Career Advice

14 Best Employee Characteristics and How to Work on Them

If you’re looking for a job or want to advance in your career, you know that you need the necessary soft skills and technical skills. However, having the qualities of a good employee is highly important, too. 

I’m talking about characteristics – your personal, behavioral, and inherent traits. So what are the characteristics that will make you stand out? 

I’ll list down the 14 best employee characteristics. I’ll also explain why their crucial and show you how to work on these qualities in everyday life. So let’s get straight to it!

14 Best Qualities of a Good Employee

Here are the 14 best employee characteristics examples that you should work on (note: you can also use this list if you’re a recruiter looking to hire employees):

  1. Ambitious
  2. Committed
  3. Confident
  4. Creative
  5. Dedicated
  6. Enthusiastic
  7. Good communicator
  8. Humble
  9. Independent
  10. Integrity
  11. Passionate
  12. Positive
  13. Reliable
  14. Self-awareness
  15. Team player

1. Ambitious

One of the best characteristics of a good employee is being ambitious. This is because you’ll be able to push boundaries for personal growth. In turn, that will fuel progress in the workplace. 

Ambitious employees seek challenges, take risks, and strive for excellence. Their drive not only benefits their careers but also energizes teams and propels organizations to stay ahead of the competition. 

You can see why this characteristic trait makes a good employee. And why employers look for employees with this unique quality. 

How to work on it. To become more ambitious, you need to find opportunities to step out of your comfort zone. You can learn a new skill, volunteer for leadership roles, start a passion project, etc… You should also surround yourself with motivated individuals and draw inspiration from them. 

Read More: Life Of A Leader – What A Leader Does Everyday To Be Successful

2. Committed

If you’re someone who’s committed to your job, you’ll go the extra mile to excel in all you do. For that, you always make sure projects are completed on time and goals are met. 

Moreover, commitment brings out perseverance through challenges. It also reflects a good work ethic, as well as your professionalism. 

How to work on it. If you want to be committed to your work, start by setting clear goals and priorities. Develop a schedule or task list to stay organized and focused. Communicate openly with colleagues and supervisors to align expectations. Take ownership of your work, meet deadlines consistently, and follow through on commitments. 

Read More: Top Strategies for Prioritization and Time Management at Work

3. Confident

Here are 2 stats you’ll want to know: 99% of workers believe that confidence is crucial when finding a job. Meanwhile, 94% of confident employees are more likely to receive promotions

The bottom line is that confidence is a general characteristic of the top talents. If employees believe in their abilities, they’ll be ready for new challenges, opportunities to shine, and leadership roles. 

But it’s not just inward. You should have a confident attitude, too. Make eye contact when talking. Sit up straight. Keep your head held high. Wear the proper attire. You’ll both look and feel confident. 

How to work on it. Confidence in the workplace is one of the common key qualities that many workers struggle with. To work on this, you can start by looking confident outwardly. So as I said, sit up straight, keep your head held high, wear the proper attire, make eye contact, etc… From there, set achievable goals and acknowledge your success. 

Read More: 15 Examples of Confidence in the Workplace to Unlock Success

4. Creative

Did you know that being creative is one of the traits of a good employee? This is true whether you’re in the creative sector or not. When talking to employers about traits to look for in potential employees, the Indeed team says:

Hiring creative, innovative employees can help you keep your organization moving forward and ever-improving. Creative thinkers question the status quo and look for ways to improve long-standing practices and procedures.

How to work on it. If you’re not a naturally creative person, don’t fret. You can cultivate your creativity by experimenting with new ideas and solutions. This doesn’t even have to be in the workplace. You can start with a personal project. For example, you can try a new activity, such as painting, gardening, or cooking. Allow yourself to experiment, make mistakes, and discover new possibilities. Let your imagination guide you and enjoy the process.

Read More: Let Your Creativity Flow: Innovative Ideas in Work Worth Trying

5. Dedicated

Dedicated is similar to committed. But this time, dedication deals more with your loyalty and devotion to your work, a good manager, your coworkers, the company culture, the company goals and objectives, etc… Because of this, you’ll go above and beyond expectations. 

Which employer wouldn’t want to hire, promote, or recognize employees who possess this characteristic? Exactly. So dedication will help you stand out among the crowd. 

How to work on it. OK, you can start by learning how to love everything about your job – the goals, tasks, and people. So go ahead and build relationships, cultivate a positive attitude and mindset, maintain a healthy work-life balance, and find purpose. 

Read More: 

6. Enthusiastic

Enthusiasm ignites motivation and productivity. It fosters a positive work culture, encourages collaboration, and inspires others to excel.

If you show enthusiasm for the work you do, you’ll be excited to do your tasks, embrace challenges with optimism, produce contagious energy, and make it enjoyable to work with you. 

How to work on it. Just like learning how to be dedicated, you need to find purpose, stay positive, and take care of yourself. You should also do what you can to help others. If you want to stay inspired and motivated, set meaningful goals for yourself. 

Read More: 

7. Good communicator

Yes, being a good communicator is a crucial characteristic. So much so that employers find employees and invest in employees with excellent communication skills. 

Why? This is because good communication skills are a must in the workplace. As you deal with coworkers, managers, customers, clients, and other stakeholders, you need to know how to communicate effectively and properly to get things done in the fastest and best way. It can also help resolve conflicts. 

Jamie Birt, a former career coach at, also adds:

A strong communicator is also a good listener. Excellent communication involves active listening, which requires fully comprehending what the other person is saying and responding to them appropriately.

Let’s not forget body language and tone, too. 

How to work on it. Thankfully, this is one characteristic that anyone can work on as it’s one of the certain qualities that can also be a skill. If you want strong communication skills, practice active listening, clarify things by asking questions, and use non-verbal cues effectively. You can start with that. From there, you can work your way to being concise and clear when talking. 

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8. Humble

OK, this characteristic might have come as a surprise. Aren’t you supposed to boast about your skills and achievements? Yes, yes. But if you want to be team-oriented and become a good role model, you also need to be humble.

Plus, humility allows you to become even better at your job. This is because humble people are accountable for their actions, acknowledge their limitations, seek feedback, and know that they must grow and improve even more.  If you’re humble, you’ll also start to notice that others will respect and like you more. 

How to work on it. Never put yourself on a pedestal. You’re not better than your coworkers just because you completed this task first. You’re not better than your managers just because you came up with a great idea. See yourself as someone who always needs to learn, learn, learn. 

Read More: 16 Clear Signs You Are Respected At Work

9. Independent

A 2023 Forbes survey showed that 12.7% of full-time employees work from home. This means that remote work is becoming the norm. 

Since that’s true, employers want employees who can work independently. This means that they can work effectively by themselves. They don’t need to constantly approach a supervisor for any issue they run into. They can adapt to different roles without much guidance. 

How to work on it. Independent employees need great time management skills to be able to finish their tasks. However, I think a more important skill to work on is problem-solving. So whenever you’re faced with challenges or obstacles, assess the situation objectively and brainstorm potential solutions. Research and gather information to address any issues effectively.

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10. Integrity

Another characteristic typical of good employees is integrity. At its core, integrity means being honest, ethical, and morally upright in your actions and behaviors. If you don’t have integrity, you can very well be considered a bad employee. 

Integrity establishes trust, credibility, and ethical standards in the workplace. It also means you’re transparent and dependable in all interactions and decisions. These qualities make you a stand-out candidate and employee. 

How to work on it. One way to boost integrity is to prioritize honesty in all interactions, whether personal or professional. For instance, you can commit to always telling the truth, even when it’s uncomfortable. Additionally, fulfilling promises and commitments consistently helps build a reputation for dependability and trustworthiness, further enhancing integrity.

Read More: 20 Examples of Trust in the Workplace for a Positive Environment

11. Passionate

If you love your job, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. Or so the saying goes. This is why one of the employee qualities that employers look for (and that you need) is passion. 

The team at, a company that offers insurance and financial services, says:

Passion can push employees through setbacks, keep them on track when schedules get hectic, and inspire their best efforts on every assignment.

How to work on it. If you’re passionate about your job, this characteristic should come out naturally. However, if you’re someone who wants to be more passionate, you can start by exploring aspects of your work that genuinely interest you. Go ahead and identify tasks or projects that align with your skills, values, and aspirations. Focus on these and you’ll start to see a bit of your passionate self come out. 

12. Positive

Having a positive attitude, personality, and mindset can achieve so many things at work. And I’ll give you an example of why I can confidently say this. 

Let’s say your team is given a challenging project with tight deadlines and complex requirements. Despite everything, you approach it with an optimistic, determined, and positive attitude.

In turn, your upbeat personality will inspire the other team members to stay motivated. And when everyone is motivated, it will become a productive and effective team. 

How to work on it. You can start by practicing gratitude daily, reflecting on three things you appreciate about your job. This simple habit helps shift focus towards positivity, fostering a more optimistic outlook and laying the foundation for further growth and positivity in the workplace. 

Read More: 6 Morning Habits of Top Performers Worth Trying Right Now

13. Reliable

When HR tries to find the right employees, they always look for reliable employees. But what does it mean to be reliable?

Being reliable at work means consistently fulfilling responsibilities, meeting deadlines, and delivering results with accuracy and dependability. It involves maintaining clear communication, honoring commitments, and demonstrating accountability in tasks and projects. 

How to work on it. Well, it can be something as simple as showing up on time, submitting your tasks before the deadline, improving your ability to work well, being willing to learn new skills, and working well with others. These small qualities make a good employee already. 

14. Team player

A good employee is someone who is a team player or a good team member. A study by Stanford University reported that great teamwork makes everyone 50% more productive

So if you’re part of a team, being a team player means supporting the rest of the team, collaborating effectively, and fostering a positive work environment. Moreover, team players always look for ways to build rapport with their colleagues

How to work on it. If you want to work well in a team, go ahead and assist coworkers with a project. You can start with a friend at work. If you want to improve even more, you should actively participate in team meetings and share insights. 

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Final Words

Now that you know the 14 best employee characteristics, you can go ahead and start working on them. If so, you can show many qualities and personality traits that always excel in the workforce. 

About Author

Founder of With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.

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