How “Lack of Employee Initiative” Is Hindering Business Growth

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Ask Yourself:

  • Do your employees do “just enough” to make it through the day?
  • Do they just “survive” until the five o’clock whistle blows or “strive” for excellence throughout the day?
  • If your employees are just surviving instead of thriving, then how do you change their working habits?
  • Without firing everyone, how do you improve employee morale and increase your profits?

Answer:

By creating a work environment that encourages initiative!

What is initiative?

Initiative is the power or ability to follow through with a plan or task energetically, with creativity and determination. The definition of the word “initiative” is interesting because it just doesn’t mean someone taking the bull by the horns and going above and beyond the norm.

A person has to be given the power or ability to take initiative, and that empowerment starts from the top down.

Why is initiative important for successful businesses?

Companies that encourage a “CEO Mindset,” where everyone’s input and ideas are encouraged, are more successful than those that don’t. Why would you want to empower and encourage your employees to have a “CEO Mindset”?

Experience has shown that when a collective group of workers (employees) individually think like an owner, assume responsibility like an owner, and take initiative like an owner – in a structured environment – your entire company takes leaps and bounds forward. This is a very different experience than a struggling company where the “dead weight” of uninspired employees drags the company behind their competitors.

Great C.E.O.s understand that an employee culture of “just doing enough to make due” will hinder a company from realizing its full potential.

Sometimes the best way to learn is by example. Avoid the mistakes that others have made before you, and follow the examples of successes of others!

Infosys Technologies Limited is one of the most successful companies in the world and posts annual revenues of more than $6 Billion. How has Infosys become so successful? One way is by creating an environment that encourages initiative.

Infosys invites some of its top producers under the age of 30 each year to its senior management council meetings. The young employees are invited to share their ideas with senior managers in an effort to foster growth – both personal and professional.

This type of a business environment most definitely encourages employees to do much more than what is in their job descriptions. This results in a company with INCREASED profits and employees who feel valued and motivated to take initiative.

Taking initiative means improving business processes

Toyota Motor Corp., another very successful company, encourages initiative by having their employees search for ways to enhance and streamline production processes.  This has helped Toyota save money, improve its internal processes, and strengthen its relationship with its suppliers.

Southwest Airlines is one aviation company that took the initiative to combat rising gas and oil prices to thrive in today’s challenging economy. Southwest went against the norm by implementing a new idea: they formed a team of employees from upper management all the way to ground maintenance that met once a week for six months for brainstorming sessions designed to create ideas on how to lower costs and increase productivity.

This approach helped to encourage Southwest employees to take initiative and suggest new ways of doing business. Southwest’s C.I.O., Tom Nealon, said that employees were able to identify questions about other departments and their processes that had not been asked before which led to innovative solutions that helped them gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

The bottom line – initiative leads to business growth

Employees who feel like their opinions are valued tend to be happier and more productive.

Every employee at every company is hired to do a job and is given a job description for a reason – so they will know what is expected of them on a daily basis.  But how often have you heard an employee of a company say, “That’s not in my job description?”

Employees often joke that when they have to do something that isn’t in their job description, it’s because that task falls under “other duties as assigned.” However, if employees are encouraged to take initiative and contribute ideas their productivity increases.

Creating a work environment that encourages initiative will end the talk of “that’s not in my job description.” Instead, it encourages employees to say things like “Hey, have we ever thought of doing something this way?” Developing this kind of “culture” is one of your best ways to maintain your competitive advantage!

Let me show you how to create a CEO Mindset Culture within your Company

Email me at Kris@BeginToShift.com or call me today at 404-551-3601 to begin the shift to a new and innovative mindset and culture within your company. Your employees will be more productive, your company will be more profitable, and you will have more time to focus on the things you do best.

The marketplace for your industry gets increasingly competitive for the attention of your prospects and customers, so gain the competitive advantage over your competition by creating an “environment of initiative” within your organization – This Month!

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So, now that you’ve read this information, how are you going to use it to make 2011 a fantastic year for your business?

Please take a moment and share your ideas in the comment section below.

Enjoy the rest of your day!  ~ Kris

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About Kris Cavanaugh

Kris Cavanaugh, owner of ShiftTM, is a Speaker, Author and Coach who specializes in helping others cultivate a C.E.O. mindset in every area of their life so their businesses, careers, and personal lives thrive.  She is an expert strategist with an amazing ability to pull her clients through difficult challenges to obtain the life they truly want.

If you have a desire to live your life “on purpose”, so you wake up every day excited about the possibilities and maintain an unwavering belief that you will overcome any obstacles to achieve your personal and professional goals more easily, call Kris at 404-551-3601 or go to http://begintoshift.com/pages/MakeTheSHIFT to schedule your complimentary meeting today.

Kris is author of “Stuck to C.E.O.” (available on Amazon) at http://StuckToCEO.com/.

Need a Speaker?
Kris Cavanaugh is a Professional Member of the NSA (National Speakers Association).  If you or people you know are seeking speakers, panelists, or workshop instructors for any type of association, corporate, nonprofit or industry meeting, please contact Shift, Inc., at events@begintoshift.com.  You can learn more about Kris’ presentations at http://begintoshift.com/book-kris-to-speak-at-your-event.

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