Proactive Employees: Characteristics & Skill Development

Proactive Employees: Characteristics & Skill Development
Coming up next: The Common Sense Approach to Team Problem Solving

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:03 Proactive Employee Definition
  • 0:29 Proactive Employee…
  • 1:36 Proactive Employee…
  • 4:19 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
In this lesson, we'll define the concept of proactivity and learn about some of the characteristics of proactive employees. Then, you'll learn about some of the ways by which proactive employees can be developed.

Proactive Employee Definition

There are people at work who wait for directions before they do anything. But, there are also people at work who are proactive. Proactive employees are individuals who act as opposed to react. In other words, they don't sit around and wait for something to happen. Instead, they make something happen. So let's go over the characteristics of proactive employees and how proactive employees can be developed in the workplace.

Proactive Employee Characteristics

Jim is a proactive employee. How do we know this? He clearly demonstrates several characteristics that are cornerstones of proactive individuals. Jim is able to be and do the following:

  • He is able to plan for the future. For instance, he thinks about what he can do tomorrow to get his job done well. He even keeps a to-do list that tells him exactly what needs to be done without anyone having to micromanage him.

  • He is engaged. Jim doesn't sit around observing what others do. He takes initiatives on his own to get something finished.

  • He has foresight. Jim is able to anticipate things before they can occur. That's because he is observant of what goes on around him, and he uses his imagination to figure out the possibilities surrounding his observations.

  • He prevents. Jim works hard to think about what problems might occur and what he can do now to prevent them from arising in the future.

  • He's a doer. In other words, Jim is by no means a procrastinator. He takes immediate action to do what needs to be done. He holds himself accountable for his own actions (or lack thereof).

Proactive Employee Skill Building

So, Jim is a pretty star employee as a result. Wouldn't it be nice if everyone were like him? Well, proactivity is a skill that can be developed. Managers can train their team to approach problems and solve them proactively. Here are a few ideas on how managers and other leaders can help create a work environment where these skills can be fostered.

Don't be an authoritarian and don't micromanage. Instead, be flexible and trusting. This fosters an environment where people can become self-directed. Proactive people choose to do something. This is very different from having to do something. Micromanaging people or being authoritative in general forces people to have to do something instead of choosing to do it. Proactive people feel like they have a choice and because they make a choice, they own it.

Another strategy for fostering proactivity is to hold an innovation day on a regular basis. Allow your employees some freedom during a specific part of the week to be proactive. During this time period, encourage them to think about how they can solve old problems on their own.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support