Most people want to be more proactive in their lives – whether that’s on the job, in their relationships or with their health. But many will tell you it’s difficult to put this into practice. Maybe that’s why the Limeade Insights team found that “be proactive” is the #4 top goal – so many of us would like to put down the fire hose and focus on preventing the flames.
Why Employers Should Care (and Help!)
Proactive employees are self-motivated, innovative problem solvers. When people feel trusted and supported at work, it not only gets results, but leads to increased engagement, presenteeism and productivity.
Here are five ways you can support employees to be more proactive at work:
1. Create a culture of trust and empowerment.
Managers need to communicate that they support initiative and autonomy as much as collaboration. A great way to demonstrate that is by asking employees to come forward with ideas, trust them to make decisions, ask them to do more in their jobs and allow them to take limited risks. If someone suggests a great solution, ask them to run with it – and make sure their efforts are recognized, regardless of success or failure.
2. Start an idea challenge.
Think about some of the issues in your company – maybe it’s reducing health care costs, increasing sales or just slashing the energy bill. Instead of brainstorming ideas in a conference room, open the floor to employees through an Idea Challenge. Be transparent about the issue and explain what needs to be achieved. Reward the top five ideas, implement the best one and reward the finalists by inviting them to a lunch with executives.
3. Encourage telecommuting and flexible work schedules.
Let’s be honest – you can try to help employees with work/life balance by offering something like a time management workshop, but what most employees need is simply more time. A 9-to-5 day may not be optimal for everyone and some people are more productive working from home. When you focus on results and empower employees to work the way they need to, that trust and freedom allows them to be much more proactive.
4. Implement a “Solutions Only” policy.
Being proactive is habit #1 in Steven Covey’s international bestseller, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” In Covey’s words, it means taking responsibility and being solution-minded. Encourage this in the workplace by asking employees to only report a problem if they can suggest a solution.
5. Reward proactive healthy behaviors.
Healthy employees are engaged, productive – and yes, proactive. But that means being just as proactive when it comes to their health. Encourage this by rewarding employees (with medical premium discounts, cash, gift cards, etc.) for things like getting preventive exams, not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight.
Read the Series
Read the full series to learn tips on how you can help your employees lose weight, have more energy, be more proactive and more.