The 3 Keys to Enabling Your Employees to Take Initiative

Kicking assignments and projects into high gear for your business in the summertime can be a struggle when your team members have vacations and afternoon BBQ block parties on the brain. Focus and attention is down all around and it’s hard to get the team enthusiastic and motivated to take initiative where it matters most. Rather than forcing yourself to take on extra work or micromanaging your team, use the following three tips to get your employees excited about putting the pedal to the metal once again.

Highly-motivated business team

1. Visibly display the team’s progress.

Recently in our office, we have hung a big paper thermometer that reaches from the floor to the top of the wall in a place where everyone can see it, to track the progress of our sales each month. As the numbers go up, we color in the thermometer, starting with red, going to yellow, and then green at the top. If, by the end of the month, we reach the top of the thermometer, everyone in the office receives a special award for all their hard work paying off. See if you can implement a similar program in your workplace to acknowledge each member of your team for everything they do. This is a great way to keep everyone on the same page and aware that all of their hard work is paying to reach a common goal.

2. Offer individual rewards.

Just as the whole office is rewarded with a special incentive when we hit our sales goal for the month, we also reward on an individual level. Sometimes we’ll have our managers evaluate their teams and reward one of the top performers with a little prize- like a lottery ticket or a Starbucks gift card. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye out for employees worthy of raises every so often, separate from end-of-the-year evaluations. If there is an employee going above and beyond every day, consistently, consider the possibility of a mid-year raise in their favor.

3. Always encourage teamwork!

Though rewarding on an individual level is also important, the main goal is to get your employees working as a well-oiled unit. Hanging up a large paper thermometer in the front of your office helps kick this off well, but don’t forget to remind your team of the importance of teamwork in other ways as well. When you send out your monthly emails to your team members about the progress you’ve made, and what you need to work on, slip in a compliment at the end, or when you address the office as a whole, say, “Keep up the hard work everyone, you’re doing great!” When your whole office is working as one, with one common goal in mind, amazing things can and will happen for your business!