Running Your Business

The Top 6 Qualities of a Good Employee


  • Identifying high-quality employees improves workplace productivity

  • Rewarding top-notch employees increases work morale and job satisfaction

  • Have the best employees train others in the company in order to transfer desirable skill sets

Posted by July 27, 2018

Identifying the various qualities of a good employee can be challenging, but knowing what characteristics to look for helps forecast employees’ success in the workplace. Once your company has established a pool of top-notch team members, it’s important to recognize those people, as this can boost job satisfaction and decrease turnover.

What Are the Qualities of a Good Employee?

The following six high-quality characteristics of successful employees are important to keep in mind during the hiring and training processes.

1. Leadership Skills

Employees who display leadership qualities are generally the ones your organization will want to hire and keep long-term. Leaders have potential to move up the corporate ladder, fill future management positions, lead teams, train new team members and boost workplace productivity.

2. Organizational Skills

Even if employees aren’t natural-born leaders, organized workers benefit your company’s bottom line. Organization means better workplace efficiency, and it can boost your company’s reputation among customers and competitors.

3. Excellent Written and Verbal Communication

Communication skills are a key component of every successful employee. Solid writing skills and a dynamic speaking ability (using eye contact) are all qualities to look for during the hiring process. Whether you’re filling a sales role, management position, customer service role or creative position, good written and verbal communication skills can make—or break—the face of your company’s brand.

4. Intelligence

Intelligence, especially emotional intelligence, is a strong predictor of job performance. Candidates who are sharp and able to connect with others both socially and emotionally can improve your company’s reputation.

Intelligent employees will keep your organization on the cutting edge by introducing new technologies, using high-quality marketing skills and maintaining strong customer relationships. Administer an IQ or personality test to identify the best job candidates, and weed out the others.

5. Active Listening Skills

Finding employees who actively listen means they’ll catch on quickly, follow tasks properly and get the job done efficiently. These employees are typically adept at developing (and maintaining) good relationships and building trust with clients. They also tend to excel in sales, management, customer service and other client-centered roles. Seeking out individuals who actively listen could eventually boost your company’s bottom line.

6. Honesty, Ambition and a Strong Work Ethic

Hardworking, honest employees with ambition can keep your company’s morale high. Employees possessing these traits are marketable, can be trusted with increased autonomy and are the ones you want to stick around. Honest, ambitious employees can sometimes be hard to find—so once you have a high-quality candidate pool, find ways to keep them engaged and satisfied.

Identifying Top Employees

There are several ways to identify individuals who possess desirable skill sets. Pre-employment screening tools—such as drug tests, background checks, personality quizzes and IQ-related tests—can help. Additionally, a face-to-face interview serves to identify candidates with top-notch interpersonal communication skills.

High-Quality Employee Recognition

Once you’ve identified your best employees, be sure to recognize these people and reward them for a job well done. Acknowledge accomplishments with shout-outs, awards, bonuses, paid time off or other perks (such as half-day Fridays or options to work from home). Promotions and pay raises are also good ways to recognize top employees.

Transferring Desired Skill Sets to Others

Honest employees with the desired characteristics of good leadership, organization and communication skills can be trusted to pass on these traits to employees who underperform. Have top employees train new (or subpar) employees and allow underperformers to shadow the best workers in order to help transfer desired skill sets.

Once all—or most—of the workforce possesses desirable characteristics, your company can reap numerous benefits. Whether it’s better workplace productivity, an increase in revenue, improved morale or enhanced customer satisfaction, the perks of finding the right employees are endless. Once you have a top-notch team in place, remember to ask them for referrals so you’ll have a list of candidates when you’re ready to hire additional personnel.

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