14 Qualities that good employees possess

qualities of good employees


When it comes to hiring it is important to get it right.  This is especially true for small businesses.  This is not only because of the significant financial implications of a bad hire, but also because, as Jeff Haden points out,

“When employee No. 300 turns out to be a disaster, the impact on the business is relatively small and often confined to a small group of staff.  When employee No. 3 turns out to be a disaster, everyone—and everything—suffers.”

When considering candidate for a position intelligent companies don’t focus on where the individual went to school, what degree was obtained, or the companies for which the individual has worked.  Rather, intelligent companies focus on qualities; good employees tend to possess distinct qualities.

Here are 14 qualities that good employees possess:


Good employees think outside the box and introduce new ideas and new methods for accomplishing a task or achieving goals.


Determined employees don’t see challenges or constraints as roadblocks.  Rather they are unwavering in their resolve to accomplish the task, achieve the goal, or further their career.


Individuals who have a positive attitude and come to work with an optimistic outlook and tend to be more productive than negative or pessimistic  individuals.  Moreover, a positive attitude tends to be contagious; therefore, creating a more positive (and productive) workplace.


A confident individual is one who is willing to take on tasks that others avoid out of fear of failure or fear of a challenge.  A confident individual is also someone who is not afraid to speak up and introduce new ideas, or question the status quo.


As Benjamin Franklin said: “Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don’t have brains enough to be honest.”


While it is important to be able to see the big picture, being detail-oriented is critical.


When someone is smart they are willing and able to learn, to evolve, and to tackle challenges without needing to be coached or coddled.


An individual with a desire enhance their career is someone who will bring valuable contributions to your company.

Hard working

There is no substitute for hard work.  As Vince Lombardi put it: “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”

Cultural fit 

It is critical that the individual be a good match for the culture of the company.  If there is no cultural fit it is not only likely that there will be friction, it is also likely that the person won’t stay with the company very long.


A good employee is one who is able to work on their own without hand-holding.


An individual who is considerate, humble, and recognizes the contributions and work of others is someone you want to have join your company and your team.


A person who has proven that they are accountable to themselves and to others is someone you want to hire.


When an individual is proactive they are more likely to approach their job with energy, and they are more likely to address and tackle challenges before challenges become problems.

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