Becoming a Great Employee: Top 10 Traits

Everyone in the workplace agrees that really good employees are rarer than the proverbial goosebumps. Whether you’re an employee yourself, or a manager wondering how to really find a great employee to fill a role, you know that great employees come at a premium.

What exactly makes an employee great? These top ten traits give some ideas to employers looking to hire and, of course, employees who want to operate at the top of their game:

  1. Reliability: Great employees are always dependent. They do the job they’re supposed to do every time, and no one has to worry about them not delivering products. A great employee can be counted on to always do his job well, when he’s supposed to; it’s a foregone conclusion that it will, and no one else has to waste time worrying about it.
  2. Team Spirit: Great employees are team players. They do not constantly seek attention or hog the spotlight. Rather, a great employee works with others to make sure things that need to be done get done, for the good of the company.
  3. Taking Direction: Great employees know how to take direction. They know how to take criticism, instructions, and advice gracefully and make it work for them when doing their job.
  4. Confidence: Great employees don’t spread office gossip and don’t spill dirt on the company. Likewise, they always tell their employer the truth, even if it gets them in trouble.
  5. Confidentiality – This, of course, is strongly related to number 4. Great employees always protect the confidential nature of their business and protect everyone’s privacy.
  6. Participation: Great Employees participate in the day to day of the office. They don’t back out of meetings or skip office birthday celebrations. These things may not be a fun part of work life, and everyone involved knows that everyone else has a place they’d rather be, but a great employee wouldn’t be anywhere else.
  7. Likeability: Great employee gets along with other employees. Every office has one person who is on everyone else’s business and talks really loud on the phone and usually stirs things up and gets under everyone’s skin. This type of employee affects the morale of the office: a great employee is a good co-worker for everyone.
  8. Competence: Great employees have good job skills. It may sound obvious, but a great employee has the necessary skills to do their job and is constantly looking for ways to improve, such as attending training seminars or pursuing higher education. Great workers have great skills.
  9. Tact: Great employees have tact and decorum. If there’s a problem in the office, a great employee doesn’t make a scene in front of everyone else. A great employee will deal with these issues with privacy and diplomacy. Also, a great employee does not tell rude, political, or religious jokes, nor does he send emails containing such jokes.
  10. Attitude: Last but not least, great employees have a great attitude. Bad attitudes bring everyone down. A great employee helps make work great for everyone else by having a good spirit at work.

That’s a lot of great traits to try and acquire! Don’t be discouraged if you can’t match a number (but hopefully not all!) of them. Work on them one at a time and you’ll find your career progressing faster than you ever thought possible.

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