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10 Excellent Qualities That Make an Outstanding Employee

Updated on April 25, 2016
Work ethic is a strong trait, above all, that is admired by any managerial staff as well as other hard working co-employees.
Work ethic is a strong trait, above all, that is admired by any managerial staff as well as other hard working co-employees.
A good bee is a busy bee!  How many of us grew up hearing that lesson?
A good bee is a busy bee! How many of us grew up hearing that lesson?
A positive attitude can stretch from your personal life into your working life and vice versa.  It is overall better for your health to maintain a positive appeal.
A positive attitude can stretch from your personal life into your working life and vice versa. It is overall better for your health to maintain a positive appeal.

1. Work Ethic

A valuable characteristic an employee can possess in any working environment is a good strong work ethic. If you're wondering what defines work ethic, one such qualifier is making sure you're where you need to be on time and for the duration of the time of which you're being compensated. Other qualifiers are discussed below.

Most of us who work hard value this trait and are sometimes affected by co-employees who have a differing view of their role with a company. Attitudes might develop towards the employee who doesn't value work ethic. This creates hard feelings especially when a lack of work ethic isn't noticed or addressed.

We have to remember that we have to tune out matters which are not relevant to what our own personal job performance is based on. If someone else's lack of work ethic becomes an annoyance that begins to affect the quality of your performance, then the subject should be taken up with the appropriate individual at your place of employment.

2. Integrity

I can't think of an employer who won't place value on an honest employee especially if you're working with a lot of material that is strictly confidential. Plus, you want to be trusted and trust is very important in any relationship, working or otherwise. Integrity will begin by not providing false information on your application.

3. Positive Attitude

There is nothing like coming into the office on a Monday morning and hearing a bunch of crabby people telling you how awful their weekend was, and how already they can't wait until it's Friday. Talk about wishing your life away--if any job is that bad, try to find another one. This negativity makes you want to climb back on the elevator, doesn't it?

A very effective influence in the working environment is a consistent positive attitude. You know you have to learn to work with different personalities, so treat them all the same. Avoid the person you will never be able to influence to smile and stop asking the negative employee how he or she is doing because you will hear about it for possibly 30 minutes of your working schedule. Your positive attitude will be reflected on your evaluation. You weren't hired to complain. If you have a concern, there is an appropriate way to express it as well as the right go-to person.

Are you dependable and reliable?  Are you trustworthy?  If you are all of these things, they will not go unnoticed by others and be inclusive of details on your evaluation.
Are you dependable and reliable? Are you trustworthy? If you are all of these things, they will not go unnoticed by others and be inclusive of details on your evaluation.

4. Self-Motivation

If you have 10 piles of work on your desk, map out a plan to get that work accomplished and moved off your desk. Don't wait for someone to come tell you what to do. If you have a question, ask someone to help you find the answer or go to the appropriate person in your office for suggestions or guidance. Do not just sit at your desk drinking coffee while you send out text messages. You're paid to work. Be a go-getter, be proactive. If you want a good review and a good working reputation, ask yourself what you can be doing to make your company or your supervisor look better because that's another factor that will lend itself towards positive feedback in your direction.

Employers value individuals who possess the ability to be very organized.
Employers value individuals who possess the ability to be very organized.

5. Strong Systematic and Organizational Abilities

Let's say you have an office in a long hallway, or a cubicle, if you want to attract attention, then keep piling debris on your desk. If you want positive attention, do something with the debris because the message you send out is that you're just not that organized. Employers like to know their employees are organized and have generated some type of system to make their job run smoothly. If you generate a system to organize materials required to perform your job responsibilities, then you will actually be able to find things when you need them quickly!

We were all given ears for a reason.  We need to use them more especially in the working environment.  Listening is cousin to being detail oriented.
We were all given ears for a reason. We need to use them more especially in the working environment. Listening is cousin to being detail oriented.

6. Good Listener

Whether you're starting a new job or you've been at one for a long time, practice and practice being a good listener. Be a good observer too. When you're given instructions for a new project, if you're not paying attention, which essentially means listening to details, then you're setting yourself up to make a mistake. It's also embarrassing to go back with questions when the answers were probably presented already, but you didn't LISTEN. Take pride in being a good listener because that is a huge problem with the vast majority of people. Listening is also a part of reading material provided to you or reading an e-mail--reading can be included with listening if it relates to an important communication.

Team Player

Do you remember when the phrase, "Be a Team Player," first came about? It became so popular, that it was commonly used on résumés. It is important, though, because a team is more productive working together to accomplish an expectation. We teach our children to get along with others, that is the first approach in raising awareness of the value of working together to reach a common goal.

If you are the kind of employee who gets along with no one, be assured you will have problems in the working environment.

7. Detail Oriented

Who wants to hire an employee who will never listen to details? I work in a law firm and I can assure you details are extremely important. If you're a perfectionist like I am, then you're going to want to know ahead of time what details you need to be aware of that will make your job easier the next day or the next week for that matter. This is an ongoing behavior. It's also another qualifier for your evaluation. For example, if it is part of your job to make coffee everyday and you forgot to order coffee for the following week, this is a reminder to better manage details involved with that coffee ordering skill!

Learn how to generate ideas that can lead to exceeding your employer's expectations.
Learn how to generate ideas that can lead to exceeding your employer's expectations.

8. Meeting Expectations

When you start a new role with a company, make sure you sit down with your supervisor to discuss what will be expected of you on a routinely basis. Ask questions also. You want to be able to cover all bases mostly so you know what it is that you are expected to accomplish. As you meet those expectations, you might also come up with ideas that make your job easier. Discover ideas that are more productive and suggest them to your employer. If you see a co-worker struggling to meet a deadline and you have yours completed, use some of that team player attribute to help that person meet an expectation.

9. Adapts to Change

Imagine the person that went from and IBM Selectric Typewriter and then all of a sudden, that person saw a reflection in a computer monitor. Frightening, but as it turned out, the change was good and the employee adapted. Every year, most likely something whether small or large is going to occur within your employment and if it is relevant to your role, then it will be necessary for you to adapt to changes. Some of these changes might help you perform your job more efficiently. Some of these changes are going to cause negative responses, but you're going to want to maintain your positive attitude. So many changes are good ones, so embrace them and learn to adapt to the ones you may not love. If it is an absolutely awful change and you simply cannot adapt to it, remember it is always better to look for another job while you still have one.

Learning how to express yourself effectively is nearly an art form and the language used in your expressions can influence your career and other working relationships.
Learning how to express yourself effectively is nearly an art form and the language used in your expressions can influence your career and other working relationships.

10. Experienced Communicator

Practice the kindergarten lesson of thinking about how you're going to communicate a thought or reaction before words leave your mouth. You want to leave your listener with the idea that you can articulate your thoughts or presentations well.

The influence of your style of communication begins with your job interview and into your job performance. You want to be able to set yourself up to provide meaningful responses, not damaging ones that can damage and alter your role in your job. An important element involved in being a strong communicator is being a good listener and observer.

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  • ytsenoh profile image
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    Cathy 3 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

    Eyes, thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such a thoughtful comment! Work ethic is definitely one of my pet peeves. Have a great weekend!

  • EyesStraightAhead profile image

    Shell Vera 3 years ago from Connecticut, USA

    I agree with all of these points! You did a lovely job explaining each quality and why it is important. I think work ethic is the number one thing these days because so many people are burnt out that they have become more slack about their performance and the new workforce coming in...well, it really depends how they were raised on whether you get a hard worker or someone who feels entitled to get a check just for showing up. Anyone who develops the qualities you have listed will do wonderfully within the working world!

  • ytsenoh profile image
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    Cathy 4 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

    Mary, thanks for your comment and glad the information is useful. Have a good week!

  • Mary Merriment profile image

    Mary Merriment 4 years ago from Boise area, Idaho

    Excellent information. I will share this with my daughter who is new to the workforce.

  • ytsenoh profile image
    Author

    Cathy 4 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

    Dr. Makama, very grateful for your visit, follow and comment.

  • ytsenoh profile image
    Author

    Cathy 4 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

    John and Christy, thanks much for your comments. Have a good weekend.

  • John Sarkis profile image

    John Sarkis 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

    this is an excellent hub ytsenoh. I'm in a customer

    service related field and do value these traits very much. ...hearing people out is a must in order to be a successful employee.

    Take care

    John

  • ChristyWrites profile image

    Christy Birmingham 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

    Great hub! You outline many of the qualities I think are important for employees, such as being on time and self-motivated. Keep up the great writing! I am sharing today.

  • ytsenoh profile image
    Author

    Cathy 4 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

    Express10, thanks very much for your comment. Have a great weekend!

  • Express10 profile image

    H C Palting 4 years ago from East Coast

    This is a hub that describes what is most valuable. Good to see that you have a good idea of what it takes to bee a good employee, perhaps you should notify some of the lackluster employers out there :) Voted up and useful.

  • ytsenoh profile image
    Author

    Cathy 5 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

    Thanks so much, Johnny. Thanks for the giving comment! Have a good week ahead.

  • Johnnyd44 profile image

    Johnnyd44 5 years ago from Florida

    ytsenho,

    I love it! I love it that you included integrity and good listening, so overlooked in today's culture and so frustrating for business leaders trying to hire talent, but would like to have the whole package as well.

    Thanks for providing. I look forward to reading more of your work.

    All the best,

    Johnny

  • ytsenoh profile image
    Author

    Cathy 5 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

    Thank you for your comment!

  • brandasaur profile image

    brandasaur 5 years ago from Planet X

    Im a freelance graphic designer, i only work at home. Its kind of hard to work virtually. Thanks for this hub, i will really try to apply these in real life!

  • ytsenoh profile image
    Author

    Cathy 5 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

    Conservative Lady, thanks for the read. I know your job is hard. Welcome to the Hubs also!

  • Conservative Lady profile image

    Sheila 5 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

    Very informative and interesting Hub! I supervise several employees and I wish they would realize how important these points are in the work environment. Thank you for the great read.

  • ytsenoh profile image
    Author

    Cathy 5 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

    Rebecca, I thank you kindly for your comment. Hope you're having a pleasant weekend.

  • rebeccamealey profile image

    Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

    You covered a lot of work ethics and provided a lot of information. Good job. Thanks for the pointers.

  • ytsenoh profile image
    Author

    Cathy 5 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

    Adrienne2, thanks for your thoughtful and kind comments. I agree too! There are several attributes that shoot right to the top of the list. Thank you.

  • adrienne2 profile image

    Adrienne F Manson 5 years ago from Atlanta

    Ytsenoh, You really covered some very good points. The topics you covered in what makes an excellent employee really covers all areas of what makes a great employee. Great workers are hard to find. Great hub, have voted up and awesome.

  • ytsenoh profile image
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    Cathy 5 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

    Thanks Brittany! I thought you asked an excellent question! Thanks for your read and comment and importantly great question to respond to based on my own personal and professional experiences.

  • brittanytodd profile image

    Brittany Kennedy 5 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

    This is an excellent hub! It is just what I was hoping someone would write when I asked the question. Great work as always, ytsenoh. Thank you for taking the time. Voted up, useful, shared, etc.

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