A list of things to encourage and things to avoid when creating an environment for self-starters to thrive.
Employee retention and productivity should be top-of-mind for every manager here at Ohio State regardless of business unit or type of work. And one of the best ways to encourage a healthy, productive environment is to encourage staff to become self-starters. As emphasized in a recent Harvard Business Journal web article, employees who feel they have a stake in the success and production of their unit are happier team members, and that makes for a successful business unit. A self-starter is a good team member who will contribute at whatever level is needed, and will fill many different roles regardless of job title. A self-starter is neither above or below any task that needs completion - s/he sees the big picture and helps the group achieve its larger goals.
Here is a list of things to encourage and things to avoid when creating an environment for self-starters to thrive.
- Managers don’t need to touch everything
- Give self-starters a sense of ownership
- Help develop a trust-based relationship
- Don’t compete or attempt to be better than your staff
- Give self-starters access to leadership
- Celebrate successes, never dwell on failures
- Nothing kills self-starters’ attitudes like harping on missteps
- The best innovations were preceded by failures
- Not everything is a home run, small things count too
- Don’t just show up when thing go wrong
- Allow for space
- Nix the words “we’ve always done it this way”
- Self-starters are going to have ideas that challenge the status quo
- Look for opportunities to launch a career rather than keeping butts-in-seats
- Ask more questions
- Rather than making statements, ask questions
- Set clear expectations and then step back
- How are you running staff meetings?
- Do you always talk first?
- Is there space on the agenda for others?
- Don’t list the meetings you will attend, focus on the why
- Never have a meeting to justify existence
- Call projects “beta” or “demos”
- Self-starters want to be able to try new things
- If something didn’t work, be willing to kill it off; self-starters may have trouble letting it go
- Try an agile approach if possible; more small goals, sprint to get something done and out into the world