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Top 5 Characteristics of Ideal Employees

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Source: Pixabay

Characteristics of the Ideal Employee

The following characteristics in employees and management personnel help to ensure a smoothly operating business. In turn, this smooth operation produces larger amounts of higher quality goods and services as well as greater employee satisfaction.

The top characteristics that I have found in demand among employers looking for new workers include the following list. It is derived from employer input gathered during a decade of workforce development, training, and job placement activities in a densely populated 17-county area, among adults and youth job seekers.

  1. Dependability
  2. Honesty & Integrity
  3. Positive, Proactive Attitude
  4. Willing to Work
  5. Uses Down Time Productively


Five Great Additional Tips For Hiring In the 2010s

In a nationwide survey with diverse employers in the 2013, YahooFinance tells us that the following additional Top 5 Qualities also impress an HR representative or other interviewing staff person enough to help you to be hired over other job candidates:

  1. Best Sense of Humor
  2. Most Involved in the Community - Community activities, volunteering, political involvement.
  3. Best Dressed
  4. Has Most In Common with the Interviewer
  5. Most Physically Fit

A discussion of the first five ideal qualities follows below:

Dependability

Management, executive staff, and corporate HR teams see Dependability defined by the following positive qualities, often discussed in Work Readiness classes:

  1. Consistently Stable in Mood at Work - The employer, the coworkers, and the customers know what to expect and trust the employee.
  2. Always Follows Directions - Also willing to learn new tasks, new methods of working, and new company updates and apply them.
  3. Consistently Accurate
  4. Works Independently
  5. Gets Along with Peers, Management, Executive Staff, and Clients or Customers
  6. Maintains Good Grooming and Hygiene, according to general rules and company policies.
  7. Always On Time to Work and returns promptly from breaks.
  8. Maintains Good Attendance - Does not take off all their sick time just because they have unused sick days. Calls in early when ill and in emergencies when needing time off.
  9. Cooperative, but asks good Questions, and offers Suggestions when appropriate.
  10. Shows a Proactive and Interested Attitude
  11. Works as a Team Player

President Abraham Lincoln, a popular icon of honesty, found on Mount Rushmore.
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President Abraham Lincoln, a popular icon of honesty, found on Mount Rushmore.
Source: Pixabay

Honesty and Integrity

This is more than just telling the truth. It includes doing your best work for your work team, your company and your boss. Holding back because one is afraid of working more than others and not be rewarded for it is an immature belief; such an employee needs to sit down with the supervisor or boss and ask about the chances for advancement and raises and how to accomplish them.

The action of doing as little as possible while others make up the difference is not a likeable personality trait at work, at home, or anywhere else. Remember that many founding colonies and new nations began by leaders telling their settlers, "He who does not work, does not eat." Such an employee will make enemies of coworkers and also not be promoted. In addition, this negative trait will definitely show up as a problem on annual performance reviews.

Examples of dishonesty and lack of integrity:

  • Working more slowly than the standard pace.
  • Working quickly and haphazardly, creating errors.
  • Doing coworkers' work for them in order to buy friendship.
  • Having coworkers clock in for them when late. This is usually illegal as well.
  • Pilfering work-related supplies and equipment.
  • Extending breaks and rest room visits to waste time.
  • Completing personal tasks on the job, using company equipment and supplies, including the telephone and Internet.

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The invention of the Transistor Radio.
The invention of the Transistor Radio.
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The invention of the Transistor Radio.
Source: Library Of Congress; pd
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Proactive, Postive Attitude

Attitudes project your beliefs and values, and what you think of your job, coworkers and boss. It is shown in the quality of your work. The boss is aware of your individual attitudes at work and is watching them every day. They are as important as the work that you produce. A "positive" attitude does not always mean "happy", but it is better to be upbeat at work rather than brooding and angry, "Positive" can also mean proactive, which means you go after things and don't wait for them to come to you (using initiative).

Good Attitudes:

  • Smiles
  • Good posture
  • Pleasant tone of voice
  • Complaining through proper channels, while offering ideas for improvement.
  • Respect and courtesy
  • Managing conflict and anger
  • Good job performance
  • Interested in others

Bad Attitudes:

  • Blank facial expression or a frown
  • Slumping in chairs, leaning on walls
  • Sarcasm, unmodulated voice, mumbling
  • Complaining on the work floor
  • Trash talking about the company to coworkers; enabling bad attitudes among others
  • Displaying anger inappropriately
  • Substandard job performance
  • Ignoring people at work

Good attitudes help get you promoted, make friends, please customers and raise sales. Good attitudes increase your value to your company.

Inventors are Proactive

Famous inventors: Eli Whitney (cotton gin), Robert   Fulton (steam boat), Thomas Edison, Cyrus McCormick, Richard Hoe (automatic printing  press). (c) Wisconsin Historical Society.
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Famous inventors: Eli Whitney (cotton gin), Robert Fulton (steam boat), Thomas Edison, Cyrus McCormick, Richard Hoe (automatic printing press). (c) Wisconsin Historical Society.

Classic Miscommunciation - Who's On First?

High Energy

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You're a firework!Energy and williknngness to participate.
You're a firework!
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You're a firework!
Source: Pixabay
Energy and williknngness to participate.
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Energy and williknngness to participate.
Source: Pixabay
See all 11 photos

Willing to Work

You show your willingness to work with these qualities:

  1. Ability and Desire to Communicate - Organizing and present your thoughts clearly.
  2. Intelligence - Showing common sense and the ability and desire to learn.
  3. Self-Confidence - Showing assertiveness and initiative.
  4. Accepting Responsibility - Takes on new challenges, admits mistakes and fixes them.
  5. Leadership - Being a good example, taking charge.
  6. High Energy Level.
  7. Imagination.
  8. Flexibility - Adaptable, accepts changes.
  9. Gets along with others.
  10. Handles Conflict
  11. Sets and Achieves Goals - Continuous improvement. Has personal direction,
  12. Occupational Skills - Able to do the job and accept new training.

See all 11 photos
Source: Pixabay
See all 11 photos
Source: Pixabay

Uses Down Time Productively

When you are not busy at work, or between major projects, be productive by doing these things:

  1. Read trade journals and magazine articles about your company and the industry in which you work.
  2. Read about current trends in your industry on the Internet.
  3. Ask for, or find, new tasks to do; help someone else.
  4. Think of a better way to do something in your job or in the company.
  5. Clean and organize your work area.
  6. Update your filing systems, clean out old email messages, etc.
  7. Write an article about your job or your industry and share it with your boss.
  8. Take an online class that is relevant to your job. Some of these are free of charge.


 Last updated on August 29, 2013

Useful {18}Funny {3}Awesome {8}Beautiful {1}Interesting {3}

Comments 84 comments

RodneyGrubbs profile image

RodneyGrubbs 6 years ago

Being a positive, proactive person will help others around you become more positive. Doing simple acts of kindess throughout your worklace can quickly become contagious. Have a great time thinking of ways to be kind to people.

Helping People UP!

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America Hub Author

Exactly. Some people try to leave others behind or even to undermine them. A successful leader brings up the whole bunch.

Thankx much!

johnr54 profile image

johnr54 6 years ago from Texas

These qualities are great for your fellow employees, but as I think back over the last couple of decades, I don't think they capture the star employees, those guys who are game changers. Clearly some characteristics need to be universal, for example honesty and integrity.

Typically, the star players are a little more in your face, and will often go out of their way to establish some type of independent territory, even if it's something as simple as coming in late (but usually staying later than most). The problem is that if the employee is willing to truly think "outside the box" and find ways to transform a business, they don't switch that off when looking at your internal processes, like meetings and procedures.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America Hub Author

Those are interesting thoughts. Sounds like star players in sales, anyway.

Unfortuantely, I've never seen a late arrival stay late -- I've seen lots of them try to come in at 10AM and leave at 3PM, not accomplishing anything in the businesses of non-profits, insuirance, medicine, and restaurants management.

Nicki B profile image

Nicki B 6 years ago from Orange County, Ca

This is awesome... I was a group leader for a while and I wish people could be like this... but, again, this is the "ideal" and idealism doesn't get us so far.-Nicki B.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America Hub Author

Thanks for the comments. I've been fortunate to know many many workers that have had all of these qualities. There is indeed hope for the ideal.

Daniel Tetreault 6 years ago

I'd like to think I display all those qualities. Otherwise, that is an excellent set of personal attributes to build on with my current employment. Thanks for the great Hub!

Daniel Tetreault

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Hub Author

Hey deo - June 17, 2007. Thanks for suing me as a reference. If you need anything else, just ask. I have a lot of material.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Hub Author

I just noticed I used "suing" instead of "using" What a typo!

I wish you success with your paper. If I could read it after you're all done and haded it in, I would like that.

cubemonkey4 5 years ago

I read somewhere that managers noticed more when you came in early than when you stayed late.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Hub Author

The majority of good managers notice BOTH, and often keep a written record of it. A leader will notice more than a manager will notice, as managers can become drones.

In 2008 and onwards, supervisors, managers, and bosses will notice staying late more, because Internet advise is telling people to set boundaries and go home on time. The late-stayers will then be seen as 1) real go-getters that achieve or 2) casing the joint and stealing company secrets, etc.

Cheers!

markvand profile image

markvand 5 years ago

This is an amazing article. I'm going to print this one off and bring it to work. My employees could use this, or at least me silently comparing them to this list. Hell it wouldn't hurt for me to follow some of this advice myself!

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Hub Author

I re-read this myself form time to time. It really does help in nearly any occupation. Thanks markvand. Let me know if you need any further material.

jouuu 5 years ago

thats sounds good.

Kiki Stamatiou profile image

Kiki Stamatiou 5 years ago

I relate to a lot of things you mentioned in this article, in that I have worked with people that were slackers. Occassionally, there were some managers who were slackers also. Of course, being that they are the ones who are suppossed to set a good example to the employees who work under them, but they don't, the employees do whatever the management is doing. If the management doesn't care about their jobs, then the rest of the employees won't either. I agree with what you said about the importance to keep an upbeat attitude. You're right, it isn't always easy. I know from experience, but it was just a matter of me making a conscious decision of what's important. It is important for employees not to let the little things upset them. What I always did when I was brought down by a co-worker or a customer was try to turn a bad situation around. In the end it puts a smile on everyone's face.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Hub Author

I like what you are saying here very much, especially making smiles out of the storm clouds of depair and disruption. One of my favorite US States is Michgian, and so I become your fan today. Cheers!

nancydodds1 profile image

nancydodds1 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

Its very interesting and good information i got from your hub. Everyone has to about top 5 charateristics. Its very useful for all.

Clara Ghomes profile image

Clara Ghomes 5 years ago

Being a positive person, you can really contribute to a healthy workplace atmosphere. Don't undermine others for a mere bunch of successful deals. Be honest and a true leader.

BardScribe profile image

BardScribe 5 years ago from Iowa

With all due respect, I really feel inclined to disagree with the sentiments of this hub. This is an ideal hub for an ideal world. In an ideal world, everyone would play fair.

But here's the thing: not everyone plays fair. I've seen favoritism on the parts of bosses where there shouldn't be. I've seen backbiting and pecking-order BS that never should have existed if the boss was decent and honest. I've also seen backstabbing on the parts of employees, and the boss does nothing about it, because the boss indirectly encourages it by being a gossip themselves.

I've also experienced feeling disempowered to do anything but the typical niceties businesses throw at customers who continually abuse the complaint system, just so the proprietors don't lose that business. If I was a business owner, yes, I'd want to make decent money for the business and for myself.

But why on earth, as a potential business owner, should I allow a customer to constantly come in and complain about some piddling thing in a whiny, ranting voice and expect me or my employees (if I ever have them) to budge on a particular policy just so the customer can have what they want all the time?

In my experience, these are the sorts of customers who abuse the "customer is always right" axiom...and there are businesses who would rather have those customers' dollars than have happy, safe employees who do not emotionally feel like hell after the obstreperous customers have crapped all over them, verbally.

Yes, the business world is stressful, but it is my experience that it is the people within it that make it stressful, not the actual doing business itself. I'm not expecting business to always be happy-go-lucky, and have "age-of-Aquarius" feel-good-all-the-time sentiments going round, but come on. There's gotta be some boundaries set so the employees and even the employer don't feel like they have to bow down to all the spoiled bratty people that are out there.

My point is, business owners and their employees are people with feelings, too, and slavishly obeying the "customer is always right" axiom only encourages customers to act spoiled. Business owners really need to give their employees some power to say, "Look, Mrs./Mr. So-n-so, I understand your feelings, but company policy is thus-n-such. I recommend taking your business elsewhere, if you do not agree to allow us the privilege of sticking with that policy."

I may sound like I'm venting, but I really feel what I said needed to be mentioned.

Respectfully Submitted,

Kat

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Hub Author

You've had and seen some bad experiences, surely.

IMO, an employer should never permit an employee to be abused. Finding myself in two such situations, I quit and found better employment. As a boss, I ensured any abuse of staff was nipped in the bud, even with asking the abusive customer to go elsewhere as appropriate. 

Positive & Proactive does not mean "happy", it means making things happen and making things change as needed. To believe that it does mean happy and compliant and submissive is superstition and logical wrongheadedness.

BardScribe profile image

BardScribe 5 years ago from Iowa

Wow, Patty...thank you from the bottom of my heart. You heard me out, and your response made me feel like there are actually employers who care about their employees.

You mentioned that being positive and proactive means changing things as needed. I wish sincerely that could have been applied to one of the companies I worked for, but they were so focused on being selfish and greedy with their company policies that many of the franchise employees, from bosses to pizza kitchen workers, felt very disempowered. having a boss who was also disempowering to her employees and played favorites that way only made a negative situation worse. She terminated my job when she thought I wasn't doing the required work, and the employees that worked with me knew that I *did* do the work. It didn't help that I was also stressed out from moving and read the schedule incorrectly, and forgot to call and double-check the schedule.

Suffice to say, I didn't exactly cry my eyes out when I left.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Hub Author

I am deeply sorry that this happened to you and that other employees are hurt by work in a number of ways. My first thoughts when I began studying the workplace in depth in 1990 was/is that work should not be punishment.

Best wishes and I hope you have a good job and fair treatment today.

linjingjing profile image

linjingjing 5 years ago

Top_5_Characteristics

This article is very helpful to me

earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 5 years ago from Melbourne Australia

I agree. I hired people to work in my small businesses for many years. Having motivated alive and willing staff is the way to go.

I knew non of this when I started in business, so did it all wrong.

I treated my staff as friends, shared profit, paid way above the standard wage, helped finance their first homes and did all the wrong things by getting "too close to my workers."

Other businessmen advised against being too friendly with staff.They were all wrong. I kept their respect and friendships till today. That's thirty years later! Importantly my businesses made lots of happy customers, and much more money to share than any of the people who told me I had it all wrong. So I totally agree that to get good staff, be real and be a good employer.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Hub Author

earnest, it sounds like a miracle that more people should experience! Thanks for being a good employer. You're a peach!

ontheway profile image

ontheway 5 years ago

Top_5_Characteristics

very good, I support you, come on , welcome to my hub!

naman sharma 4 years ago

thank you

it really helped my project :)

nice 4 years ago

very good article,i will use these for my report in school,.

GmaGoldie profile image

GmaGoldie 4 years ago from Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin Level 2 Commenter

Outstanding! Yes, this should be printed and discussed at employee meetings! Excellent hub! As an inventor, I appreciate your credit to the special skills of inventors. You covered everything! 5 stars!

khan 4 years ago

WICKED INFO - CHEERS MTE

caleb 3 years ago

lots of help

CollB 3 years ago

I agree with the ideas you've put across in this hub. The right attitude to take with management, clients and colleagues. Thanks for sharing this hub.

Shawn B. 3 years ago

Great information!

I love how well organized this is, very easy to understand as well.

Pixienot 3 years ago

You hit the nail on the head. Wonderful hub! Great writing!

Voted up and awesome.

pauleen 3 years ago

*_very nice information_*

*_it helps a lot_*

*_thanks for this post_*

Erie Luves 3 years ago

It's nice..I'll always remember that!!!

Rupam De 3 years ago

VERY HELPFUL TO ME.LOTS OS THANNKS.

sav 2 years ago

Nice and very helpful

Bradley Ramsumair 2 years ago

Thank you very much it was of great help to me THANX ALOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dhara 2 years ago

*****It's very help full ..I'll always remember that!!!

$$$$$$THANX ALOTTT$$$$$$

Linda 2 years ago

Thank you so much, you helped me answer your pro active question for my mums job application!

Your the coolest!

alexis 2 years ago

Thank you so much, this has showed me what character taits people MUST have in order to lead a sucessful career, I will be using this on my job application!

zalomie 2 years ago

thank you to the author..it really helps in my studies..

:D 2 years ago

this is great advice- thank you

Bernie 15 months ago

Very poingnant, almost biblical review of a point by point outline what it takes to be an outstanding employee and a better person..It comes at a critical point when I was doing everything listed here wrong....reading this has been significant in the process of reconstructing my self at a criticaly time of "Do or DIE"..I just didn't know what it was that I was supposed to do...Now, thanks to your outline, I have the survival tools needed to not only "fix" the problem, but to excel. You may have saved my career, and the thought of self termination...and instead have stabilized me and renewed the hope of suceeding in my job...Hope it does the same for others...THANKS !!!

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 15 months ago from North America Hub Author

It is good to know that this Hub is helpful to you, Bernie. It is the reason for sharing such information - if we can help one person, we have done something good. Much success to you!

avi 14 months ago

I would say thank you very much Ms. Patty, I'm going to share it to my boss hoping for a little changes from our rare organization.

Gob bless and more power!

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 14 months ago from North America Hub Author

Much success toi you at work! I hope you find happiness and productivity on the job with employers that care.

zach longmire 11 months ago

that is good to know

chardarius lewis 10 months ago

that was good to know and learn

Joyette  Fabien profile image

Joyette Fabien 10 months ago from Dominica

Very useful and insightful tips. It is important to remember that the money you earn is not the only important factor in your job. Qualities such as honesty, a good work attitude and others that you mentioned impact positively not only on the organization, but on the employee as well.

PDog2884 9 months ago

I have read and agree that these five details are, indeed, some of the best qualities that a person can have, if you are working with them.

ron smith III 9 months ago

I started reading this mainly because my teacher made me and my class but after reading it I now know how this could help me in the futher

thanks alot

Ron Smith

Jed Shaphir Fraser 9 months ago

This entry may definitely help me in my career development. It is a shame that many students in our modern society do not realize the importance of good conduct in careers.

With this information, I'm sure I can do great things in life!

(/o.o)/ Cheers!

Catton Capter 9 months ago

Hey, I was also having to read this in class and at first I thought this was going to be boring. After I read it, I realized it is very important for my future.

PDog2884 9 months ago

As you have seen one of my class mates, Ron Smith III, has posted, and yes our teacher does believe that our "entire" class is reading, but alas only a select few are. Now this may be true that we are going to work with people that do not believe in these characteristics, but if everyone would follow this rule then no one would be upset with coworkers.

Dheir Kinsey 9 months ago

this was very useful

C.J. Reed 9 months ago

jki this was incredible interesting I appreciate the information.

Patrick Lee Dickey 9 months ago

As you have seen one of my class mates, Ron Smith III, has posted, and yes our teacher does believe that our "entire" class is reading, but alas only a select few are. Now this may be true that we are going to work with people that do not believe in these characteristics, but if everyone would follow this rule then no one would be upset with coworkers

thetruemasterofgames 9 months ago

this stuff actually is interesting and useful to our futures and for current workers I don't think alot of my classmates are really paying attention to it to caught up with games and facebook

Gracie 9 months ago

This was very informative and helpful. Everyone should read the bullets under bad attitudes. Most need it.

Hannah 9 months ago

This is a great site to read if you're just now starting a business. It teaches you more than just being an "okay" boss. With these tips, you can take charge and gain friendships along the way. Patty Inglish is a genious! :)

bradlet b 9 months ago

how good is tis

jiamond 9 months ago

good to know this info

WCHS student 9 months ago

in reply to Patrick Lee Dickey's post: What you are trying to convey in that comment is completely irrelevant. Ron Smith III is only trying to say is though yes, he may have had to do it, but in the end he enjoyed it. So Patrick Lee Dickey, you are very much trying to sound smart in this situation and in my opinion, you really shouldn't. Thank you:)

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 9 months ago from North America Hub Author

It looks as if some middle and high school students are benefiting from this material. I was not taught a single word of it in school or at home, so I was LOST when I started my first job.

WCHS student 9 months ago

Yeah I guess so. Hey Ms. Patty how old are you?

wchs student 9 months ago

very useful

cornbread79 9 months ago

I know I'm only 15 and in the ninth grade and go to WCHS go bulldogs!!!! but I've had more jobs then I can count because I couldn't show up on time because of football practice but this information has really helped me be a better person at work! It has helped me get along better with my boss.

Thanks, Patty Inglish for the information!!!

sincerely, Kyler Deese

brandon 9 months ago

think you for making this page

brandon howard 9 months ago

this stuff is good to now

zombieslayer9000 9 months ago

this was zombierific tips

brandon howard 9 months ago

this stuff is good

vlogan25 profile image

vlogan25 8 months ago from Omaha, NE

Excellent article on how to be a good Hessen.

12 7 months ago

it was a wondefull thing to say

Tra'Vonta Smith 7 months ago

This all is very good and intersting. But some people just don't like too read. For those people I wish them the best of luck. But GREAT Article.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 months ago from North America Hub Author

Thanks for all your comments and I hope you are able to use some of the material in this article.

Hugo Furst profile image

Hugo Furst 7 months ago from USA Level 1 Commenter

What a great hub. Thanks for compiling the lists/ writing this piece! Voted up :)

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 months ago from North America Hub Author

I hope it comes in useful for you, Hugo!

AdamsGil 6 months ago

There's just one word for you - Appreciable.

You controlled me to not to escape the article for even a single line. Thats how much good work you have done!! Awesome :)

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 months ago from North America Hub Author

Thanks for the commendations. I hope this Hub helps people secure jobs this year!

Felicia Davis 6 months ago

Advice IS GREAT!

dEE WHITE 6 months ago

Thank you JESUS Hallelujiah DFGVWEYTFGSEYCFGDVSDGBSDGVBDSE

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 months ago from North America Hub Author

I hope you kids in the Demopolis Al schools can use this information to find good jobs soon. Best of success to you.

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