If you want to progress at work, doing the minimum isn’t enough. You need to stand out to be considered an outstanding employee! If you want to know how to do this, there are a number of characteristics that employers would use to define an excellent employee. 

Many of these are related to character, and they are things you can absolutely work on and develop over time. Here are some of the traits that great employees have. 


1. Show a positive attitude 

Your attitude at work can make a huge difference to the working environment. People would much rather be around someone that’s happy and optimistic, rather than someone that’s miserable and negative or complains all the time.

Having a consistently positive attitude is essential to being an outstanding employee. Happy people are more efficient and better at working in teams. So, make sure you aim for an optimistic outlook towards all your tasks, no matter how mundane. 


2. Have a strong work ethic 

Nothing can replace the benefits of working hard. In any workplace, your work ethic will be one of the most valued traits. This means being at work on time and not leaving early, performing tasks to a high standard, and being results-orientated. 

Putting time and effort into your work is vital to success. Although it can be challenging, always remember to focus on your job performance, even when there are distractions or conflicts. 


3. Be a team player 

As well as performing strongly as an individual, it’s important to be able to be a member of a team and work with others. Working in a team requires good social skills and a lot of patience at times. But, it also improves productivity, morale, and relationships between employees. 

Most workplaces now have teams of people, and showing you can get along with others to reach a common goal or objective is very desirable to most employers. 


4. Communicate effectively 

In many jobs, communication is central to performance. It can affect every aspect of the role. Whether it’s speaking or in writing, not having an effective style of communicating with others can lead to issues with other employees, your superiors, and clients. 

Make sure you practice thinking before you speak and articulating your ideas and opinions in a tactful, thoughtful way. Also, when responding to others, these responses should be meaningful, rather than potentially damaging.  


5. Stay organized 

In all types of jobs, it’s important to stay on top of your workload and show you can manage your own time. Employers like to know that their employees have systems in place to ensure their job runs smoothly, work is completed on time, and responsibilities are met. 

Working on your organizational abilities and fine-tuning them can help you get in your boss’s good books and build a more successful career. So, make sure you work on these skills! 


6. Be confident and ambitious 

Are you someone who takes risks and has confidence in your abilities? Or do you shy away from challenges? The thing is, most employers prefer ambitious employees that set high expectations for themselves and are more self-assured. 

If you want to stand out at work, make sure you are as confident as possible, and show a willingness to progress. A go-getter attitude shows you are ambitious and willing to work hard – these are important traits, especially if you want to make rapid career progression! 


7. Meet or exceed expectations 

When starting a new job or taking up a new role in a company, you should always take the time to understand your responsibilities and what is expected of you. If you’re unsure, we recommend having a constructive talk with your supervisors to get some clarification. 

Failing to meet the expectations of you can hinder your progress. Because of this, you need to be clear about what your employer expects so you can meet or exceed it. You can even start thinking about new ways to make your job easier. This is sure to make you stand out! 


8. Be willing to adapt to changes 

If you want to impress your employer in the long-term, it’s important to be flexible and willing to adapt to changes within the company. Over time, there will be lots of things, either large or small, that will change in the job and keeping up with these is totally necessary. 

Rather than doing the bare minimum, make sure you stay up-to-date with changes in your role and within your industry so you can perform your job as effectively as possible. 

If you’re going to succeed at work, having a positive attitude and embracing all aspects of your job is a must. By following these tips, you can prove yourself to be an excellent employee!

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