7 Defining Characteristics of a Good Employee

7 Defining Characteristics of a Good Employee

Often, people think that the hiring process is only stressful for the employee trying to get a job. Although, that isn’t true at all, employers face a lot of stress too when hiring employees because they want to make sure they find someone that is a good fit. It can be challenging to determine the behavioural characteristics you want in an employee and seeking them out in the job market.

Fortunately, many employers have done the initial work for you by determining what qualities are universally appreciated in the workplace. Below are seven defining characteristics of a good employee:

Characteristic 1: Timeliness

As the old saying goes, time is money! The biggest expense a business will ever incur is usually the cost of employees. Employees that are often late waste the company’s money which could have been used elsewhere.

As you probably have experienced at some point before, when someone is late, it throws off your whole schedule. That’s why timeliness is such an important characteristic of a good employee. By being on time always, you’re showing your employer that you respect their time. If a candidate is late to an interview, you can probably conclude that they aren’t respectful of others time.

Characteristic 2: Reliability

Reliability is another important characteristic for a good employee to have. At work, your boss and coworkers will rely on you day in and day out to get your tasks completed. If you don’t complete the tasks you’re assigned in the given amount of time, your employer may question your commitment and level of seriousness to the job.

Usually, employers can tell if an employee will be reliable by assessing the application process. Did they respond to your emails and calls within a reasonable amount of time? Did they answer the questions that you asked in full? If not, it’s best to keep on looking!

Characteristic 3: Goal Setting and Achievement

Almost every job requires that you set goals and work towards achieving them. The whole process of setting goals and achieving them shows strong work ethic and productivity which is a quality that employers love to see.

In fact, statistics show that 73% of employers reported that they want to see employees with strong work ethics and the ability to set goals and achieve them. The reasoning may be that these employees typically get the most work done in a day compared to employees without strong goal setting and achieving skills. It can be challenging to assess someone’s work ethic in the interview stage, it’s best to use your gut and consider their explanations of past jobs.

Characteristic 4: Independence

Employers love to have employees that can do their job with little direction. Employees are easier to work with when they can motivate themselves and maintain a good level of independence. Not only does this make the employee themselves more productive, it helps motivate others in the office to up their productivity levels.

Independence is a really challenging skill to assess in a job interview. Although, do your best to evaluate their personality and determine if you think they could manage themselves easily.

Characteristic 5. Ability to Work with a Team

Virtually every job on the planet requires the ability to work on a team and collaborate. Of course, there is a spectrum, some jobs require more teamwork than others. It can be incredibly frustrating to work with someone who doesn’t want to compromise or help out others.

You can evaluate a candidate’s ability to work as a part of a team by assessing whether or not they meet you halfway. If they have a “my way or the highway” mentality, it might not be a good fit!

Characteristic 6. Positive Attitude

Most can agree that the people you work with make or break the job. For that reason, employers don’t want to hire people with negative attitudes. Everyone experiences mundane and dull days at work, people with a positive attitude really improve the work atmosphere. Nothing makes work duller than someone who’s negative and difficult to be around!

Fortunately, observing someone’s attitudes is very easy to do during a job interview. A positive attitude is a good characteristic for employees to have. They should be polite, positive, upbeat and simply happy for the work opportunity. Its best to ask yourself the question, “would I like to spend 8 hours a day with this person everyday?”

Characteristic 7. Communication

In our modern world, people are constantly getting bombarded by emails and phone calls. To cut down on these modes of communication, it’s important to be clear, concise and straight to the point. Without proper communication, it is challenging for people to get their jobs done and understand what is happening within the business.

Since most hiring is done via email and phone calls, you can easily assess a candidate’s ability to communicate. If you were confused by what they were saying, they definitely aren’t great for the job!


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