Have you ever asked yourself if you are a great employee? Have you ever taken a serious objective look at yourself—pride aside—and thought about your true value to the company? Every employer has a list of great employees. It may not be written down, but it exists. Are you on this list? To get on this list, you need to know what makes a great employee. For those who are not on the list, think they are on the list (but may not be), and those who want to stay on the list, here are a number of characteristics that make a great employee.
Six Traits of the Great Employee
A Great Employee Is Character-Driven
Character is one of those things that is hard to define but easy to identify. For the task at hand, character is the the virtue of knowing right from wrong. You know a character-driven employee because they are the company’s truth tellers. They say what they mean and mean what they say. They are polite but seldom couch the truth in convoluted language.
Character has become something so desired, that you may often hear someone say, find me a competent, honest person and we can train her to do the work.
A Great Employee Is Multi-Skilled
Or she is an employee who looks to expand her set of proficiencies. Why would employers hire someone adept at one task when there are competitors out there that offer skill at the “one task” and a range of others?
If you are adept at one skill, quickly look to enhance skills in other areas. This can be the difference between a good employees and one that is on this list of great employees.
A Great Employee Learns What His Manager Needs
A great goal for all employees is to make their boss’s life easier. This is near impossible to do if you cannot determine what the boss wants from an employee.
Figure out what your boss wants by reading between the lines in all discourse you have with her. You can determine many of her preferences when she provides constructive criticisms (and never repeat the action that spurred the constructive criticism).
As a simple example, how does your boss prefer to receive updates and how detailed are these updates to be? She may prefer a highly-detailed email specifically formatted a certain way. Once you determine this, make certain all updates in the future follow this format.
A Great Employee Is Not Overly Needy
There is not a manager or boss around that wants to answer questions all day long about your needs. You are there to help with her needs. If you need help with software, locations for files, or the phone number for the conference call definitely find a co-worker who can help.
Not many things can have a boss question a hiring decision more than an employee who needs incessant hand holding.
A Great Employee Focuses on Impacting the Company
When putting together a list of today’s or tomorrow’s to-dos, a great employee determines which to-dos have the greatest chance of positively effecting the company. They think to themselves, which task would the CEO say I should concentrate on first?
A Great Employee Strives for Excellence, not Perfection
No employee can be perfect. There is always room for improvement. A great employee knows to reach for excellence, so that she can be proud of her work.
So Are You a Great Employee?
This list is far from comprehensive, however it presents some characteristics that managers use to determine who is on the list of great employees. This listing also helps those who may be seeking a raise or promotion. How many of the above can you point to? How many can you bring up in a meeting with your superiors to justify an increase in pay or position?
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