Best Qualities Of A Good Employee

Being a great employee is more than reading the onboarding materials and showing up on time. These days, if you want the benefits of job security, insurance, and other perks, you’ve got to go beyond the bare minimum. As any entrepreneur will attest, great employees may be the most important asset in the entire business. Here are the best qualities that companies expect from their employees, according to business leaders who have seen it all.

Working Hard And Smart

It’s not a choice between working hard or working smart – both are necessary to succeed in business. How do great employees strike this key balance?

“It’s not necessarily about having money or connections. Those things help, but not as much as you think. It’s really the willingness to outlearn and outwork the people around you.” – Mark Cuban, American Investor

“We hear so much about ‘the grind’ and ‘the hustle’ being all-important, but for employees this is misleading. Employees thrive in systems: automation, delegation, and outsourcing. Don’t hustle or grind yourself into oblivion – be smart.” – James Sun, Founder of Beautytap

“An efficient employee is invaluable – that’s putting it mildly. If you can get things done quickly and reliably, that’s 90% of the battle. Everything else details.” – Ashwin Sokke, Co-Founder of WOW Skin Science

“The hardest working employees aren’t always the best ones, which is a paradox. I’m always more interested in employees that can create smart workflows and get things done in shorter time frames without compromising quality. It’s a tall order, but it’s achievable.” – Lori Price, Co-Founder of PixieLane

“I always say I like to hire people who are smarter than I am. The best team members are people a leader can easily trust to run the show if they have to step away for a couple of hours — or even a few days. I’ve always valued scrappy individuals who can dig into the details just as easily as they can think about the big picture. The best team members improvise and innovate and aren’t afraid of throwing something at the wall and seeing if it sticks. ” – Marc Atiyeh, CEO of Pawp

Right Skills For The Job

Employees build, organise, solve problems, and much more. What are the skills that matter most in today’s business world?

“An employee’s value is largely skill-based, so if you’re searching for a job, focus on skills above all else. That could mean taking online courses, getting certified for things, or just building up your portfolio. There’s always something you can do to level up.” – Aidan Cole, CEO of Nailboo

“You’ve obviously got the ‘hard’ skills that are technical or quantitative. That’s the foundation, but it’s not sufficient to really be an outstanding employee. Work on the ‘soft’ skills as well, including communication and interpersonal connection. Those are universal and will benefit you greatly in your journey.” – Jeff Meeks, VP of Sales and Marketing at EnergyFit

“It’s kind of an unspoken truth in business, but employees don’t always need to have outstanding leadership skills or creative abilities. What they need most is the relevant skills for the job, a good attitude, and a strong work ethic. That’s pretty much it.” – Max Greenberg, Co-Founder and CEO of Stoggles

Culture And Communication

Teamwork goes beyond basic communication and coordination. Here are the traits needed to be an exceptional team member in the modern workplace.

“An employee shouldn’t be expected to just blend in with the culture – they should be actively creating and improving the culture as well. This means being social and accommodating while also keeping standards high for work and production.” – Lucas Nudel, Founder and CEO of Pride Palace

“If you’re running a small business, employees should be there to support and assist you beyond what is mentioned in their job title. This takes a certain type of personality that is adaptable and open-minded. Before long, they behave more as partners and advisors instead of employees, and you have a really strong core team to work with.” – Jim Beard, COO of BoxGenie

“Remember that teamwork starts with a culture of trust. The only way to create that culture is to get rid of our need for invulnerability.” – Patrick Lencioni, Co-Founder of The Table Group

Looking To The Next Level

Ambition is admired in everyone, even entry-level employees, and middle management. Employees should have a game plan for the future and aspire to excel.

“The best employees I know are eternal students, always willing and eager to learn new things in their industry and beyond. Just because you’re on payroll, that doesn’t mean you can sit still or stagnate. Keep pushing yourself to learn and grow, and you’ll never be without work in this world.” – Kelli Lane, CMO of Genexa

“I’m always asking employees about next steps, what they aspire to, and how they aim to achieve their goals. It’s just good company policy and it keeps people motivated. Employees shouldn’t shy away from being ambitious, that’s for sure.” – James Ville, Chief Product Officer, GunSkins

“When someone shows interest in learning more and building their skills, that’s music to my ears as an employer. I don’t want a workforce satisfied with the same old. Forward-thinking employees ensure standards are enforced and the momentum keeps going.” – Raul Porto, Owner and President of Porto’s Bakery

“Not every employee needs to have tremendous aspirations or desire to be CEO. However, they should have some sense of internal motivation that drives them to improve and grow their influence within the company. That’s always a good sign, in my opinion.” – Michael Jankie of Natural Patch

Are you an employee looking to climb the ranks? A business owner in search of your next great hire. No matter where you’re at, these pro tips will put you on the fast track to success.

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