“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door” – Milton Berle
Proactive employees take initiative, expand and craft their jobs, and voice ideas to others in the workplace. In general, employees who take initiative are looked upon positively; however, taking initiative does not always result in better performance or better performance ratings. According to a new study (Wihler, Blickle, Parker Ellen III, Hochwarter, & Ferris, in press), taking initiative is a process that involves both individual and organizational factors, and can result in either high or low ratings of job performance.
Across three separate studies, researchers tested the relationship between initiative taking and job performance, as well as the individual and organizational factors that affect the strength of this relationship. Each of the three studies utilized a survey design, and sampled pairs of employees and their supervisors.