Companies want employees to carry out the work necessary to achieve their goals, but the employees also must work well with each other. Depending on how the company is organized, it may place value on employees who are team-oriented or employees who can follow instructions well. In addition to these work-related qualities, there are five attributes you want your employees to have.
Ethics includes qualities such as honesty, integrity and a will to do the right thing. You must be able to trust your employees and rely on them to interact honestly with each other. When hiring, you want to ask questions about ethical problems and listen to how the employee responds. Employees who have strong ethical standards work together to create a positive workplace environment and are respectful of their fellow employees and their supervisors.
A key attribute for an employee is reliability. When an employee agrees to carry out work in a certain way and according to a given schedule, you have to be able to rely on the work being completed on time and to the required standard. Reliable employees will make the extra effort when something unexpected happens. You can rely on them to do everything possible to meet their commitments. You can check on the reliability of an employee by examining his evaluations within the company. At the hiring stage, you can check out the prospective employee's references.
Accountability is the quality that lets employees take responsibility for a situation, even when the outcome is unfavorable. An employee may be reliable but, when things go wrong and he can't meet his commitments, must take responsibility for the failure and make proposals for ensuring that it doesn't happen again. You can often check a person's accountability by asking about negative events on his resume and see whether he takes responsibility for them.
The ability to communicate effectively is an attribute that allows employees to work well with their colleagues and interact successfully with supervisors and customers. Employees must know how to communicate the details of the work to be done and how they propose to accomplish their part of it. You can tell how well an employee communicates starting with the quality of the resume and during an employment interview. Employees who communicate well handle such an interview confidently, detailing their interest in a position and explaining what they would bring to the job.
Attitude includes enthusiasm, patience, generosity and commitment. An employee with a positive attitude gets work done and motivates others to do their share. They go public with positive developments and share complaints only with the people responsible. They have an innate feel for the approach that will work for a particular problem and offer to help in any way they can.
Bert Markgraf is a freelance writer with a strong science and engineering background. He started writing technical papers while working as an engineer in the 1980s. More recently, after starting his own business in IT, he helped organize an online community for which he wrote and edited articles as managing editor, business and economics. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from McGill University.