Monday, January 27, 2014

How To Encourage Employees To Take Initiative

Trying to micromanage each and every employee in a retail business is a difficult, if not impossible, task that will quickly drain your time and energy. This is why it's important for workers to take the initiative to perform tasks without the instructions or guidance of their boss. Once the wheels start turning and employees begin to perform these tasks on their own, the entire business will run more smoothly. So, how exactly do you encourage employees to take initiative in a retail business? Keep reading for some helpful tips and tricks.

Empower Your Employees

"Employee empowerment" is a technique that's becoming more and more common in today's retail industry. As more retailers look to improve their productivity, this technique continues to offer an effective solution. Employee empowerment, as the name suggests, involves empowering employees so they are able to make professional decisions themselves. 

In traditional workplace settings, employees must ask their boss for permission before handling certain tasks. If the employee is empowered, however, they'll have the authority to make these decisions using their own judgement.

Employee Empowerment Tips:
  • Define the boundaries of your empowered employees.
  • Spend additional time training empowered employees on how to perform their new duties.
  • Mistakes are bound to happen, so don't get discouraged when an employee slips up.
  • Monitor your employees to ensure they are making the right professional decisions.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement goes a long ways in the retail industry. Unfortunately, it's also something that many retail store owners and managers seem to overlook. If you want to encourage employees to take initiative, you must create a positive environment. Constantly going through the day-to-day routine with a general sense of negativity sends the wrong message to employees.

One form of positive reinforcement is an employee-of-the-month program. Perhaps you could reward employees whom go out of their way to excel at work with a trophy, plaque and/or gift card. Doing so is a small way to say "thanks" to your employees for everything they've accomplished and given to the company. And by rewarding employees for excellence, they'll naturally want to continue pushing themselves on the job.

Encouraging employees to take initiative isn't an overly difficult task. Retail store owners and managers should focus on creating a positive work environment while empowering employees to make their own decisions. Hopefully, the tips listed here will shed some light on the subject. Be sure to check back with our blog here at for more retail tips and strategies!

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