6 Characteristics of Innovative Employees


When the word ‘innovation’ is mentioned, most people automatically think of names such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Thomas Edison. However, many don’t realize that they can also be innovators in their own right, even as employees. Being innovative basically means doing things by taking a new approach, and thus producing different results.

See Also: The Best Creative Jobs in the World

Here are some of the qualities innovative employees have:

1. Risk Taking

Most people in the workplace are afraid of making mistakes. As a result, they avoid everything which involves any level of risk. However, innovative employees are bold and are not afraid of messing up. They have learned that failing, does not make them a failure. They are therefore willing to explore new ideas which could add value to the company. When they fail, they learn their lesson, get up, and work smarter.

2. Confidence

Innovative employees believe in themselves as well as their products or services. They don’t allow criticism from others to discourage them from pursuing their dreams. Though they may be anxious to step into unchartered territories, they don’t allow their fears to stop them from venturing out. They are confident in their own abilities to succeed, in spite of obstacles that are before them. Their belief in the product or service keeps them going, even when they are surrounded by naysayers.

3. Problem Solving

The workplace is full of all kinds of problems. Instead of complaining about the problems around them, innovative employees find ways of solving them. Their ability to identify and address problems early, allows companies to save precious time and money. For example, they can listen to customer complaints about a product and find ways of improving it, thus enhancing sales.

4. Inner Motivation

Innovative employees don’t depend on outward stimuli in order to do things. Instead, they are self-driven, allowing them to accomplish great things, even without external motivation. They don’t do things just to be rewarded with money or praise. What they desire, is to change the world around them through their efforts.

5. Curiosity

People, who are innovative, look at things differently and are always thinking outside the box. Their curiosity causes them to question things, which an average person doesn’t think twice about. They are not satisfied with the status quo and are constantly asking the question ‘Why’. Because of their curiosity, innovators are able to come up with better ways of doing things, and thus making a difference.

6. Persistence

The journey of an innovator is not easy. First, you might have to try and fail several times before you are able to actualize your ideas. In addition, your boss, colleagues or customers might not be very receptive to new things. As a result, you might find yourself facing opposition instead of getting support. However,innovative employees don’t give up easily. They are able to weather the storms and stay focused until they achieve their goal.    

By cultivating the qualities above, you can also stand out as an innovator in your workplace.

Do you think you are an innovator? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.