Some employees are so-so. A few are very good. And every once in a while, you hire a truly exceptional employee. But how do you tell if the person you’ve hired really is the right fit for the job? How can you know if he or she is truly knocking the job out of the park?
Qualities of a Great Employee
In fact, the employees who are truly enhancing your business in creative and unusual ways may come off as outliers in quantitative employee performance studies. While quantitative studies can help reveal where improvement is needed, there are other qualitative signs to keep in mind when performing employee evaluations. At Safeguard, we realize the long-term success of a company isn’t just about the products or services it provides, but the employees who create the culture and future of the company as a whole. Hanging on to these exceptional employees can sometimes make all the difference between mediocre success and truly great success.
Without further ado, here are our five ways to tell whether an employee is truly exceptional.
They’re not constrained to their job descriptions.
On the one hand, it’s important for employees to understand the responsibilities and tasks designated to their job so the necessary work is completed on time and no one feels confused about his or her obligations. On the other hand, the most successful employees — and by extension, the most successful companies — are those in which employees do not feel constrained by their job descriptions. If an especially innovative idea strikes them, an idea that might just be a breakout for the company, a truly great employee will run with that idea even if it isn’t included in the ramifications of their job.
They’re positive and encouraging when working in a team.
We talk a lot about the importance of teamwork on the Safeguard blog. That’s because we’ve found that mediocre ideas can become great ideas through collaboration and brainstorming. A really exceptional employee is someone who understands this. He or she enjoys working in a team, and encourages others to join the team as well. He or she might also offer praise for good ideas and encourage anyone who wants to share, collaborate, or brainstorm. On the flip side, exceptional employees will never contribute to negative or discouraging comments while working with others.
They’re willing to offer constructive criticism, but only in private.
Exceptional employees are insightful, especially when it comes to the inner workings of the company. They see both the good and the bad, and when they see something going wrong, they speak up (https://blog.gosafeguard.com/blog/5-tips-becoming-better-leader-safeguard/). That said, they won’t call out a bad idea or a struggling coworker in public. Rather, they will speak in private only with those directly involved with the issue at hand.
They ask incisive questions.
An exceptional employee is one who’s willing to ask the questions no one else wants to ask. Rather than hurrying through a meeting, he or she will raise a hand to get to the bottom of an issue. Even if a question evokes a difficult answer, exceptional employees are willing to bring up the hard stuff. Their questions are often incisive, leading to a deeper understanding of the topic being discussed.
New ideas excite them!
Exceptional employees are devoted to the company, and when the company starts to innovate, coming up with creative ideas or developing new and interesting products, you can see the excitement in their eyes. Exceptional employees are the ones you want to share your new ideas with because they’ll be excited with you!
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