motivation. If employees don’t have the freedom to act of their own volition and step outside the bounds of what’s expected of them, they will never be able to explore their full potential within your company. Micro-management breeds excess caution and disengagement.
- Short-term Focus
This goes hand-in-hand with micro-management. A boss who has a strictly short-term focus is going to care more about daily deadlines, quick fixes, and rule following. A short-term focus leaves little room for creativity and vision. It also stifles long-term goals and a sense of purpose and commitment in employees.
- Excessive Bureaucracy
Guidelines and rules are important to keep in office functioning well, but too much red tape is going to breed fear and blame-shifting. A lot of boundaries in the way of starting a new project can also be extremely demotivational. Good ideas should be given the chance to breathe and grow, not subjected to a litany of unimportant tests and rules.
- Dictatorial Leadership
It’s true that some people work better for bosses that they fear, but for the vast majority of people, that simply isn’t the case. Working in an environment where you’re afraid of getting yelled at or punished on a regular basis isn’t exactly going to breed confidence.
All four of these initiative killers can be found in a wide variety of business environments, and they often get overlooked. If you’re worried that initiative killers are hindering your team’s productivity, consider using our team assessments to figure out where your problem areas may be and generate a roadmap for addressing those issues. With our assessments, we can help you identify the behaviors or practices that are hurting initiative in your business, and then suggest ways in which you can make positive improvements.