16 Top qualities of a good employee

Good employees are not really easy to spot, but they can be if you really understand their characteristics or qualities of one. 

Suppose you know what managers and companies are seeking in a good employee, and what exact qualities or characteristics they are marking. 

In other thought, if you are hiring, these characteristics or qualities can guide you in the right direction recruiting. 

In both cases,  these characteristics are essential to be explored and learned and might be used to optimize. 

Characteristics Of A Good Employee 


It doesn’t really matter where you come from or what experience you previously had; the managers expect their employees to be accountable. 

Accountability is one of the primary characteristics of a good employee as it is what instills trust and reliability in the leaders regarding the employee. 

It comes from taking ownership of your own responsibilities irrespective of outcomes. 

Whether you achieve something or mess up badly, running from taking ownership and credit for it is a big no-no for managers when they see it in their employees. 


Discipline is the foundation of any work culture, and if an employee is not disciplined with his or her own self and to the respect of the given work culture, they are of no good. 

Companies or management demand discipline as critical quality as it clarifies a lot about an employee. 

Generally, disciplined person is not just punctual and complete task on deadline, but they are also more focused, dedicated, and driven. 

Discipline is a hallmark quality of a good employee that just puts them on a high pedestal right away. 

Good Interpersonal Skills 

Good interpersonal skills mean effective and result-oriented interpersonal skills. It should be something that can be translated into the project. 

Oftentimes interpersonal skills become a passive skills just for the sake of getting printed on a resume. 

That’s not what a really good employee is known for. It is a crucial part of their communication and collaboration capability. 

Not to mention, it is a critical part of developing relationships with others and promoting your objective. 

It allows you to get what you want, when you want, whatever you want, and wherever you want, an all-time effective weapon in your arsenal. 


Employees are hired to get things done, so having action-oriented is not just quality but more a necessity. 

However, action-oriented people are keener to get on with the work given to them without giving it much thought. 

They also tend not to procrastinate or sit on things. Their approach to the work is proactive. 

Especially when you are at a place where you are only supposed to work as per orders, you don’t have or need to play much with limits. 


Confidence is a quality that is not compromisable and very apparent. You can simply catch up whether it is there or not in a particular employee. 

Lack of confidence makes employees less trustworthy. Confidence employees are keener to take up the charge and always looking forward to taking the initiative. 

Every business or employer wants confident employees, so they can rely on them. 


Employees need to be reliable enough to be trusted with jobs, no matter how small or big it is. 

They will be consistently taking up tasks from their managers where a senior has to rely on them to complete the task. 

Such reliability is as much a talent as a skill. The person also has to earn the reliability of their leaders. 

It is not just about showing up to work and taking up tasks, and doing it. It is also about the quality of the task as well as the timing of it. 

An ideal reliable employee always meets their deadlines consistently by submitting high-quality work. 

Team Players 

No one employee runs the business. A good employee understands how to communicate and collaborate with other employees. 

They must be team players and always be forward with their approach towards collaboration. 

Team players understand the value of how teamwork makes the dream work. They know how to get along, respect their colleagues, and share ideas with each other. 

Such employees always gain leverage over others who are not proactive in utilizing teamwork.  


Not something you think about right away when someone ask you about the characteristics of a good employee. 

But it is really something that plays a critical role in the productivity and discipline of the employee at the workplace. 

They need to be adaptive, agile, and mature to dedicate themselves to the commitment of the job. 


When a manager gives a particular task to an employee, he or she wants the task to be done and get it done well on time. 

Delegation works that way only for a reason, as employees are hired only because they want to get a job done without worrying about it. 

So when an employee starts asking a million questions every now and then, it is not something expected of him or her. 

And here comes the resourcefulness of an employee as to how he or she can get a job done by optimizing the resources available. 

It is a desired quality in employees as an ability to find quick, efficient, and clever ways to get the task done. 


It is a quality that often comes across as quite obvious than others. But often, it just loses its significance and true application over too much mentioning. 

Rather it needs to be approached in a way that employees can truly understand to optimize this particular quality or skill. 

It is not always something you came engineered with. Being motivated is about being driven towards your goals and for the right reasons. 

It is the ultimate drive and passion towards achieving something, and that’s what managers look for in a good employee. 


Obstacles are going to come in the way of doing things, whether it is to achieve the personal goals of an employee or the company trying to meet their yearly goals. 

It is part of the drill. So it is inevitable and cannot be controlled. All an employee can do is choose how to deal with it. 

And that’s what a real test of an employee is whether they need to get to the top of the situation, no matter how hard and complicated the situation is. 

So managers or companies always look for resilient employees who are ready to take charge of any challenge. 


Self-awareness is not a usual quality that you think of, required ideally for being a good employee. 

But self-awareness is not just a required quality for being a good employee but also for an evolving and learning individual. 

It is about understanding what they do, what they are capable of, what they are bad at, and other crucial nature themselves. 

When a person knows about his or her potential and limitations, he or she can make a conscious effort to position themselves in the best way possible. 

Self-awareness also means being emotionally intelligent and thoughtful with your actions. 

Not to mention, it is not a very common quality to find even in most good employees. 

With this quality, an employee certainly enjoys leverage against others when this quality becomes more apparent in their actions and approach. 


One of the most valued qualities in a good employee is what Managers or a company expect. Employees are supposed to be honest, reliable, and trustworthy to the leaders or managers. 

The leaders already have too much to deal with, so they would want to have one less thing to worry about when they delegate a task. 

It is not about only getting things done but also trusting the person to complete the task with utter honesty. 

Integrity is the quality where a person stays on his or her moral ground and fulfills his or her task honestly even when no one is seeing him/her. 


No company wants to hire pessimists, or cynical employees for whom doing things doesn’t matter, or they expect it to be bad. 

A consistently growing working culture always consists of upbeat and optimistic employees who also always keep the energy in the room up. 

They are even optimistic about other people, believe things to turn out to be better, and hence genuinely try to make things better. 

Optimists also attract people, so these are also kind of becoming someone who helps others when required. 

Organizations want to hire positive mindset people who push the further organization to meet the set vision. 


Nowadays, companies understand the power of true passion as the founders themselves are doing what they truly love and identify with. 

So they seek employees who are passionate about their job or the particular industry and really love what they do. 

Passionate employees do not need a push from anyone; rather, they show up first and bring their best to the given work. 

They don’t really see things as assignments or projects but way beyond. Such quality is very hard to hide and certainly shows up in their personality as well. 


The marketability of an employee is not the same as what you usually consider for products. 

For an employee, it means they are presentable to the clients, or they have the ability to present themselves in the required opportunities. 

Employees often become the very face of the company, especially when or whether they interact with the customers or clients. 

In such cases, the marketability of an employee can score you a business deal or a good first impression of a customer. 

Lack of this quality most often costs some level of loss for the companies as communication is the key to connecting people. 

For the lack of better words, marketability ensures the longevity of an employee in their career, and that too in all sorts of directions. 


Determination is a quality or characteristic that if it is lacking in an employee, you won’t see him or her going too far with their work. 

Without dedication towards the work, employees will give up the first chance they get or as soon as it gets a bit tough for them. 

Employees are expected to be highly determined to fulfill their goals; they must be willing to go through hardship and challenges. 

Nobody wants an employee who just does their bare minimum and calls it a day. Such passive workers either become stagnant in their careers or even don’t make it further. 

They must have a positive attitude towards their work as that’s what reflects their determination. 


Companies would always prefer to hire employees who have a keen eye for details. 

Perfection is demanded from the employee in their work. Lack of detail in work is one of the reasons for mediocrity. 

Employees must have an approach to completing the tasks to their core details as it helps you lower the number of mistakes. 

Detailing also tells so much about an employee, about how much passion and dedication they have for the work. 


Openness here refers to the ability of an employee to share their ideas, experiences, and opinions.  

Collaboration and communication are essential parts of being an employee as it evokes better ideas and solutions. 

But if the employee is not capable of opening up or is hesitant and under-confident with sharing, it is not going to work. 

Employers expect to hire such talents that are willing to participate and share their knowledge, expertise, ideas, and opinions when and where required. 


No leader or senior wants to spoon-feed their employees and hang over their shoulders while they do the given task. 

They want to rely on their employee entirely as that’s the whole point of hiring as to delegate, so they can do other things. 

Also, they want to automate things more efficiently and make their employees more capable on their own. 

It is also about internal training for employees to take charge as they grow their position within the office. 


It is okay if you do not think about modesty as the very first characteristic to expect in a good employee. 

However, it is an essential characteristic that makes employees humble and grounded even if they are stars of the company. 

Confidence is certainly a critical characteristic, but modesty is not the lack of confidence but not overestimating their own abilities. 

It is also having the willingness to accept criticism and feedback rather than shielding themselves in too pride and vanity. 


Adaptability is one of the most crucial qualities or characteristics of a good employee that an organization looks for. 

Things constantly change in the current dynamics of the workplace business. And there is a lot of struggles a company has to go through over time. 

They focus on hiring employees that are flexible to the situation and adaptable to any new changes. 

These changes can range anything from small like timings to even large ones such as a business acquisition. 

And more importantly, change is part of progress. And an employee must be ready to acclimatize to the new surroundings. 

Even better, they come up with rapid solutions and ideas to make adaptability easy for them and others. 

Adaptable employees are also very proactive with their overall approach. They overshadow the one who struggles or resists change. 

Work Ethic 

An employee with a strong work ethic is invaluable to the company as he or she always be dedicated to working in the direction of the company’s progress. 

They are strong-willed professionals with valued beliefs regarding their work and how they position themselves in a professional setting. 

Work ethic, however, also varies depending upon the industry, but there is always a core value that every company expects. 

And if the work aligns with the company’s expectations, they are keen to go with the candidate on a long-term basis. 

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