Organizations assess their employees now and then to ensure that they are performing as expected, reward excellence where it is due and address the shortcomings. Managers are required to use employee appraisal phrases when stating how an employee has performed in various competencies. One area that is appraised using the phrases is employee initiative.

Taking initiative is one of the desired qualities of an employee. Having it means that an employee can do their job unsupervised and can improve their skills and job performance without being told. It is determination and the ability to follow through a task. Employee initiative means doing the job well, going an extra step, volunteering and embracing personal development.

Evaluating initiative is an important part of the appraisal process because it helps to differentiate between a productive employee and an average one. In case an employee is found to be lacking the virtue, measures can be taken to rectify that using the various ways of empowering employees to take an initiative. Employees who take initiative have high productivity and they are an asset to the organization.

How to encourage initiative

An employee who takes initiative is an asset, the reason why an organization should promote the virtue by creating a culture that encourages employees to be proactive. Employees should be rewarded for seeking better ways to do things, ways to cut costs or to introduce new products and services.

A company can encourage initiative by telling the employees of its importance, managers leading by example and being roles models of initiating as well as creating an enabling environment where employees can be creative. It should also give employees the authority to make decisions, recognize and reward initiative as well as acknowledging effort even if it does not bear fruit.

If an employee is lacks initiative, they can be challenged to seek new opportunities and to aspire more to their role. The employee can be advised to be independent when doing a task and to improve their skills.

Samples of employee appraisal phrases on initiative

Positive phrases: John seeks out new opportunities voluntarily; Grace works with little or no supervision; Mike challenges the ordinary way things are done and looks for a way to improve; Jack takes on new opportunities that present themselves.

Apply these supervisory skills so that you can become a great and effective supervisor.

20 crucial supervisory skills

Supervisors do interact directly with their subordinates. Hence, it is important for them to have particular skills to ensure that the interaction is productive. What are the crucial supervisory skills should any supervisor uphold? Here is a list of a few skills that are needed for effective supervision:


One of the roles that one must take when they are appointed as supervisors is planning. There are various aspects of planning. Therefore, a supervisor should have skills in the following areas to ensure effective planning. They include:

  • Scheduling- Timekeeping is the mandate of any leader. A supervisor should be able to drive the subordinates to work within sustainable timelines
  • Budgeting- Often, organizations work within fixed budgets. Hence, sound planning is needed to make sure finances are located appropriately
  • Tasking- It is the duty of the supervisor to plan tasks and match them to appropriate individuals
  • Creating goals and objectives
  • Policymaking
  • Predicting the future


The key role of a supervisor is to lead others but not without specific skills. Here are a few of the leading skills:

  • Decision making- While it is important to consult others, the supervisor need to be the sole decision maker
  • Communicating- They must be able to communicate well with their subordinates
  • Motivating- Besides, the supervisor should be in a position to persuade the employees towards goal achievement
  • Developing individuals- It is the duty of the supervisor to see to the growth of the subordinates
  • Appointing people- Supervisors are also responsible for selecting people whom they think are suited for various tasks
  • Conflict resolution- Leaders act as mediators in conflicts that arise among the employees


Supervisors also need organization skills such as;

  • Defining tasks- It is the responsibility of a supervisor to explain work to the employees
  • Grouping assignments- Supervisors are also mandated to group related tasks for effective implementation
  • Assigning tasks- They are also responsible for delegating duties to the subordinates based on the skill level of the individuals
  • Integrating work


Lastly, a supervisor needs to have control over his/her subjects. They require skills in:

  • Creating standards- For effective evaluation, developing standards is inherent
  • Assessing performance- Supervisors should measure the performance of their subordinates
  • Evaluation of performance- The supervisors should evaluate the performance results critically to point out areas of improvement
  • Correcting performance- Where an employee performs averagely or poorly in their tasks, the supervisor should encourage and support them to improve their performance.

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