8 Qualities that Determine a Great Employee


8 Qualities that Determine a Great Employee

by ICC on April 30, 2018
April 30, 2018 / by / in

One of the most exciting milestones for a small business owner to reach is when it is time to add someone to their operation. Having enough work where you need to hire additional help means your business has achieved a degree of success and looks like it will continue to flourish. It is also a big responsibility, however, and must be performed carefully to avoid hiring the wrong person.

While direct experience or skill in your exact business would be nice, that is something that can be taught. Personality traits, however, are usually much more fixed, and are extremely difficult to change. This means that knowing which qualities are those that have the highest likelihood of resulting in a positive working experience is of exceptional importance.

Autonomous and Self-managed

Given that the primary reason to hire a new employee is to reduce the amount of work you have to do, it would be less than optimal to have to keep answering questions, and providing detailed instruction on how to complete the given task or project. If an employee is naturally autonomous, it will cut down on the amount of times you receive those annoying interruptions.

The ability to also manage time and behavior is another important trait. Managing time effectively is necessary to ensure the optimal amount of productivity, which gives you the greatest return on your investment in an employee. The capability to manage behavior helps prevent frivolous and time-wasting activities, such as surfing the internet or looking at memes.


A certain degree of creativity can also be helpful in different ways. A creative employee can think of new ways to help maximize your company’s operation, or even come up with new and innovative products or services you can add to your offering lineup. Remember, one of the keys to growing a business is new ideas and methods, and having an extra person to help in this department is invaluable.

The ability to think outside the box in creative ways can also be beneficial in coming up with the best solutions, if problems arise that are difficult to solve. If your employee encounters a disgruntled customer, having the capacity to find a creative and effective solution helps avoid unwanted loss of business and reputation.


As you are likely to find out over your course as an employer, few things are more annoying in an employee than being unable to rely on them. An employee who fails to show up or complete a task on time can easily result in missed deadlines and angry customers. Find yourself a candidate with a proven track record in being reliable, something you can easily determine by contacting former employers. While it may take a little extra time to go this extra step, finding out there is a problem with reliability before you make your employment offer, rather than the hard way, makes it well worth the effort.


While it is possible to work a job you have no real interest in, it usually results in a much more lackluster performance. Having true passion and interest in the work being performed can manifest itself in a myriad of positive ways. If a customer speaks to a passionate employee even in an online business, they are much more likely to receive the best information and problem-solving solutions. They can also just feel how much the employee loves what they are talking about, which promotes a feeling of confidence that they are shopping at the right place.

Passion can also have positive effects in the workplace itself, and the operation of the business. Passion can be contagious, and fellow workers might see it and emulate it in their interests and behavior. An employee who is passionate about their work is also much more likely to go the extra mile when performing their duties.

Ambitious and Driven

The basic quality of having a strong desire to really make something out of life is something easy to see in someone’s performance at work. A lack of ambition or drive usually means the employee will look for every opportunity to do the minimum amount required to keep the job and receive the paycheck. There is no need to impress a boss if the goal of advancing and improving is missing.


As most experienced business operates can attest to, the devil truly is in the details. One missed digit or incorrect address can quickly snowball into a serious situation that can have long-lasting negative repercussions. Even failing to jot down a customer’s name correctly can reflect negatively on how they perceive you if you need to communicate with them.

As such, any employee you take on should know those details matter, and understand the importance of making sure each is handled correctly. Not only does this avoid those nasty issues that can result from a mistake, you can enjoy a level of confidence in knowing you do not have to go back and check their work for accuracy.

Strong Work Ethic

As with most others things in business, hiring an employee is an investment. The time and expense involved in the process is high, so reaping as many benefits from your investment helps raise profits and expand your business more quickly. An employee with a strong work ethic gives you much more for each dollar paid than someone who just likes to slack off and do whatever they have to to skate by.

Positive Attitude

A gloom-and-doom attitude is a liability in virtually every aspect of life, and business is no exception. A truly positive attitude is obvious to see, and can influence the attitude of both customers and fellow employees alike. An employee should be able to be positive not only in the good times, but also remain so if they make a mistake. Looking at these stumbles as learning experiences means a less likelihood of them happening again.

Fewer things contribute more to the success of a business than excellent employees, and knowing which qualities are the best to have for your individual operation ensures the highest chance of enlisting superstars. Taking the extra time needed to make these determinations will undoubtedly pay itself back in spades over the life of your business.