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Characteristics of A Great Employee

07 Nov 2011

Suddenly I have realized that the weekend evening walk has started becoming interesting. Nowadays I eagerly wait for the weekend specifically for the evening walk. Wonder what has changed!

The group has now reached 6 people. It comprises of people who hold key positions with top MNCs. I am the one with the least experience in management, however have taken to be a part of this group. Management has been a topic of great interest to me and I enjoy my interactions with them. I regard it as learning from their experiences without any fees.

Who says there is no free lunch! You just have to know how to get it!

This week the discussion was about the characteristics of a great employee. We did not discuss about the benefits of being a great employee, but what makes an employee great. Below are the few characteristics/traits my so called management gurus feel are present in great employees.

A great employee never waste office time. Take an example of start time. What does “on time” mean? Walk in the door on time? Reach to your desk on time? Great employee begins to work when the work day begins, they do not get their tea, hang out and chat, take care of personal things … they hit the ground running on time. If our work start time is 9:00 am then shouldn’t we be writing a code, instead of wasting initial minutes for start up activities. I have seen a few employees come in 15 minutes early, as they spend first few minutes reading technical news. Working in software development makes it necessary to be in touch with the industry, but it is also equally important not to waste time.

Great employees are reliable and dependable. They do their job and no one has to worry about it. They deliver the required results at the right time. They reach a level where many times it is not required to check their work for quality issues. You can assign a task and be assured of getting it done in the best manner possible without worrying about it.

When working in a small company it becomes really interesting. These employees will adapt to changing priorities and will complete the task, regardless of role or position. If a release has been planned in next 10 days, and the testing guy is on leave, a great employee will instantly shift gears and steer their focus on testing activities along with their own work.

They are tactful. In a problematic situation, a great employee doesn’t make a scene in front of everyone else. A great employee will deal with such issues with tact and diplomacy. When times are tough, big challenges are emerging, or situations are stressful, they know when to sell their desire to express their individuality and fit perfectly into the team. Outstanding employees know when to play and when to be serious, when to be disrespectful and when to comply and when to challenge and when to retreat. Difficult to balance, but they really do it with ease.

Along with the above skills a great employee has the abilities needed to do their job. They constantly seek ways to improve, like going to training seminars or seeking further education.

Great workers have great skills.

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