Why is initiative important in the workplace?

Why is initiative important in the workplace?

Why is initiative important in the workplace?

‘Use your initiative!’

‘Show some initiative … ’

We know employers love employees with initiative, but what does it mean? Well Windsor NOVA Transition has found out and is putting it into practice both in and out of the training room! 

Initiative generally means to do what needs to be done without having to be asked, even if it is not your job. For example, you may not the office cleaner, but if you saw a piece of paper on the floor would you pick it up? If you answer ‘yes’ then you are using your initiative.

In our training room, a trainee is using his/her initiative when they open the blinds in the morning, empty the garbage in the afternoon and turn off all the computers before they leave for the day. The trainee is doing what they know needs to be done, or what they know are going to be asked to do, without their job coach having to ask.

On their second day of work placement, Windsor trainees were encouraged to show initiative by removing hazards off the floor, helping customers and tidying up, all without being asked by their employer or job coach.

Why is initiative important in the workplace?

It shows an employer that you are willing to get things done and can be a responsible and reliable worker. It is also a great confidence booster as one trainee found out when his initiative was recognised by his supervisor telling him he did a fantastic job!

After watching the movie The Intern, Windsor trainees were asked to list the ways new employee, Ben, uses his initiative to impress his new boss. They came up with:

  • Clearing a table that he knew his employer wanted cleared
  • Offering to drive his employer home when her regular driver wasn’t able to
  • Getting his employer food when he noticed she didn’t have time to get food herself.

Giving examples of when you have shown initiative is also a valuable tool to take into an interview.


Windsor NOVA Transition


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