Six keys to becoming an innovative employee

You were not employed for your pretty face – though this may have helped – but to help your employer solve a problem. To succeed at this you must become an innovative employee.

There isn’t a business or organisation on the planet that doesn’t exist to solve a problem, whether that problem is critical, man-made or seemingly trivial. Because of this, employers look to take on innovative employees who understand this and have the skills to help them meet their objectives.

As a fresh graduate who is either looking for a job or perhaps still early in your employment career, it is absolutely crucial for you to understand your role as an innovative or entrepreneurial minded employee in a company. Innovation solves problems.

Being innovative at your workplace will make you outstanding and stay ahead of the pack. But what exactly can you do to be an innovative employee?

1.  Be as resourceful and independent as you can

Do all you can to master processes and improve upon them whenever new learning is introduced. Innovative employees help their employers improve their businesses. Even if you’re in a start up without any training program in place, learn as much as you can and share your knowledge with others.

2.  Be confident in your problem solving abilities

In almost every business, new problems and challenges pop up almost every day and they require creative and cost effective solutions. But in almost every facet of work, there are tons of things that work and that doesn’t. In order to be an innovative employee, you should display a vibrant sense of logic, confidence and awareness in solving problems at work. You should be able to decipher the difference between what works and what doesn’t. If you mistake one for the other, don’t be too shy to admit your mistake and retrace your steps.

3.  Promise only what you can deliver

Innovative employees understand the value of keeping their word. So they promise only what they can deliver and then strive to deliver more than what they promised. Going above and beyond to deliver more than anyone expects will make you an outstanding employee that is respected for being innovative.

4.  Concentrate on activities that maximize business impact

There are dozens of things you can do on your work desk. Innovative employees can easily decipher what to focus on based on the significant effect they will have on the overall business. So stay organised, make task lists, and set priorities as you have more details about what you’re targeting.

5.  Engage, commit and be ready to contribute

While it is absolutely normal for you to maintain a personal life outside of your workplace, be ready to commit to your work with full engagement. Don’t go to work with divided emotions and thoughts about your private life. So sort out your thoughts and emotions before resuming for work. Be ready to engage, commit and contribute significantly to whatever task you’re assigned.

6.  Know your limit and be willing to learn new things

Don’t pretend that you know everything – including what you don’t. Rather, identify what you know and what you don’t. Be open to learning valuable things that you don’t know that can help you improve your career. The more you’re willing to learn, the more skills you’ll acquire to become a versatile problem-solver.

Bottom line  

While innovation is often considered as the outcome of a stroke of genius, sometimes, innovation is triggered by considering a creative solution to a problem. So pay close attention to every facet of your work and consider what you can do to improve how you work and the outcome of your efforts. Be an innovative employee.

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