4 traits commonly possessed by awesome employees

While there's no hard-and-fast formula for what makes a great employee, there are a few general traits that exceptional staff members tend to embody.

Fantastic employees are every manager's dream. Of course, the reality is that there will be a variation in your workforce in terms of some workers being more efficient, effective and driven than others.

But just because this disparity is inevitable thanks to the science of bell curves, that doesn't mean that there aren't steps you can take to try and stack the deck as much in your favor as possible. While there's no hard-and-fast formula for what makes a great employee, there are a few general traits that exceptional staff members tend to embody. If you know what to look for, you can increase your hiring efficiency dramatically by ensuring that you're hiring the best candidates for the job.

"What separates the good employees from the great ones is the ability to handle conflict."

1. They don't run away from conflict
With so many people and moving parts involved in running a business, it's inevitable that conflict will arise at some point. What separates the good employees from the great ones is the ability to meet these instances head-on instead of running away or trying to pass it off on someone else.

This is because great employees are capable of separating professional criticism from personal attacks. Confrontation makes many people uncomfortable, leading them to perform at a sub-par level to try and avoid stepping on toes. In contrast, employees who are confident and dedicated are capable of working through conflict to achieve the desired result - and leave everyone feeling happy in the process.

2. They're unflinchingly positive
Sometimes things happen in the workplace that seem like insurmountable obstacles. An unreasonable client request, poor customer feedback or a bad performance review can all inspire staff members to view their glass as half-empty. But this type of negativity is toxic to productivity in the workplace.

According to Entrepreneurial Insights, positivity has a twofold benefit. First, it prevents employees from giving up on a task right away - thinking "I can do this" instead of "this is impossible" has a huge impact on a person's productivity. Beyond that, however, positivity has a good effect on those around you. You may have heard that smiles are contagious, and there's some truth to that. Displaying a positive attitude around coworkers can actually have the effect of spreading positivity to other employees, whereas being a grouch at work can have the opposite effect and lead to greater morale problems.

Being positive at work can have a ripple effect on those around you.

3. They demonstrate ownership
You've doubtless heard the metaphor about how a company is like a giant machine that requires each individual component to work in tandem. Every manager has experienced at least one instance where a problem arose because an employee didn't properly carry out his or her job function.

Ownership and accountability are important, because as a manager you can't possibly follow every essential task at your company. There's an implied understanding between you and your employees that they're responsible for certain tasks. Being able to rely on employees who you know are dependable and who will take ownership of a given task keeps your customers happy, but it also provides peace of mind for you so you don't have to worry about potential mistakes.

4. They balance independence with collaboration
It's important for workers to be capable of operating independently. After all, you won't always be around to point out exactly what needs to be done, which is why initiative is so highly valued among employers.

But no person is an island, even at a company. Self-direction is good, but your staff should also know how to work effectively in team settings. That means listening as well as leading, and allowing for coworkers to bring their unique experience and skills to bear. The best collaborators know this is the most effective way to approach problem-solving at work.

This content brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.

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