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Proactivity gets highest rewards

Don´t rely on incentives when you have to identify prospective leaders





Ideas for improvement are rewarded with praise and career opportunities if they are being made proactively. If the very same ideas are launched via incentives that are carried out by the organization or superiors managerial appreciation and support are significantly lower. Behind this phenomenon lies the assumption that employees who have to be invited or explicitly asked to show engagement cannot be intrinsically motivated. And only this supposedly most authentic sort of motivation is essential when it comes to selecting prospective leaders for the company, the institute or the party.

These are the results of a recently published intercultural study run by scientists in the US (Maryland) and India. Additionally the researchers point out that incentives still are an effective tool for getting employees involved and empowered. Heads in spe are to be much better identified by their proactive engagements to the benefit of the organization, though.

Park/Tangirala/Hussain/Ekkirala: „How and When Managers Rewards Employee´s Voice: The Role of Proactivity Attributions”, In: Journal of Applied Psychology, 2022, vol. 107, Nr. 12, 2269-2284.

From the practice:

Doesn´t this sound familiar to you even when you think about private stuff? Who is calling, texting or emailing you proactively without any extra need = just in-between times will be much more considered to be a true friend or a really interested member of your family than those who do this just in case of your birthday or the Festive Season.

Once again I am holding a plea for proactivity: to move by yourself and not to wait until being asked provides significantly more pros than cons: when you pop up on your own because tasks cannot be finished as agreed, when you are flagging up your observations concerning deficits and unregularities of your own accord or when you bring in ideas without having been nudged. This sort of proactivity stands for responsibility, true interest and the capability to entrepreneurial thinking.

And please don´t worry: even the shyest among you can train and learn it.

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