While the characteristics for employee success can vary somewhat depending on the job requirements, some attributes are critical for employee success in any field. Workers need to possess a few key qualities to function effectively in the workplace — indeed, to get hired in the first place in some cases.
Ability to Be a Team Player
When an employee works well as part of a team, workplace efficiency is increased and the company is able to operate smoothly, notes Darrell Langley, manager of Langley Manufacturing in Nacogdoches, Texas. Team players demonstrate commitment to the company and their fellow workers, and their efforts not only benefit themselves but encourage other team members to perform at an optimal level. The reliability shown by team players is also a positive. A worker with this trait is likely to not only hold onto a job but make her way up the ladder.
Just one bad judgment call can result in millions of dollars of lost revenue for a company. It’s fairly certain that executives at Mars regretted denying director Stephen Spielberg the permission to use their M&M candies in the film “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” which went on to make their competitor’s candy, Reese’s Pieces, famous. While most employees won’t be called upon to make decisions of such magnitude, sound judgment nevertheless is important to a worker’s success. Employees who publicity disparage their employer, harass other employees or who show poor judgment in other ways are liabilities that no company wants to have. Employers such as Highland Community College actively look for workers who are “honest, sincere, respect confidentiality and are ethical in their professional relationships.”
Good communication skills, whether to present new ideas to management or to collaborate with others on a project, are important to an employee’s success, says Langley. He notes that the ability to effectively communicate information about processes that other employees might not be familiar with can help to improve company operations. The Missouri Department of Transportation values interpersonal communication skills as well, noting that such employees are good listeners and are able to build constructive relationships that benefit the employer.
Excellent Work Ethic
Another quality the Missouri Department of Transportation looks for in its employees is evidence of a good work ethic. Workers with this quality enjoy the opportunity to continue learning and growing with the company, accept responsibility and are known for “going the extra mile” for their employer. Furthermore, these are the employees you can count on to show up to work each day, to be on time and to generally keep the business running. Such employees are invaluable and are often pegged to mentor or manage other employees.
Etiquette is often overlooked when employees are assessing their own skill sets but may be one of the most important things a person needs to be successful in the business world. Jacqueline Whitmore, author of “Business Class: Etiquette Essentials for Success at Work,” notes that everyone from college students to high-ranking business executives are signing up for etiquette classes to learn the manners they need to have the self-confidence to interact with clients and coworkers with “grace and aplomb.” For many people, proper etiquette can mean the difference between getting a job or not, closing a sale or avoiding misunderstandings.