The Skills and Qualities of a Good Employee | GetSmarter blog (2023)

employee development

July 24, 2020

The Skills and Qualities of a Good Employee | GetSmarter blog (1)Reading time: 3 minutes

It's a given that companies want to hire and retain the best people in their field, but what does it really mean to be a "good employee" and why is it important to find them? Most recruiting or human resources managers know how difficult it is to find good employees; Candidates either lack certain skills or don't fit into the company culture.1Business owners often only focus on the technical skills and don't evaluate the qualities and attributes that make up the ideal employee. This could negatively impact culture and productivity, and even prolong training efforts.

Regardless of the industry or type of job, there are certain key qualities that every hiring manager should look for if they want their people to succeed in the business world.

Skills and characteristics of a good employee

Both soft skills and technical skills or hard skills are equally important in an employee. Soft skills include the social skills, personality and character formation, communication skills, emotional intelligence, influence and work attitude that an employee exhibits.2

These complement the learned, measurable and quantifiable skills of the hard skills and can make an employee an asset to a company.3

Here are some of the key skills and traits of a good employee:

  • Knowing the why and the what.4Good employees know the reason why their job exists and not just how they do their job. In this way, they can contribute new suggestions and ideas for improving their tasks
  • professionalism.5Being polite, well spoken, calm and presentable is part of a professional working day
  • honesty and integrity.6Speaking the truth about sensitive issues like workload, work-life balance, difficult customers or colleagues, and ineffective processes makes a good employee
  • Innovative Ideen.7Employees who bring innovative ideas and suggestions that have a positive impact are an asset to a company. Standstill and complacency are the enemies of growth
  • Problem Solving Skills.8Employees who work on something until it is solved or completed and who do their best to solve problems are considered good employees
  • Ambitious.9When employees have a clear, personal career plan or goal in mind, they don't assume that their employer will advance their career for them and so strive for advancement
  • Reliability, dependability and responsibility.10People who take responsibility for their actions, are reliable, come on time, do what they say and don't let down the others on the team are valued employees
  • conflict resolution.11Good employees approach conflicts maturely and resolve them rather than trying to avoid them by respecting those involved, not blaming, and not complying just to keep the peace
  • Positive attitude.12Employees who bring a positive attitude to work have a positive impact on those around them and improve team energy
  • Emotional intelligence.13Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is about being aware of your own emotions and those of the team. Knowing how to handle it is an important key to being a good employee
  • Cooperation.14The ability to work with other people in a team and to manage relationships professionally in order to achieve a common goal is an asset to any company
  • willingness to learn.15Hard skills acquired through training are not enough for good employees - they are open to new ideas and share their thoughts and personal insights with the team.
  • creativity.16Not all people are born creative, but creativity is a skill that can be learned through experimentation, imagination, questioning, collaboration, and information processing
  • generosity.17Good employees coach and look after their environment. They generously share their experience and expertise. They understand that knowledge is power only when it is shared with others

Recruitment vs. Training

Knowing what skills and attributes to look for in both existing employees and when hiring new employees ensures that those desired attributes are nurtured and developed throughout the organization, regardless of job title or role.

The Skills and Qualities of a Good Employee | GetSmarter blog (2)The Skills and Qualities of a Good Employee | GetSmarter blog (3)

Companies around the world seeCompetency gaps arise. In the UK alone, 23 per cent of workers lack basic digital skills, despite the fact that they are required for almost 90 per cent of all new jobs.18One possible solution is to train existing employees to master new skills – both hard and soft – and in turn create “good employees”.19This also means that a new approach to recruiting is required. Hiring people who have the potential for further qualifications and demonstrate some of the qualities listed above can be an effective tactic. Given that top talent is becoming ever scarcer and more in demand,Trainingperhaps the best and most practical solution.

Knowing what skills and attributes to look for in both existing employees and when hiring new employees ensures that those desired attributes are nurtured and developed throughout the organization, regardless of job title or role. The skills of a good employee go beyond technical understanding and commercial experience. While these are important in getting the job done, the way these tasks are performed and the interactions with other team members are indicative of a good employee's attitude, approach, mindset and adaptability.

As your learning partner, GetSmarter can guide you and help your organization create a customized learning plan that meets your unique needs.

[Empower your team with the right skills]

  • 1Zambas, J. (August 2018). "20 key qualities that make a good employee". Retrieved fromcareer addict.
  • 2Doyle, A. (August 2019). "Top soft skills employers value, with examples". Retrieved fromThe Balance Careers.
  • 3Autenrieth, N. (Nd). "Why Soft and Hard Skills Are So Important on Your Resume" Retrieved fromTop CV. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  • 4Duncan, R. (Sep 2018). "The Why of Work: Purpose and Meaning Really Matter". Retrieved fromForbes.
  • 5Belyh, A. (June 2018). “Top Skills and Values ​​Employers Expect in Job Seekers” Retrieved fromCleverismus.
  • 6Zambas, J. (August 2018). "20 key qualities that make a good employee". Retrieved fromcareer addict.
  • 7Wiles, J. (April 2019). "Foster innovation to drive digital transformation". Retrieved fromgardener.
  • 8Belyh, A. (June 2018). “Top Skills and Values ​​Employers Expect in Job Seekers” Retrieved fromCleverismus.
  • 9(Nd). "Why passionate employees are the most valuable employees." Retrieved fromsoprano. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
  • 10Belyh, A. (June 2018). “Top Skills and Values ​​Employers Expect in Job Seekers” Retrieved fromCleverismus.
  • 11Wroblewski, M. (May 2019). “What are the benefits of good conflict resolution skills?”. Retrieved fromChron.
  • 12Zambas, J. (August 2018). "20 key qualities that make a good employee". Retrieved fromcareer addict.
  • 13Gassam, J. (July 2018). ‘How to develop emotionally intelligent employees’. Retrieved fromForbes.
  • 14Belyh, A. (June 2018). “Top Skills and Values ​​Employers Expect in Job Seekers” Retrieved fromCleverismus.
  • 15Bean-Mellinger, B. (March 2019). "Key Employee Competencies in the Workplace". Retrieved fromChron.
  • 16Bhandare, S. (January 2020). "Top 9 Qualities of Great Employees in the Digital Age". Retrieved
  • 17Oesch, T. (May 2018). "How kindness and generosity can affect learning and the bottom line". Retrieved fromtraining industry.
  • 18Bughin, J. et al. (May 2018). "Skill Shift: Automation and the Future of the Workforce". Retrieved fromMcKinsey.
  • 19(Nd). 'Skilling, reskilling and upskilling'. Retrieved fromRandstad. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
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What is your best quality as an employee? ›

Dependability, reliability, and responsibility.

Employees who take responsibility for their actions, are dependable, arrive on time, do what they say, and don't let the others in their team down, are highly valued employees.

What are 20 good job qualities that build a good employee? ›

20 qualities of a good employee
  • Ambitious. Ambitious employees want to do well in their positions and continue to develop their careers. ...
  • Autonomous. Ideally, your employees should have the ability to work independently the majority of the time. ...
  • Collaborative. ...
  • Committed. ...
  • Communicative. ...
  • Confident. ...
  • Creative. ...
  • Detail oriented.

What are the three most important skills and qualities employers look for in an employee? ›

A positive attitude to work, punctuality, flexibility, verbal communication skills, and the ability to make a professional introduction are all crucial when deciding whether to recruit a young person.

What is the most important skill for an employee? ›

Critical thinking and problem solving. Teamwork and collaboration. Professionalism and strong work ethic. Oral and written communications skills.

What are five skills you need for successful employment? ›

8 job skills you should have
  • Communication.
  • Teamwork.
  • Problem solving.
  • Initiative and enterprise.
  • Planning and organising.
  • Self-management.
  • Learning.
  • Technology.
Jan 9, 2023

What are quality examples at work? ›

Some work quality examples include time management, communication and professional knowledge. These factors help to measure the performance of employees, departments or programs in a company. When your employer conducts performance reviews, work quality is an important factor that they may consider.

Why quality is important as an employee? ›

It ensures job security

When an employee submits quality work, they are more likely to have greater job security. Quality work is important in maintaining customer satisfaction, which can also affect the success of the company.

What makes an employee valuable? ›

What makes a valuable employee? Valuable employees are dedicated individuals who use their skills and attitude to improve their performance and positively influence their work environment.

What are the 8 qualities employers are looking for? ›

8 Skills Employees Look For
  • Initiative. Many hiring managers value personal initiative nearly as much as hard skills. ...
  • Technical Literacy. ...
  • Tech-savvy. ...
  • Data Skills. ...
  • Digital Marketing. ...
  • SEO. ...
  • UX Design. ...
  • Written Communication.

What are the top 10 qualities to build a successful work team? ›

Top 10 Characteristics of Effective Teamwork
  • Setting a Clear Direction. ...
  • Open and Honest Communication. ...
  • Support for Risk Taking and Change. ...
  • Defined Roles. ...
  • Mutual Accountability. ...
  • Open Communication. ...
  • A Common Goal. ...
  • A Melting Pot of Differing Opinions.
Jul 5, 2022

What are the 15 personal qualities that employers are looking for in candidates for employment? ›

15 qualities employers look for in candidates
  • Ambition. Ambition is a key trait that employers look for because of what it communicates about the worker. ...
  • Communication. ...
  • Confidence. ...
  • Critical thinking. ...
  • Dependability. ...
  • Determination. ...
  • Eagerness to learn. ...
  • Flexibility.
Feb 2, 2023

What are the top 10 values employers look for in employees? ›

Top 10 Work Values That Employers Look For in Candidates
  • 1) Strong work ethics. We have always been taught to work hard. ...
  • 2) Dependability and responsibility. ...
  • 4) Adaptability. ...
  • 5) Honesty and Integrity. ...
  • 6) Self-motivation. ...
  • 8) Self-confidence. ...
  • 9) Professionalism. ...
  • 10) Loyalty.
Aug 2, 2022

What three types of skills are needed to succeed on the job? ›

10 essential skills you'll need for career success
  • Communication. Communication includes listening, writing and speaking. ...
  • Problem solving. Challenges will arise in every job you have. ...
  • Teamwork. ...
  • Initiative. ...
  • Analytical, quantitative. ...
  • Professionalism, work ethic. ...
  • Leadership. ...
  • Detail oriented.
Apr 17, 2019

What are your three strongest employability skills? ›

Here are 10 of the most important employability skills that employers look for.
  • Problem-solving.
  • Communication skills.
  • Adaptability.
  • Collaboration.
  • Time management.
  • Organization.
  • Technology use.
  • Information use.

What is one important skill everyone should have? ›

Effective Communication

Whether we're talking about writing or speaking, communication is a vital life skill that encompasses both. No one makes it through this world alone, so learning to communicate with others will help you get where you need to be in life—and it's definitely a learned skill.

What is a unique skill for a job? ›

There is no definitive answer to this question, as different skills may be more valuable in different industries or job roles. However, some commonly recommended skills include self-motivation, flexibility and adaptability, creativity, public speaking skills, data analysis skills, and project management skills.

What are examples of professional skills? ›

Professional Skills—Examples
  • Active Listening.
  • Leadership.
  • Problem Solving.
  • Communication.
  • Decision Making.
  • Interpersonal Skills.
  • Analytical Skills.
  • Time Management.
Nov 16, 2022

What are the 3 types of skills? ›

There are three types of skills: functional, self-management and special knowledge. Functional skills are abilities or talents that are inherited at birth and developed through experience and learning. Examples are: making decisions, repairing machines or calculating taxes.

What are special skills? ›

Specialized skills are specific talents or abilities you have that make you a qualified candidate for a job. They may relate directly to the position, such as technical or practical skills, or they may have a more generalized purpose that makes them useful in many settings.

What is a good quality of work life? ›

Mirvis and Lawler suggested that quality of working life was associated with satisfaction with wages, hours and working conditions, describing the “basic elements of a good quality of work life” as; safe work environment, equitable wages, equal employment opportunities and opportunities for advancement.

What is quality of work life in simple words? ›

“Quality of work life” is a generic phrase that covers a person's feelings about every dimension of work including economic rewards and benefits, security, working conditions, organizational and interpersonal relationships, and its intrinsic meaning in a person's life.

What is a quality mindset? ›

In order to improve continuously, you need a quality mindset. Which means you're always willing to go the extra mile, growing every day. To do that, you have to start with improving something small. After each improvement, reflect on what you've accomplished and how this makes you feel.

How can we improve quality of work? ›

Other 18 areas of improvement at work
  1. Improve your time management. ...
  2. Try to do important tasks first. ...
  3. Set clear goals. ...
  4. Improve your communication skills. ...
  5. Don't try to do your own, delegate. ...
  6. 9. Make use of the right tools. ...
  7. Give yourself down time. ...
  8. Encourage desk cleanliness and organization.
Dec 21, 2022

How do you determine employee quality? ›

Here's how.
  1. Create a detailed job post. ...
  2. Review other job postings. ...
  3. Post on job boards. ...
  4. Leverage your social media presence. ...
  5. Create a career page on your company website. ...
  6. Go to job fairs. ...
  7. Ask your employees for referrals. ...
  8. Give interns and entry-level employees a chance.
Dec 15, 2022

What are your strongest attributes? ›

Some examples of strengths you might mention include:
  • Enthusiasm.
  • Trustworthiness.
  • Creativity.
  • Discipline.
  • Patience.
  • Respectfulness.
  • Determination.
  • Dedication.

What makes employee proud? ›

At its most basic, workplace pride is exactly what it sounds like: being proud of where you work. When employees have pride in their workplace, they believe in the company – not just what it produces, but how it operates, how it treats its people, and how it engages with the community at large.

How do you describe an exceptional employee? ›

They're accountable – own their work, their decisions, and all of their results; bring their mistakes to management's attention rather than hoping no one will find out. They're marketable – inside the organization, it means “likeable,” have integrity and leadership skills, can be trusted to represent the brand well.

What are the 7 essential soft skills? ›

7 essential soft skills in demand
  • Teamwork. With effective teamwork, teams are more productive, deadlines are met, relationships with your team members are stronger and knowledge is shared. ...
  • Problem solving. ...
  • Communication. ...
  • Adaptability. ...
  • Critical thinking. ...
  • Time management. ...
  • Interpersonal.

What are the 8 core skills? ›

Communication, Identifying and Understanding Feelings, Balancing Emotions, Problem Solving, Coping and Resilience, Conflict Management and Resolution, Self-Perceived Competence, and Diversity Awareness & Respect.

What are 5 characteristics of a good employer? ›

Here are 6 characteristics of good employers:
  • They're open and honest communicators. Great employers let their employees know what's going on with the business. ...
  • They're flexible. ...
  • They're dedicated team builders. ...
  • They give feedback. ...
  • They know how to listen. ...
  • They foster a great employee experience.
May 2, 2022

What are the 7 main characteristics of effective team? ›

The seven qualities of a successful team
  • Communication. Your team needs to be able to openly communicate with one another with the ability to confidently share their thoughts, ideas and opinions with the wider team. ...
  • Reliability and commitment. ...
  • Flexibility. ...
  • Innovation and diversity. ...
  • Leadership. ...
  • Organised. ...
  • Fun and appreciation.

What are the six 6 characteristics of effective work teams? ›

6 Characteristics of a successful team
  • They have clear goals and plans. ...
  • They have strong leadership. ...
  • Members fulfill their own tasks and also help one another. ...
  • Members communicate openly with the team. ...
  • Members resolve conflict constructively. ...
  • Members feel they directly contribute to the company's success.
Jul 28, 2021

What are the 8 characteristics that make a team successful? ›

Communicate clearly and respectfully. Manage work and deadlines based on priorities. Trust and respect each other. Celebrate success together and recognize contributions.
This culture of trust helps everyone:
  • Bring their full selves to the job.
  • Take risks.
  • Share ideas.
  • Innovate together.
Oct 8, 2020

What are the top 7 qualities employers are looking for in a candidate? ›

The great majority of jobs that are filled in the hidden job market are filled because someone knows someone.
Here are the big seven:
  • Intelligence: ...
  • Leadership ability: ...
  • Integrity: ...
  • Likability: ...
  • Competence: ...
  • Courage: ...
  • Inner strength:

What are three of my positive qualities? ›

Examples of personal positive qualities: kind, gentle, strong, resilient, caring, assertive, hard-working, reliable, honest, practical, responsible, loyal, mature, creative, consistent, appreciative, capable, quick, sensitive, perceptive, patient, thoughtful, fit, trustworthy, shows initiative, motivated, versatile, ...

What are the 3 qualities you look in a company? ›

5 Key Qualities to Look for in a Company
  • Good culture fit. Finding a company with a great culture and team members that make you feel comfortable is one of the hardest parts of the job search process. ...
  • Innovative environment. ...
  • A focus on upward mobility. ...
  • A clear and developed organizational structure. ...
  • Investment in employees.

What skills and qualities can you bring to this employer? ›

Think about:
  • your enthusiasm for the profession and the employer and your desire to make your mark.
  • your personal qualities, such as your drive and willingness to learn.
  • the skills the employer seeks and how you have demonstrated them in the past – your answer should show why you would be competent in the job.

What is the most important characteristic of a great workplace? ›

One of the most important characteristics of a great workplace is a culture of trust. This culture of trust is bidirectional – employees trusting managers and managers trusting employees.

What are skills and qualities? ›

Skills have been learned – from school/college, at work or through your hobbies and interests. You need to keep practicing/developing them in order to remain good at them. Qualities. Qualities come naturally to you – they are part of your personality. You are born with them.

What mindset qualities are attractive to employers? ›

Honesty, commitment, flexibility and accountability are mindset qualities sought after by employers. Use the table below to describe why these mindset qualities are important to employers. It is important to show an employer that you are able to demonstrate honesty, commitment, flexibility and accountability.

What qualities do you have that makes you stand out? ›

Here are 10 intangible skills that will set you apart in your job search
  • Exhibiting Optimism. ...
  • Being Kind. ...
  • Being Intellectually Curious. ...
  • Developing a Strong Work Ethic. ...
  • Possessing Empathy and Self-Awareness. ...
  • Having Integrity. ...
  • Being a Person of Your Word. ...
  • Having Good Follow-Up Skills.

What is a dependable employee? ›

A dependable employee not only shows up for work on time every day but also produces consistent work and can apply company policies and business strategies equally to each task and assignment. He makes commitments, delivers on time and follow-up on what has been done.

What are your three strongest qualities? ›

Some examples of strengths you might mention include:
  • Enthusiasm.
  • Trustworthiness.
  • Creativity.
  • Discipline.
  • Patience.
  • Respectfulness.
  • Determination.
  • Dedication.

What makes a happy workplace? ›

The happiest of workplaces are ones where employees feel appreciated, productive, and have a sense of control over their own work goals. A workplace where they feel well taken care of is one where most employees will happily thrive.


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