Characteristics of a good employee

If you’re looking for a job, do you know what characteristics employers are looking for as they evaluate talent? And if you’re the one hiring, do you have a specific set of attributes that you check off to ensure your hire will result in a good employee?

Either way, this blog of “30 characteristics of a good employee” from includes a list that is useful for those hiring and seeking.

Here are the Top-10 items:

Passion: This carries a lot of weight. Passionate people have a certain vibe about them. They don’t just do a job; they enthusiastically tackle projects. They love what they do and for whom they work.

Marketability: Employees aren’t just people who work for a business. They are an example of the business — for good and/or bad. It’s important to have people and be the type of person who will represent the company with professionalism and positivity.

Hard Working: Hard workers — even better smart hard workers — are invaluable. They get things done. They don’t need to be continually supervised to get things done, which allows management to be more productive, too. As the saying goes, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”

Modesty: Humility is so important in a workplace. Being humble, of course, doesn’t make one unconfident. It simply means they are teachable and are willing to put the team first. They let their work speak for them, not their words.

Confidence: While it’s great to have employees who get their confidence intrinsically, this can also be gained by giving employees the proper training and support they need to accomplish various tasks. They need to know they’re valued while feeling valuable.

DetailOriented: The devil isn’t the only thing in the details. Good employees pay attention to the fine print and know how to read between sentences to ensure that projects are successful. That doesn’t mean mistakes won’t be made, but being careful to focus on the small and big things pays huge dividends.

Honesty: There’s a good reason why “trustworthy” is the first point of the Boy Scout’s 12 laws. You need to be able to trust your employee and vice-versa to operate from a place of integrity.

Successful History: This doesn’t necessarily mean the employee has to have success in a similar position as the one you’re filling. Employees who’ve reached success in their personal and professional life are more likely to continue that at their new place of employment. It breeds confidence.

Optimism: We know Winnie the Pooh loves Eeyore, and kudos to him. But you might not want to hire him (or act like him, to be honest). Pessimism can bring down an office. Look to fill the office with optimistic people who find ways to work through problems instead of giving up, sulking or making excuses when challenges arise.

Cautious: Rewards can indeed come from taking risks, but the best employees and managers know that they need to be prepared and patient. Not every risk is worth taking. As the blog notes, “Employees that know how to exercise caution and make careful decisions are much better than happy-go-lucky workers that will pull the trigger on any opportunity they get.”

What other characteristics do you believe belong on this list? If you’d like help defining a good employee or becoming a better employee, please reach out to us.