Many business owners attribute lack of employee initiative and buy in to slow growth and missed opportunities. Let these twelve quotes light a fire, and fan the flames of positive momentum in your company.
12 Quotes to Inspire Employee Initiative and Gain Buy-In for Businesses on the Grow
“Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” – Golda Meir
“To succeed, you need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you.” – Tony Dorsett
“Concern yourself more with accepting responsibility than with assigning blame. Let the possibilities inspire you more than the obstacles discourage you.” – Ralph Marston
“You can’t inspire people if you are going to be uninspiring.” – Robert Reich
“Motivation is everything. You can do the work of two people, but you can’t be two people. Instead, you have to inspire the next guy down the line and get him to inspire his people.” – Lee Iacocca
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams
“Average leaders inspire people to punch a time clock. Great leaders inspire industry and passion.” – Joseph B. Wirthlin
“Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others.” – Samuel Smiles
“It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.” – Jalaluddin Rumi
“Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you.” – William Arthur Ward
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” – Zig Ziglar
Employee Initiative and Buy In Aren’t Earned with a Paycheck
Here’s a hard truth and one that many business owners don’t want to believe. No matter how much a worker appreciates or even needs a job, a paycheck isn’t going to automatically inspire employees to take initiative and be enthusiastic about the brand. Nor can you take it for granted when employees are engaged, that they’ll stay engaged. The Vision Link Advisory blog suggests that four specific disconnects can be to blame in organizations where employees aren’t willing to take initiative and enthusiasm lags.
They Can’t See the Vision
Just because you – or even your whole leadership team – can see how connecting the dots between where your company is now and where you want it to be will work, doesn’t mean that employees will necessarily be able to do so. They need to be able to see why the future-company is better than the now-company not just for the business, but for themselves. Likewise, they need to be able to imagine where they would land in the future-company, why it’s better than where they are now, and to clearly understand their role in helping to make the vision a reality.
Even if workers see how this future-company and their future-roles would be an improvement, if they don’t have the skills, education, and support of colleagues and managers needed to step outside of their comfort zones, vision alone might not be enough. Likewise, if a worker perceives the organizational culture to be a negative one, whether that negativity emanates from managers or co-workers, helping the business evolve might never be a high priority.
Irrelevant to Personal Aspirations
Even when the future-company and their future-role represent professional progress to an employee, it might not be the professional progression they want to pursue.
Companies that want employees to take ownership of their roles sometimes fail to consider all the word “ownership” implies. Workers who feel they aren’t treated as true partners in the work (e.g., who feel they aren’t trusted, aren’t listened to, aren’t empowered, aren’t valued, aren’t rewarded appropriately, etc.) are not likely to take initiative minus a risk-reward reevaluation and alignment. To make this even more complicated, even the short list of “aren’ts” above shows how individualized the risk-reward equation can be, since each individual may prioritize these rewards differently.
Where to Start to Inspire Employee Initiative and Buy-In
As the leader of your business, it’s incumbent upon you to understand that connecting the dots between where your company is now and the future-company you want it to be necessitates that you meet employees where they are; because in truth, they are the dots that need to be connected if you want your company to achieve its vision. You alone have the power to help your staff envision themselves as an indispensable part of that work.
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