Traits Of Successful Employees

Robin Schwartz

Robin Schwartz

Professional Human Resources (PHR) Certified

Our workplaces are often competitive. There are only so many projects to be assigned, promotions to be given and raises to be provided. Assuming you have the skills to do the job, how can you best stand out within your organization?

Determining the success of an employee goes beyond asking whether they can do the job. Companies want employees that will thrive and grow. In order to be among your organization’s top talent, be sure to practice the traits of a successful employee.

They Take Accountability

Mistakes happen. For many employers, it’s not why the mistake was made but how you intend to correct it. Employees who refuse to take responsibility for issues in their work will also hesitate to be held accountable for anything. If it’s always someone else’s problem, issue or error, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

Employees are human and humans aren’t perfect. A successful employee will hold himself accountable to deadlines, due dates and to the promises he’s made. That same employee will seek out the advice of others to ensure the work is done. If there are issues, an accountable employee holds open discussions with management to make sure problems can be fixed.

Make sure your boss can trust you to do what you say you’ll do and it will be noticed.

They Are Dependable

From the moment you enter the workforce, being a dependable employee should be a priority. Showing up on time, being where you say you’ll be, not calling out sick regularly and getting your work done in a timely manner can go a long way to further your career.

Companies are willing to help grow the skills of a less experienced employee if s/he can prove they’re worthy of the investment. If you’re a constant source of frustration for your boss because you’re not viewed as dependable, then your career will suffer greatly for it.

They Are Flexible

As much as most workers would prefer to work their 9-5 schedule and go home, being a successful employee often means having a willingness to be flexible. Even with our best laid plans, it’s not uncommon to occasionally come across a project that requires extra personnel hours or an altered schedule.

While no one should be expected to constantly have to deviate their work schedule, being willing to tackle tasks that require added flexibility is a trait employers appreciate.

Flexibility may also be practiced by being willing to rearrange priorities or tasks. If you practice strong organizational methods, you’ll be able to adjust your workload and provide the flexibility management needs. You’ll be a key employee they’ll return to again and again when the need arises.

They Have Strong Communication Skills

Whether written or verbal, superior communication skills are a necessity in order to be successful in the workplace. A successful employee will be able to communicate with various levels of management, co-workers and clients. Being too direct or too timid in situations may be viewed negatively. Learning to read the situation and having the ability to adapt your communication style will greatly benefit you.

Being able to express yourself accurately through your verbal and written communication can also prevent problems. Employees who aren’t able to articulate their thoughts and opinions can often be misunderstood. Misunderstandings can lead to workplace issues.

They Take Initiative

Employees that have that "can do" attitude and use the resources at their disposal to make things happen are invaluable to companies. Employees who can be self-directed and take the opportunity to anticipate issues and develop solutions are showing that they are dedicated to being successful in their role.

It’s important to be able to work autonomously and not have to wait for direction from supervisors. If your workload is low, talk to other co-workers about what you might be able to assist them with. This not only shows you’re a team player but also someone who can be trusted should they have extra time on their hands.

They Have A Positive Attitude

Employees that maintain positive attitudes tend to be more well-liked by their co-workers and by management. Things can, and do, go wrong at work. Maintaining a positive attitude allows supervisors and co-workers to feel comfortable approaching you if there are any problems or issues to address. Being willing to develop solutions and work to solve issues (without loudly complaining) will be appreciated.

Approaching your job or a work problem with negativity and contempt will only translate into other areas of your work and workplace relationships. People don’t want to be around someone who is chronically pessimistic and managers don’t see the value in these people as much as those who approach work with a positive attitude.

Ultimately, you want to set yourself apart from the rest as an employee your company values and respects. By turning these traits into professional habits, you’re making yourself into a stronger employee with a higher chance of success.

About The Author

Robin Schwartz
LinkedIn

Robin Schwartz

Robin Schwartz is a PHR certified HR professional with a broad range of expertise including recruitment, performance management, employee relations and talent management. She leverages her years of experience in HR to bring functional change to organizational leadership and direction to management structures and employees. Robin aims to empower the employees and managers she works with by providing coaching and counseling services.

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