Did you ever go to a restaurant where the server was so fantastic that they significantly impacted your dining experience? We all have. Every once in a while, you run into an employee who’s so fantastic at what they do that they make your head spin. Those folks are worth their weight in gold.
Ideal employees don’t only affect customers, one can only hope that some of their behavior rubs off on other employees. After all, they go the extra mile, do what’s right, and treat the business as if it’s their own. Every organization has a few of these folks. They’re exceptional in every way.
20 Qualities of an Ideal Employee
Model employees are highly skilled, have a can-do attitude, and possess a moral character that’s second to none. Here are 20 qualities of an ideal employee. Do you:
- Create positive vibes when you walk into the room?
- Contribute rather than complain?
- Honor your word like it’s a signed contract?
- Do what’s right rather than what’s easy?
- Steer clear of internal company politics?
- Work independently without a lot of handholding?
- Do things before being asked?
- Accept feedback without getting defensive?
- Set high standards for yourself — and others?
- Do what’s required — even if it’s not in your job description?
- Focus on the value that you provide rather than the time you put in?
- Invest in your personal development — even though you’re busy?
- Help others without keeping score?
- Accept ownership of your mistakes and learn from them?
- Celebrate your colleagues’ success rather than envy them?
- Expect more from yourself than anyone could ever ask?
- Earn rewards rather than demanding them?
- Do your best rather than settle for less?
- Serve as a positive ambassador for your organization?
- Inspire greatness in others?
The Gold Standard Employee
The gold standard employee is hard-working and dedicated. They maintain a positive and professional demeanor, act with integrity, treat colleagues with trust and respect, and the list goes on. The key is that all these descriptive terms do not describe the skill sets of a person — such as being an effective communicator, listener, or critical thinker; they refer to the strength of your moral character. That’s not to say that the skills that you bring to the job are not important, but if you want to distinguish yourself from the pack, it’s not only what you do or how well you do it, but who you are.
If you want to be recognized among the best of the best, you can’t merely do what’s expected of you, such as coming to work on time. You must possess strong moral character.
If 10 people were asked to describe you as a person, what would they say? Would they use terms such as passionate, humble, selfless, and honorable? If so, you meet the test of a gold standard employee. If not, what modifications can you make today to live a more virtuous life? Are you open to those prescribed changes? After all, as the Dalai Lama said, “The goal is not to be better than the other man, but your previous self.”
How Would You Define the Ideal Employee?
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