8 Surprising Characteristics of a Good Employee

What should you look for when hiring new employees?

Hiring an employee can be expensive. In fact, according to a survey by SHRM companies spend over $4,000 per hire. When you learn more about the characteristics of a good employee, you will reap the benefits of a more engaged worker and enjoy employee retention. The best path to lower turnover is to stop hiring over and over again for the same job!

What are the characteristics of a good employee? Keep reading these 8 employee characteristics that you should look for when hiring!

1. Self-Awareness

One of the best employee characteristics that you should look for in new recruits is self-awareness. Sadly it is rarely selected by hiring managers as an essential skill. While this may not seem like something that is important, it is essential for learning and growth. 

When you are self-aware, you clearly understand your strengths but recognize your vulnerabilities and weaknesses as well. You need a healthy dose of self-awareness when you seek and receive feedback. Rather than getting offended, self-awareness allows you to recognize your faults and work to improve them. 

Self-aware employees often ask for feedback and are willing to implement changes! Make sure you hire people that are able to self-reflect and know their role as a member of your team. Self-awareness is one of the best qualities of a good employee.

2. Grit

3. Resilience

A lot of attention has been focused recently on grit and resilience for good reason. The year 2020 wasn’t an anomaly but many experts predict it was a sneak peek into how life will be. That means all of us will face new challenges and setbacks. Perseverance and bouncing back quickly will be required skills that are applied frequently. 

Of course, grit and resilience are two distinct abilities and characteristics. But they are so inextricably related, they should be considered inseparable. It’s just unrealistic to expect that you won’t be derailed and meet unprecedented challenges no matter how clear your goals are. Keeping your eye on the prize is one thing but moving forward requires recovering quickly when you’re knocked down or set back.

4. Eager to Learn

An eagerness to learn is one of the best employee skills that you should look for when you hire an employee. First, nothing stays the same anymore, even our routines. A willingness to learn helps employees keep up. Rather than waiting for a supervisor or coworker to tell workers what to do, employees excited to learn will ask questions first.

This also makes it easier to train an employee. By finding people who are willing to learn on their own, you will not have to spend as much time teaching them new skills and how to do their job. 

Determine your change power.

We live in unprecedented times, and our challenge is to build businesses that will thrive in a world of unpredictable and accelerating change. So what can you do to boost your team’s change power?

5. Willing to Communicate Professionally

Communication skills are important for anyone to develop, no matter their role in a company! As was mentioned before, employees should be able to take constructive criticism without getting offended. 

Learning how to properly and communicate professionally with coworkers, supervisors, and customers is another essential skill. This includes communication over the phone, via email and on social media. Of course, it is also important to communicate face-to-face and virtually through Zoom or other video conferencing.

6. Have Sustainable Work Habits

Having employees that create sustainable work habits is vital if you want employees to stay with your business longer. In addition to the catastrophic physical and emotional toll COVID-19 took on people, many workers realized that the way they were working was not sustainable. And now with economic recovery accelerating, many employees are seeking a lifestyle where work habits are more sustainable. 

Instead of pushing employees toward burnout, hire employees that have healthy work habits. This includes taking breaks throughout the day and not working more than 8 hours each day. When more than 8 hours are required, make sure the employee has personal and work habits that mitigate built-up job stress.

Many jobs require employees to be on-call, to work weekends, or to check-in after-hours. While not ideal, it is then even more important that those employees have good work habits to avoid burnout. 

7. They Know How To Fail

When companies recruit, they are often looking for the perfect candidate that checks every single box. But that’s not realistic. No employee is going to be perfect all the time. In fact, everyone will make mistakes in their job at one point or another. 

The key then to finding a great employee is to find someone that knows how to fail. While this may seem contradictory, failing is what helps people learn and grow! While some types of failure have the potential to stop some people from progressing, others learn how to fail upward. This means that your employees look at failure as a reason to improve, rather than to quit. Carol Dweck calls this a growth mindset. While failing can temporarily set you back, having coworkers that know how to fail correctly will greatly improve your company. 

8. Ready to Change

Change is nothing new. But living in a VUCA world is. Learning to be comfortable with perpetual uncertainty is a must these days.  Unprecedented change requires adaptability but it seems only 1 in 4 employees currently have what some call “change power.” Fortunately, new research has identified 5 abilities that drive one’s adaptability. I mentioned grit and resilience earlier. To be ready for change, you must include mental flexibility, mindset, and unlearning. 

Change in the workplace can be difficult. It is easy to get stuck in a never-ending loop as you do the same things each day. The company environment also plays an influencing role. Even when an employee displays grit, resilience, and mentally flexible, it’s important the employee feels free to innovate and grow, that he or she has the resources and support of his team.

Many managers find it intimidating and frustrating to hire an employee who is always trying to improve, change, and evolve. However, you will find that hiring employees with this readiness to change characteristic is a wise investment for the future of your company. 

Get Help Identifying Characteristics of a Good Employee

When you are hiring employees for any job, you want to make sure you are getting the best of the best. By identifying these characteristics of a good employee in your job candidates, you are sure to have great employees that you can rely on. Do you want to help identifying the characteristics of a good employee? 

Success Performance Solutions is just a few clicks or a phone call away.  Let us help you identify good candidates for your next job through employment testing. Contact our team today to learn more about our services and to get started with employee testing! 

Determine your change power.

We live in unprecedented times, and our challenge is to build businesses that will thrive in a world of unpredictable and accelerating change. So what can you do to boost your team’s change power?