Strictly Classified Showing Initiative has Many Rewards

Resource Information for Classified Employees
Strictly Classified
An Informational Bulletin Published by the Personnel Commission
Showing Initiative has
Many Rewards
Employees who show initiative at work know what needs to be done and do it without having someone tell
them to. While this may seem obvious, some supervisors and managers feel that many employees wait to be
told what to do. This can negatively effect the efficiency and pace of the office, as well as lead to conflict
within the department. Employees who regularly show initiative set themselves apart from the pack. Supervisors and managers see them as motivated, reliable, self-starting, and ultimately easier to manage.
How to Show Initiative
An employee can show initiative on many different levels. It can be something as simple as restocking office
supplies when they are nearing empty, or something more complicated like developing a solution to an ongoing problem. When showing initiative, it is important to consider what is and is not appropriate for someone
in your position to do. If you aren’t sure, ask your supervisor. This will show him/her that you are motivated,
thinking about the best interests of department, and that you respect his/her authority. Listed are some ways
you can show initiative at work:
Back up computer files.
Offer to help someone.
Make sure all necessary supplies are in stock.
Complete reports/assignments early if possible.
Call your supervisor’s attention to a potential problem.
Clean out filing cabinets.
Provide preventive maintenance on machines during downtime.
If you have completed all of your assigned tasks, ask your supervisor if there is something else you can do.
Benefits of Showing Initiative
Undoubtedly, staff members who show initiative will stand out. Employees who are meeting or exceeding expectations contribute to a healthy work environment and are more likely to be respected by their peers. Additionally, those who express an interest in learning new skills and taking on additional responsibilities will be
James A. Srott, Chair
March 2007
David Iwata
Calvin W. Hall, Ed.D.
Karen Martin, Personnel Director
(213) 891-2333
be better prepared for career advancement. They will be more likely to receive excellent performance evaluations which become part of an employee’s permanent record. Additionally, they will develop a reputation for
being dedicated and hardworking employees throughout the department, and possibly throughout the campus
or even the District. When promotional opportunities arise, that positive reputation will unquestionably work
in the employee’s favor. While it may take a little more energy, showing initiative will benefit both the institution and the employee, and thus has the potential to provide many rewards.