We often hear that attitude is important. But which attitudes make a great employee?
Ask any recruitment consultant, CEO or manager and they’ll tell you there’s no magic formula to determining how valuable and successful an employee will be, but there are a few key characteristics they tend to look out for.
Great employees not only possess the following highly-desired attributes - they also know how to demonstrate them to their boss, or prospective employers.
Employers value people who are motivated and driven, focused on taking action to achieve results, and who are willing to take chances to succeed. Without these people, teams can stagnate and get caught up in processes and red tape.
To show you’re an action-oriented and motivated go-getter, keep a work-in-progress schedule so you can tick tasks off your list as you achieve them, and to keep you moving forward and onto the next thing.
Organised, hardworking employees with great attention to detail know how to take care of business and stay on track, crossing all the Ts and dotting all the Is to ensure all work is completed efficiently, and to a high standard.
Demonstrate your productivity and diligence by doing a great job, first and foremost, and by keeping relevant team members and managers in the loop on project progress.
Attitude is infectious in a workplace, which is why employers place high value on staff members who are upbeat and optimistic, and bring a positive, can-do attitude with them to every task and board meeting. Because of this, a good attitude is also often important for good cultural fit.
A great attitude can be more important to employers than technical skills, so be mindful of projecting optimism and a great attitude in every aspect of your work with team members, managers and clients. Approach all tasks with a solutions-focus – even when a particularly difficult challenge makes you want to pull your hair out.
It’s also important to identifiy any negative attitudes that could be holding you back at work, and try to reframe your thinking around these.
Employers are busy people, and they’d much rather get on with the business of doing business than spend a significant portion of their work day micro-managing or hand-holding. For this reason, managers and decision-makers love self-motivated, intelligent and proactive staff who can take initiative and work autonomously.
Taking initiative, working autonomously and being proactive are easy attributes to demonstrate – it’s all about rolling up your sleeves and getting on with the tasks at hand. If you’re doing these things well, your boss may hardly ever hear from you, so be sure to check in with them once in a while to keep them up-to-date on your progress.
Want to be the whole package at work? Be a team-player and demonstrate your confidence, communication and leadership skills. These qualities are invaluable in any workplace, and will help you position yourself as the natural choice for a promotion when the opportunity presents itself.
Focus on projecting confidence (but not arrogance), being friendly and approachable, and keeping the lines of communication open with your team mates. Be patient if they have questions, and pitch in to help where you can.
When an employer brings you on board, they’re placing a huge amount of trust in you to be an asset to their business. They may seem like old-fashioned values, but employers’ value integrity, honesty and reliability above many other important qualities. After all, it doesn’t matter if you’re the best creative mind in the industry if you can’t show up on time, meet deadlines, or keep your lips sealed on confidential matters.
Demonstrate that your employer can trust you in all things. Be punctual and reliable. Be responsible and accountable, and put your hand up if you make a mistake (as we all do). Be honest and authentic. Conduct yourself with integrity no matter who you’re dealing with, and no matter how difficult a situation is.
In this employment market, you’ll need to be creative, adaptable and multi-skilled to stand out from the crowd and succeed. Your boss wants someone who can be flexible, learn new skills and think outside the box.
It’s important to prove your adaptability and demonstrate your multi-skilled capabilities at every stage of the application process, and within an existing role.
It also helps to also be willing to learn and grow on the job, or take a course to allow you to bring new, valuable skills to the table. Put your hand up for tasks outside of your typical comfort zone, and think laterally to come up with solutions no-one else has considered.
Do you believe that one or more of these attitudes represent you? Then be sure to use them to your advantage.
Whether you’re applying for a new role, or looking to take on new projects or get an internal promotion, it’s important to not only recognise the value of these skills, but to actively demonstrate them to current or future employers.