Characteristics and Qualities of Great Employees

Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure to work with many different kinds of people, including some absolutely stellar folks – people who were not only loyal, hard-working, dedicated, talented, and outstanding employees at the places that they worked at; they were great human beings as well.

And then the others, well, let’s just say that they were less than outstanding 🙂

The truth is that professional life provides you with an opportunity come across and work with some fascinating people. For instance some people are born-leaders, and you can identify them instantly. They are extroverts, and are not afraid to take charge and put themselves out there.

Then there are people who possess sheer natural talent and God-gifted ability – these people have the natural knack to perform well pretty much effortlessly, and watching them work is fascinating, to say the least!

In contrast, there are people who may not possess tons of natural talent or raw ability, but compensate for this through hard work, grit and consistency.

I guess the point that I’m trying to make is that great employees possess certain characteristics that makes them ‘great’. These characteristics make these employees one of the most valuable assets of the organizations, as well as absolutely indispensable to the organization they work for. It is because of these individual that organizations progress, and understandably then, these companies do their best to  keep this top talent in their organizations.

But what exactly are the characteristics that make these employees so special, so invaluable to these organizations?

super employee

1. Great employees get the essentials right.

While I’m no expert on this subject, from what I’ve observed, exemplary employees have a tendency to get the basics right. For instance they get to work on time, they adhere to organization rules during their time at the workplace, they rarely slack, they are organized, they have good time management skills, they can work their way around computers and software, they are individuals who get the job done, they come to the work place with the right attitude, are positive, emanate positive vibes and energy, and leave a positive impression on their peers. In short, they are thorough professionals!

2.  They get the job done.

It’s all about having the right attitude – something that great employees seem to have in abundance. In the work place, their primary priority is ‘getting things done’ which remains the center of their focus and priorities. They’re not workaholics by any means; you won’t see them hunched over their desks crunching numbers the whole day or anything like that. But what you will see is a result-oriented attitude that focuses on achieving their targets and getting work done, simple as that.

3. They try to do more than simply what their job description asks them to do.

Good employees do what their job description asks them to do and they do it well. Great employees, however, go above and beyond their job descriptions and try to do more than simply what their contract asks them to do, even if they’re not getting paid for it. Mind you, this does not mean that they take on every single job or every task that they possibly can. It simply means that they are proactive people who try to do more than what they’ve been asked to do – even if it is lending a helping hand to someone from another department, picking up small tasks, or going beyond their scope of work for the good of the organization despite having not being asked to do so.

4. They form excellent relationships with their superiors, coworkers and their peers.

Great employees have great people skills. They are able to form excellent relationships with almost everyone in the organization, and can get along with all sorts of people. They understand other people, and respect everyone’s viewpoints and opinions in the workplace. They are respectful and professional towards their superiors as well as their peers, especially in the office environment. They are hence able to build successful relationships with their peers, based on trust and respect. On a similar note, they don’t talk about people behind their back, or complain in public.

5. They are good team players.

Great employees are also good team players, and can work with others, as part of a team or as team-leads and get the most out of their team! A lot of jobs require people to work with others, and not everyone has the capability to do so effectively. Good employees however have a winning attitude, which means that they can properly collaborate with team mates, and create synergy to get the best out of their team.

6. People have fun working with them.

There’s always that one guy in every office who’s just great to work with and hang around with, right? Great employees send out positive vibes, and their peers love working with them. Not only do they have a great attitude at work and are individuals who are thorough professionals, they are friendly people who are great to talk to and great, delightful people to work with. They are social people, who have a comfortable vibe about them; everyone feels comfortable in their presence.

7. They understand organization culture, and are a ‘good fit’.

Fitting into a corporate culture can be tough. It is certainly one of the most overlooked aspects of finding a new job, and you often find employers use the words ‘good fit’ in job postings, which is essentially another word for being a good match for the organization’s culture. Great employees are flexible, and can adapt to an organization’s culture, and adhere to its values and norms. Moreover, if an organization has a more laid-back culture, such employees can easily work with open deadlines, flexible working hours, and be able to complete projects on time. And if it’s the other way around, they can stick to the rules and work hard to meet deadlines and finish work.

8. They mentor other people in the organization who may look up to them.

Great employees have no problem mentoring other people in the organization who may look up to them. This could be for anything, such as advice, tips or tutorial on something that they have proficiency in. In fact, they welcome this!

9. They have excellent communication skills.

One of the prerequisites of being successful in the corporate world is having excellent communication skills. It is a great employee’s biggest strength. They are naturally good with certain communication skills, such as public speaking, and getting their point across in an appropriate and professional manner, for instance. They can speak just as easily with coworkers as they can with clients. They are also good public speakers, and don’t shy away from an opportunity to speak in public.

10. They constantly challenge themselves.

Great employees seek opportunities to challenge themselves, and give themselves new challenges to work with, as opposed to getting comfortable or settling into a routine. They look forward to change, and welcome it. They do things that are no expected of them, or not part of their jobs. They put themselves out there. And above all, they are competitive individuals who like a bit of competition, which is something that actually brings out the best in them.

11. Great employees love what they do.

They love their jobs, and don’t look at them as something that they do each day from 9 to 5, but something that they love doing, and something that they truly believe in. They treat the company goals as their own goals. Money is never a priority for them, and to them, their work is more than just something that earns them money. They are truly passionate about what they do for a living!

12. They can handle pressure and tough situations.

For me, one of the things that makes truly great employees who they are is their ability to work under pressure. They just have an uncanny ability to soak up the pressure, and for some, pressure situations actually brings the best out of them; it becomes an opportunity for them to truly shine and show everyone what they’re made of! In fact managers evaluate how employees work in tough, under-pressure situations, and great employees can work without it affecting the quality or quantity of their work!

13. They are natural leaders!

Great employees may or may not have many of the qualities and attributes listed above, but if there’s one quality that all truly great employees do possess, it’s that they demonstrate natural leadership! They have a problem-solving-oriented approach to doing things, and have a magnetic personality that allows them to get people to naturally follow them when they take charge of something, even if they don’t have authority. They are confident and charismatic that way!


Final words

If you work with a great employee, count yourself lucky! If you manage one, make sure you gives him or her plenty of reasons to stick around in your organization!