10 Qualities of a Good Employee (With Examples)
Updated January 30, 2023
Published December 12, 2019
Jamie Birt is a career coach with 5+ years of experience helping job seekers navigate the job search through one-to-one coaching, webinars and events. She’s motivated by the mission to help people find fulfillment and belonging in their careers.
This article has been approved by an Indeed Career Coach.
Demonstrating good characteristics as an employee can help lead to advancement opportunities in your career. Doing so can also improve your chances of getting a job. Quality attributes include a mix of hard and soft skills, all of which you can strengthen with regular use and practice.
In this article, we take a look at 10 of the most common qualities that employers prefer.
Common traits of a good employee
Developing traits that are typical of good employees may help you make a favorable impression on your employer. It can also help you develop and maintain positive relationships with your coworkers since they’ll come to recognize you as a reliable team member. Here are 10 qualities typical of a good employee and coworker:
Dedication includes a strong sense of support and loyalty to a business or career role. Committed employees are often more purpose-driven in both their personal lives and their careers.
As a dedicated employee, you might have the following traits:
A passion for your work
A positive attitude toward your job in general
Punctuality for all work-related events
Flexibility when assigned work tasks
A dedicated employee doesn’t need extensive experience in their field, but they’re willing to put in the training and work required to gain any necessary experience. They are goal-orientated and are more likely to strengthen any qualities they may need to improve.
Related: Setting Goals To Improve Your Career
Confidence and productivity often work well together. Confident employees not only believe in their abilities to manage tasks, but they are also more likely to convince managers, coworkers and customers of their abilities as well.
As your confidence grows, you may exhibit some of the following characteristics:
Listening more than you speak
Looking for ways to improve your skills
Knowing when to ask for help
Adapting quickly to a new role
With developed confidence, you might also find it easier to embrace challenges in the workplace. This includes immediately looking for ways to overcome these challenges and succeed at your current tasks.
A reliable employee is a trusted one. Reliability is an important factor in knowing that the job will get done and it will get done well. Reliable employees are valuable in the workplace because they prove that they can finish their tasks without much supervision.
Becoming a reliable employee includes:
Showing up to work-related events
Coming to work on time
Consistently meeting deadlines
Producing high-quality work
Showing eagerness to take on more significant responsibilities
Taking initiative when needed
Teamwork is a requirement in most work settings. Successful collaboration requires excellent communication skills, patience, tolerance and dedication. By demonstrating strong teamwork skills, you can also exhibit a series of other desirable skills. Being a team player is crucial when ensuring that you’ll be a positive addition to the current team.
Good team players are:
Flexible with change
Committed to their own success and that of their teams
Reliable and responsible
Supportive and respectful of their coworkers
In organizations that rely heavily on teamwork, adaptability is also important. A team member who can quickly adapt to different roles, including as leader and motivator, will usually have an easier time joining an existing team.
The ability to work independently is just as important as the ability to work well with a team. Even in heavily team-oriented organizations, you will still do some work on your own. There is also some level of trust involved when your manager and team members expect that you’ll complete a task individually.
As an autonomous employee, you offer the following:
Developed time-management skills
The ability to critique and edit your work
When you can work independently, your employer can also more easily rely on you to complete job tasks without the need for much supervision.
Strong leadership skills can help you move your company forward. They can also help you guide your team members toward developing skills of their own. Influential leaders have a wide collection of skills, including self-confidence, reliability and honesty.
As a leader, you may exhibit the following traits:
Strong organizational skills
The ability to identify a team’s strengths and weaknesses
Confidence in your abilities to lead teams
The ability to inspire others
Empathy toward team members
You can give feedback in a constructive way
If you have strong leadership skills, one of your biggest advantages to a company is that they can eventually promote you. Promoting from within cuts recruitment and training costs.
Leadership is also a crucial employee quality. Hiring an individual who expresses leadership traits gives others someone to look up to, which can increase motivation and productivity levels within an organization.
7. Interpersonal/communication skills
Strong communication skills can benefit you in almost every type of job. During your career, you will likely spend a significant amount of time communicating with customers, coworkers, vendors or managers. Strong interpersonal skills ensure that these interactions are positive and effective.
A good communicator often demonstrates the following traits:
A high level of professionalism
An open-minded approach to new ideas
The ability to interpret nonverbal communication patterns
A strong communicator is also a good listener. Excellent communication involves active listening, which requires fully comprehending what the other person is saying and responding to them appropriately.
Self-awareness allows you to understand your strengths and weaknesses. It can also help you recognize when to ask for help or feedback on your work, allowing you to improve your skills continuously. The greater you develop your self-awareness skills, the easier you will be able to reflect on the skills you’ve gained since beginning in your position.
Self-awareness often includes the following:
Strong emotional intelligence
Understanding your role on your team
Asking for and learning from feedback
9. Critical thinking
Employers appreciate employees who demonstrate critical thinking skills. This skill set involves looking at a problem, reviewing different perspectives and developing a logical solution.
If you possess critical thinking skills, you may exhibit the following traits:
Asking the right questions
Identifying business strengths and weaknesses
Being aware of crucial details
Recognizing problems and providing helpful solutions
Thinking outside traditional parameters
Organizations find that when they hire employees with strong critical thinking skills, they are identified as assets.
By hiring employees they trust, employers can focus on other areas of the business. Integrity includes traits like accountability and honesty. Integrity also means being honest about your capabilities and preferences. For example, with high levels of integrity, your coworkers can come to trust you to be honest with your ability to complete a project.
Transparency in the workplace is important because it shapes a company’s culture and success. When your team members know what to expect from you, you can more easily develop team strategies that lead to success within your department. This can ultimately lead to your company’s success as a whole.
If you’ve developed your integrity as an employee, you might display the following traits:
You are honest about your work progress.
You are ethical in all business practices.
You are aware of core values and demonstrate them regularly.
You make all decisions based on integrity and honesty.
Integrity is one of the most important characteristics of a good team member because honesty creates an environment of open communication. When employers and employees feel free to share their concerns, questions and feedback, everyone in the organization can benefit.
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