10 Ways Employees Can Be More Proactive At Work

Proactivity, as defined by Organizational Behavior, is “anticipatory, change-oriented, and self-initiated behavior in situations rather than reacting.” When a person is proactive, they act in anticipation of a future event. Proactive employees usually don’t. ‘There is no need to be asked to do anything and usually less detailed instructions are required.

Active behavior applies to one’s own role or “extra role” responsibilities. In one’s own role, for example, a person may find a more efficient way to fulfill one or more of their responsibilities. Extra-role responsibilities (ie, tasks outside of your stated job description) speak to an employee’s organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). A proactive employee, for example, initiates an offer to help their co-workers before being asked to help by their co-workers or their manager.

Steps you can take to be more proactive at work apply to your official role and your part of the OCB spectrum within your team, your department, and your organization as a whole.

There are variations on the theme; However, the following behaviors are a common foundation for activation in all theories:

Manage | Take stock | Be brave


Activism requires you to be organized. That includes your mindset, your space, and even your schedule! Managing your time helps you approach tasks more efficiently and allows you to be more open to opportunities. This scheduling should include “downtime” for those activities Keep your life in balance.

Any list has a positive attitude. Approaching tasks from a positive perspective encourages you to look for the best in every situation. This will help you become a “ready, willing and able” employee who can always be counted on. A reliable and approachable team player becomes the go-to problem solver.

Review your current responsibilities:

  • What are your tasks?
  • What are the priorities?
  • What can be consolidated, eliminated or shortened?
  • What can you do to stay ahead of less urgent tasks?
  • How do you solve problems?
  • Can you avoid problems by planning ahead and anticipating and developing alternative processes?
  • What else do you need to know?
  • Can you automate your tasks to make them more efficient and less time-consuming?

Communicate | Connect | network

Proactive employees lead meetings at work


Find a role model by observing Leaders in your company. When possible, spend time with them to gain insight from their behaviors. Try their techniques. Some will work for you, others won’t. You need to fine-tune what you’ve acquired so that you can build your own repertoire.

Let others know you want to be more involved. You have to create your own opportunities. Don’t wait to ask—bring your ideas to your management team.

Objectives | Persistence | Efficiency

Agile employees work together on a project


Set goals for yourself. Write them down! List everything you want to achieve. Set deadlines! Once you have an end in mind, you can achieve the desired result. A series of Small goals It keeps the tasks that lead to the completion of a larger goal from becoming insurmountable.

Stay on course with how you want to achieve your goals. This may require overcoming your fears and overcoming obstacles or setbacks. You need to step outside your comfort zone and become more resilient.

Strive for excellence from start to finish. Commit yourself to always presenting your best work—your finished project with no loose ends. Be passionate about what you do. Give it all. No matter what role you are assigned, you will be more effective when you put your full energy and effort into it.

Celebrate! | Be flexible!

Active employees celebrate their success in a work meeting


Celebrate Your achievementsBig and small, as you work your way to becoming more active!

Be simple! You can’t plan for every outcome, so being able to react to the unexpected is an important trait for an agile person. It is about awareness of the existence of options regardless of situation or context.

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This article was originally published on an earlier date.

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