5 Traits to Being a Valuable Employee

There are many traits that employers look for to recruit and retain the most valuable employees. We could talk for hours about these traits and how people can develop them within themselves; however, due to time constraints, I’ve decided to focus on the top five traits that contribute to being a valuable employee.

  1. Have Integrity. The foundation of any relationship in business, whether it is with co-workers or clients, is building a strong relationship with them based on your words and actions. Having the valuable trait of integrity ensures that you live by the values, morals and beliefs that you talk about in every aspect of your life. Doing anything to ruin your integrity will cause a huge drop in trust with your co-workers and clients. Enron is a perfect example of a company that lacked integrity due to their actions. Once they damaged their integrity, anyone who worked for them will continually deal with the label of working for a company with a bad reputation. Integrity is the foundation for a great company and the individuals who work within that company. 
  2. Be a Team Player. No matter where you work, whether it’s a small firm or a large corporation, you will have to work in teams. The ability to communicate, share your wisdom and knowledge, and collaborate is essential to building a business and a career. Interacting with a variety of individuals is valuable in working with a team, since everyone is going to come into a project with their own ideas and ways of initiating a project. If you can collaborate and take everyone’s ideas into consideration, you will certainly have a better end result.
  3. Be Reliable. Doing what you say you will do is the hallmark of reliability. You need to build a reputation for being on time to work and meetings, finishing projects in a timely fashion, and being available to help co-workers, when asked. By building a strong reputation in your company, you will be more eligible for promotions and higher-level work. Building a strong reputation cannot guarantee you’ll maintain stable employment, but it will be an attribute valued by your employer.
  4. Take Initiative. You often hear an employer tell you to act like you’re an owner. Taking initiative in your job shows just that. By showing initiative in all aspects of your job, you will be the most productive and show a passion for what you’re doing. Having the drive to take the first actions on a project, without questioning yourself or being guided, is essential to being a sought-after employee. Many employers do not want to micromanage their employees; instead, they want to trust that things will get done as soon as a project is handed over, and having that take-charge attitude will ensure that they can trust you.
  5. Think Ahead. Employers are always looking to the future and envisioning where their company is heading. It’s important that you can also look forward and have the ability to look for new trends and processes to enable the company to do more work with fewer people. That’s imperative to overall business growth. In order to set yourself up to look forward and think ahead, one key strategy is to continue to read and build knowledge of your industry, and then take what you’ve learned and apply it to your current job and responsibilities.

While this list is not intended to be all-inclusive, it does give a framework to work within.  Depending on your role within the firm, how you act upon these five areas will differ. If you want to do great work and set yourself up for promotion, think about how you can be successful in these five areas.