The Secret to Thinking Outside of the Box When Your Job Responsibilities are Listed Out for You

It’s all well and good to tell people to be creative and think outside the box when they are in roles that have a lot of flexibility and a level of abstraction to them — but what about when jobs are more regimented and job responsibilities spelled out? Can workers still be empowered and free to work in their own ways?

For example, think about the many people whose jobs rely on following instructions almost to the letter. Here, there will often be a checklist of items to achieve or accomplish. It doesn’t seem to leave much room for detail or for innovation. But that’s not necessarily the case.

Be Creative in Ordering Tasks

One of the first ways to create your own work process is to think about re-ordering some of the tasks that are on a work list. It’s likely that management didn’t think too hard about what’s going to be the most productive. For example, suppose you have 10 different workstations to visit in two hours. The checklist might lead you to stations that are relatively far from each other, where there’s a lot of retracing of steps. Simply swapping out the order can eliminate a lot of wasted time and effort. Of course, the disclaimer is that some tasks are time sensitive, but nevertheless, there’s often an opportunity to improve by switching things around.

Transform Methodology

Likewise, managers sometimes leave the method pretty abstract as well for job responsibilities. One task may involve putting together a physical prototype or model, but unless there are detailed instructions, the rest of that is left to the worker. Warehouse workers may get assignments to inspect and move a certain volume of freight, but again, no or few details on exactly how to do that. This is where a person’s individual skills and experience come in handy, and where they can be creative in order to succeed.

Tracking and Reporting

In workspaces that don’t have defined tracking systems, individual workers can take the initiative to keep track of work processes and report to their supervisors or managers about the results. This is another value-added type of thing that’s going to be useful to employers in the long run.

Suggest Changes

Workers can also feel free to suggest changes in a process or task that’s part of routine job responsibilities. That’s not to say that this should be an ongoing thing, or something capricious, where somebody starts to be seen as the “constant suggester”. Instead, save these suggestions for important times when an improvement could really benefit the employer in terms of productivity and innovation.

About Full Steam Staffing

Full Steam Staffing is a full-service employment agency focused on providing clerical and light industrial staffing solutions to manufacturers, distribution centers and other organizations that need qualified, reliable workers. If you are looking for a new job in Modesto, California, browse our available opportunities or contact our team today!