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Proactive employees: 10 great tips to cultivate an enterprising culture

To maximize the benefits that proactive employees bring to an organization, it is essential to manage them effectively.
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Proactive employees bring ideas and energy to teams, so they can be crucial to helping a business push on to the next level. However, to get the most out of them, proactive employees must be managed effectively. 

Characterized by a willingness to take initiative and assume responsibility for their work, proactive employees tend to be self-motivated, invested in their own development, and prone to anticipating and seeking solutions to problems before looking for support.

That will usually be highly positive, but can cause problems when such people are handed tasks or responsibilities that are far beyond their level of experience or expertise, or which are not accompanied with sufficient guidance.

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Proactive employees will generally respond positively when ambitious goals are set, however problems can arise when those goals are not ambitious enough, because the proactive employee does not have adequate opportunity to push themselves to reach them. Alternatively, if those goals are so over-ambitious as to be unrealistic, it can negatively impact a proactive employee and diminish their motivation.

So for any business keen to nurture a culture in which proactiveness is encouraged and its benefits are maximized, it is essential to understand how to properly manage and challenge proactive employees.

Contact us to find out how we can help you with recruiting top talent. 

4 benefits proactive employees offer

Proactive employees offer a range of benefits to the teams they work in, with some of the most important highlighted below.

1) Driving innovation 

Proactive employees tend not to be limited by acceptance of the status quo and seek out ways to improve processes and procedures. That helps to drive innovation within the organization, helping to promote operational improvement and eliminating potential risks before they become problems.

2) Taking calculated risks 

Another characteristic of proactive employees is their willingness to take calculated risks. That means that they are not afraid to try new things and take on fresh challenges, without taking unreasonable risks, which can help the company make breakthroughs and stay ahead of the competition.

3) Increasing productivity 

Proactive employees tend to be highly productive, thanks to their high levels of motivation and innovative mindset. Proactiveness can also improve productivity because it also helps to foster collaboration between teams or departments.

4) Boosting morale 

The positive influence of proactive employees often rubs off onto the teams in which they work, as realistic goals are met and a collaborative culture is nurtured. That in turn will often help improve team morale, which in turn can make people more loyal and less fatigued.

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Challenges of working with proactive employees 

While proactive employees offer many benefits to companies, they can present some challenges when not properly managed.

Successfully directing a proactive employee is one such challenge, because failure to fully engage their problem-solving nature can leave them unsatisfied in their work. Meanwhile, setting unrealistic targets and overburdening them can result in a lack of recognition for their contribution,

Understanding a proactive employees limits is also fundamental to properly managing and getting the most out of them. That means challenging them without handing them responsibilities that are far beyond the seniority of their role or their level of expertise.

It also means encouraging them to impose limits on themselves, such as the additional hours they do, in order to avoid burnout — which these highly motivated team members may be prone to. In part that means not expecting them to maintain a high-energy approach to work all of the time, even if they can usually be expected to.

It is also important to help proactive employees maintain focus on their key responsibilities and not allow their interest in personal and operational improvements to become a distraction. That means clear goal setting based on those realistic targets.

10 tips for cultivating a proactive company culture 

Creating a proactive company culture means promoting a mindset of initiative, collaboration, and continuous improvement. Some tips towards supporting proactive employees include:

Proactive employees tend to boost morale

1) Set clear expectations

Clearly communicate the company’s goals, values, and expectations. When employees understand the big picture, they are more likely to take initiative.

2) Encourage open communication

Create an environment where employees feel comfortable sharing ideas and concerns. Open communication fosters collaboration and a sense of ownership.

3) Provide autonomy

Allow employees the freedom to make decisions and take ownership of their work. Autonomy fosters a sense of responsibility and encourages proactive behavior.

4) Recognize and reward initiative

Acknowledge and reward employees who demonstrate proactive behavior. This could be through formal recognition programs, promotions, or simple expressions of appreciation.

5) Invest in employee development

Provide opportunities for learning and growth. When employees feel that the company is invested in their development, they are more likely to proactively seek ways to improve and contribute.

6) Lead by example

Leadership plays a crucial role in shaping company culture. Leaders should model proactive behavior, demonstrate a strong work ethic, and encourage a positive mindset.

7) Foster a learning culture

Emphasize the importance of continuous learning and improvement. Encourage employees to seek out new skills and knowledge, and provide resources for ongoing education.

8) Promote collaboration

Foster a collaborative environment where employees feel comfortable working together to solve problems and achieve goals. Cross-functional collaboration can lead to innovative solutions.

9) Embrace flexibility

Be open to new ideas and approaches. A flexible and adaptable culture allows for experimentation and creativity, leading to proactive problem-solving.

10) Celebrate successes and learn from failures

Celebrate achievements and milestones, no matter how small. At the same time, view failures as learning opportunities rather than setbacks. This encourages a proactive approach to problem-solving.

Serviap Global offers international hiring solutions 

At Serviap Global, we offer support with international hiring solutions in over 100 countries worldwide. Our portfolio includes employer of record (EOR) services, contractor hiring, and global talent acquisition to help companies source direct hires.

So no matter where you are interested in finding top talent, or how you intend to onboard them, we can assist you. Contact us to find out more. 

If you were interested in this article on proactive employees, read more of our coverage.

Serviap Global provides EOR services

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