Becoming A Great Employee – The 10 Top Traits

Everyone in the workplace agrees that truly great employees are rarer than the proverbial hens teeth. It makes no difference if you are an employee yourself, or if you are a manager who is wondering how to actually find a great employee to fill a role, you know that great employees are at a premium.

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

  1. Dependability: Great employees are always dependable. They do the job they are supposed to do every time, and no one has to worry that they don’t deliver the goods. A great employee can be counted to always have their work done right, when it is supposed to be done – it is a forgone conclusion that they will, and no one else has to spend any time worrying about it.
  2. Team Spirit: Great employees are team players. They don’t constantly seek out attention or hogs the limelight. Rather, a great employee works with others to make sure that the things that need to get done do get done, for the good of the company.
  3. Taking Direction: Great employees know how to take direction. They know how to take criticism, direction and advice gracefully and make it work for them when doing their job.
  4. Trust: Great employees don’t spread office gossip and they don’t dish company dirt. Likewise, they always tell the truth to their employer, even if it lands them in hot water.
  5. Confidentiality: This of course is strongly linked to number 4. Great employees always guard the confidential nature of their business dealings and protects everyone’s privacy.
  6. Participation: Great Employees participate in the day to day life of the office. They don’t bow out of meetings or skip the office birthday celebrations. These things may not be a fun part of working life, and everyone involved knows that everyone else has some place they would rather be – but a great employee wouldn’t be any place else.
  7. Likeability: Great employee get along with other employees. Every office has one person that is in everyone else’s business and talks to loud on the phone and generally stirs things up and gets under everyone’s skin. This kind of employee zaps office morale – a great employee is a good co-worker to everyone.
  8. Competence: Great employees have good working skills. It may sound obvious, but a great employee has the abilities needed to do their job, and they constantly seek ways to improve, like going to training seminars or seeking further education. Great workers have great skills.
  9. Tact: Great employees have tact and decorum. If there is a problem in the office, a great employee doesn’t make a scene in front of everyone else. A great employee will deal with such issues with privacy and diplomacy. Further, a great employee doesn’t tell tasteless, political or religious jokes, nor do they send emails that tell these kinds of jokes.
  10. Attitude: Last but certainly 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 about their job.

That’s a lot of good traits to try and acquire! Don’t be dispirited if you fail to match up on a number (but hopefully not all!) of them. Just work on them one at a time and you’ll find your career progressing faster than you would have ever believed possible.

How Has Interviewing Changed Over The Years

This question is asked frequently at interviewing seminars I conduct. Job candidates want to know how interviewing has changed since the last time they interviewed some 20 years ago?

Successful interviewing hasn’t changed much over the past two decades. You still need to present your achievements while matching them to the job’s specifications. And you still need to answer those killer questions we’ve been discussing all week; tough interview questions waiting to play “gotcha.”

However, the way employers hire has changed. All you had to do 20 years ago was provide information and match your achievements in previous jobs to the needs of an interviewer. But today’s interview is more than simply linking your skills to the job description.

You need to differentiate yourself from other job applicants. How? By focusing not only on what you’ve done, but how your accomplishments will add value to a company.

Hiring managers will see you as a valuable player when you can show the qualities of self-management and the ability to learn quickly. There are fewer layers of management in place at most companies, as employers downsize to increase profits by making due with less. So you must do your job with less supervision than you did a couple of decades ago.

You also need to show enthusiasm for previous work and especially for the job you’re being interviewed for. And effective interviewing today includes your ability to demonstrate how you were able to get things done, finish your work early, and pitch in to help colleagues. We’re talking about taking the initiative here.

And technology has had a huge impact on the way employers hire these days. Large, medium size, and small companies rely on technology to streamline operations and procedures. So companies want employees who are computer literate, eager to learn new skills, and able to adjust to the faster pace of business.

Every job has been affected by technology. Therefore, you must have or acquire at least a basic technical aptitude to compete in this job market. Older workers, especially, must show job interviewers how they’ve kept up with technology.

Other than your explaining the way in which you’re keeping in step with technology and how you will be able to add value to a company, you will find that interviewers’ hiring criteria remain the same.

To roll with the changes in the way manager’s hire, be able to give examples at job interviews of your efficiency in those three key areas we’ve been discussing

1. Your quick learning ability

2. Your self management skills,

3. Your technical proficiency.

Because job interviewers like candidates who are self assured, talk about the three key areas with lots of enthusiasm.

Efficient, Proficient, and Self – Sufficient – 3 Skills to Help You Survive an Employment Crisis

The headlines, newscasters, talk shows, friends, relatives, and even strangers are all talking about the problems with today’s economy.

Whether it’s the loss of a home or the slow dwindling of investment accounts, everyone is talking about the affects this economy is having on their lives.

In recent days, the hottest topic of discussion regarding our news breaking economy has been more about jobs – layoffs in particular.

The American unemployment rate has reached an all-time high of 8.1%, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. With so many people losing their jobs, it makes those who have one grateful that they can still pay their bills, keep food on their tables, and keep a roof over their heads.

The rapid increase of job layoffs and employment uncertainties has employees wondering what they can do to keep their jobs and avoid the unemployment lines; what they can do to make themselves stand out from the rest; and what they can do to make themselves indispensable.

Many experts have said that now is the time for employees to take stock of their skills, invest in improving their skills, and begin in earnest to fully use their skills in order to become indispensable.

With that in mind, to survive and thrive in this current employment environment, today’s employees must focus on developing the three significant characteristics of efficient, proficient, and self-sufficient to make themselves a more valuable asset, not only to their companies, but for their families and themselves, as well.

Let’s look at the first characteristic of efficiency. Efficient employees are those who are productive without waste. They are able to work smart by producing desired results without wasting their vital resources of time and energy.

When you operate as an efficient employee, you are able to put forth effort in your work day, whether you work 8, 9, or 12 hours, and get much done with few mistakes. Since you understand that mistakes can cost time and money plus hinder a positive working relationship with clients and customers, you, as an efficient employee, will focus on having a mastery of organizational and time management skills to boost your ability of consistently producing without waste.

The next characteristic today’s employees must develop is that of proficiency. A proficient employee is an employee that has great knowledge and experience in a trade or profession.

In today’s economic climate, not only are there more and more people losing their jobs, but there also seems to be more and more people doing a job that they don’t know much about doing.

Have you experienced interacting with someone regarding an aspect of their job that you thought they would know but they did not know much about it at all? Perhaps they transferred you to someone else, or maybe they flat out told you they did not know anything about what you were asking, or possibly they gave you some information only for you to find out later that the information was totally incorrect and did not help you with what you needed help fixing or resolving.

Employees who do not know their jobs well cannot do their jobs well. That is why it is important for you to learn every aspect of your job and learn it properly. The more you know, the further you will go. The success of your job will depend on the knowledge and skills you possess. Therefore, take classes, enroll in certification programs, study material on your own, and work with a mentor to help position yourself as a proficient employee.

The final characteristic today’s employees must develop is the characteristic of self-sufficiency. With all of the uncertainty that employees face regarding the stability of their jobs, the characteristic of self-sufficiency can serve them well.

Self-sufficient employees are able to maintain themselves without outside aid. Of course, in the workplace, teamwork, which requires you to receive assistance from others, is essential for establishing bonds amongst co-workers, successfully completing projects, and achieving company goals. However, operating as a self-sufficient employee will allow you to demonstrate an extreme confidence in your own ability and worth.

This means, you will operate as a self-starter who performs work that you are proud of. In addition, you will work with minimal instructions from the boss, doing what you know must be done, instead of waiting to be told what you must do. Furthermore, you will understand that you are not an island and you will know the resources that can help you to do a job well done and you will tap into them for assistance.

Valuing your efforts, utilizing your resources, remembering your goals, tapping into your talents, and using your skills will help you to operate as a self-sufficient employee in the workplace.

And, in the unfortunate event you should find yourself facing the unemployment line, your ability to provide for your own needs will help you to establish a career where you can rely on your own knack to produce a living and survive during this employment downturn.

With constant reminders that these are not easy economic times in which we live, focusing on positive aspects of employment may appear a discouraging task. Yet, if you work on strengthening the characteristics of efficient, proficient, and self-sufficient, you will position yourself to survive this – and any future – employment crisis.