Taking initiative is what we do here at Red Branch Media. And with a small team of 15, it’s tough to keep that initiative moving along 100% of the time. After all, my team is only human. With over 30 clients globally and some of the biggest brand names in the world on our plates, we have the workload of a much larger company, so it’s not easy for me to keep asking for more. And yet, in order to grow and scale, I must continue to do so.
Here’s how I get my team to give even more of themselves and take initiative on projects that scare even me.
Find the Cause for Lack of Initiative
Perhaps employees feel they have too little time in their day, workers don’t feel qualified to take on a new task, or employees are comfortable with their current workload. An overloaded team isn’t going to jump at the chance to do even more work. If the task sounds like something a specific department or person should handle—but that specific person doesn’t speak up—it can be awkward for the rest of your team to respond. And if employees aren’t motivated to do more or are disengaged, then you’ve overlooked opportunities to improve employee morale and engagement. Did you know highly engaged employees are more than three times as likely to go above and beyond what’s expected of them?
Once you’ve identified the cause of lack of initiative, you can go a long way towards fixing it. For example, if you find your team is too overloaded to take on a new task, you need to provide them with relief. Whether it’s hiring a virtual assistant for your top sales team or adding someone from a department where the workload is light or flat, you have to free up space in their world to take on more meaningful projects.
Maren Hogan is a seasoned marketer and community builder in the HR and Recruiting industry. She leads Red Branch Media, an agency offering marketing strategy and content development. A consistent advocate of next generation marketing techniques, Hogan has built successful online communities, deployed brand strategies in both the B2B and B2C sectors, and been a prolific contributor of thought leadership in the global recruitment and talent space.
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