Managing Someone with Low Structured/Routine

by | Oct 19, 2022 | Prescreening | 0 comments

By Mara Miller

Effective managers understand their employees’ unique personalities and know what motivates them. It’s important to know what motivates different employee personalities. The IdealTraits assessment assists you in understanding the personality traits of your work teams. And help you create a more positive and productive environment at work.

What is Structured/Routine?

In the performance index in the IdealTraits assessments, “Structured and Routine” measures how someone handles consistency and how they prefer the pace of their environment. It determines how they deal with new changes or adapt to their surroundings. It assesses how well they can listen to others and gauge how they view security and if they fear losing it.

For individuals with Low Structured/Routine, it is natural for them to seek adventure. They like to stay active to avoid boredom and are open to trying new things. Others may view them as unpredictable and unreliable. Unlike someone who has a High Structured/Routine and is predictable or a “creature of habit.”

Low Structured and Routine Personality Traits:

Positive Traits / Strengths:

An individual with Low Structured and Routine is a dynamic communicator. They prefer lively, fast-paced conversations and environments. They like to experiment with new ideas to help solve problems. You can count on them to jump into new projects with both feet. They will convert an idea into a project to a task without slowing down. They are ambitious and create a sense of urgency. They help their team by getting the ball rolling and starting conversations. They are not worried about conflict or having difficult conversations.

Growth Areas / Areas that Need Support:

Due to their need for adventure, individuals with Low Structured and Routine may disregard established procedures and rules. Instead, they may jump straight into conflict rather than consider the consequences of their actions, which can lead to mistakes. Job roles with permanent repetitiveness and little change can make them restless and bored. This may also play into their struggle with listening to others. They are inconsistent when fulfilling responsibilities or following processes and can lose interest in projects or tasks once they are boring and repetitive. They show impatience towards slower-paced co-workers because they are “slowing (them) down.” That discord is likely to go unnoticed, causing more problems. In the long run, the individual with Low Structured and Routine may resign due to a lack of variety or an unhurried environment.

Motivated By:

Unlike someone with High Structured and Routine, individuals with Low Structured and Routine are motivated by exploring the unknown and pursuing interesting opportunities. Being in an environment that is fast-paced and in a constant state of change are driving factors to keep them moving forward toward success. A benefit is working for a manager which allows them to express their opinions and make decisions for themselves. They thrive in a role where innovation and change are pursued and encouraged.


Individuals with Low Structured and Routine need to feel like they have a purpose and actively seek ways to fulfill that goal. They do not enjoy environments where they are expected to improve processes and timelines. Or where the environment is slow-paced, repetitive, or mundane. Being under too many constraints or being micromanaged also contributes to feeling as though they are not free to fulfill their purpose. During these times, it won’t be hard to tell what they are thinking since it will be written all over their face.

Ideal Environment:

A rapid-paced environment that is open to discussing new ideas and voicing opinions, and a team where responsibility is fairly distributed. Although they are fine with doing routine tasks, individuals with Low Structured and Routine are not satisfied with their job if it becomes predictable and routine. In other words, to them, stale. They want their day to have flexibility and be allowed to try new things, such as untried solutions to problems. Shaking things up, drama, and confrontation are fine with them. It gets the blood pumping and keeps things spontaneous.


Conversations should be friendly and expressive, however, difficult conversations do not need to be shied away from. Meetings should be useful, in person, and without a set agenda. Emails should also avoid too much formality. Feedback provided should be explained and encouraging.

Benefits to a Team:

Your team can benefit from someone with Low Structured and Routine. This individual keeps the team from becoming overwhelmed with the details of a new task or project. They like to break things down to create new methods to solve old problems. They want to step on the gas pedal to get it done quickly and move on to the next exciting thing. They can celebrate past successes and then pivot to new projects. They do not spend too much time focused on a certain topic and do their best to help the team switch gears. They can also get less vocal team members to voice their opinions or toss in ideas so that everyone is heard.


They are concerned about the loss of spontaneity and what it might lead to or the limitations that would come as a result of it. They also fear redundancy and at what cost to them and their creativity? They fear micromanagement and constraints and view them as restrictive and harmful.

Management Tips:

Below are some management tips to consider when managing someone with Low Structured and Routine.

  • They are actively going one from one thing to the next. This may cause them to make mistakes because they are rushing. Consider having discussions with them. Speed can be great until it slows them down. Meaning if they are always having to go over what they just finished, they aren’t moving ahead and fulfilling a bigger purpose you may have for them.
  • They do not shy away from confrontation or difficult conversations. Listen to their approach to others, co-workers, and clients alike. They may come across to others as inconsiderate, especially since they struggle with listening. Consider providing coaching on how to handle certain conversations with sensitivity and empathy.
  • Consider the approach taken in discussions. Although they do not avoid difficult conversations, your tone should remain agreeable and friendly.
  • They need an active, fast-paced work environment. They can become bored if their day is too routine, repetitive, or mundane. Consider allowing them to get out of the office to network or taking on special projects to break up their workweeks.
  • They want the freedom to express their opinions. Consider encouraging thoughts and opinions and allow them to test out ideas.

Combination of Personality Traits:

Everyone has a blend of personality traits. Below are examples of how Low Structured and Routine can be affected when combined with other personality traits.

High Motivation/Drive & Low Structured/Routine: Eager to achieve results (enhanced more when the 2 are combined).

High Persuasiveness/Convincing & Low Structured/Routine: Lose interest faster in projects/tasks that become boring/repetitive. This may cause them not to finish what they started.

High Thorough/Compliant & Low Structured/Routine: Aware of their environment and changes taking place. Notice subtle points that other people miss or ignore. Easily distracted and bored.

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