8 Traits All Leaders Look for in Stellar Employees

8 Traits All Leaders Look for in Stellar Employees


There’s an old saying among employers, “hire traits, train skills.”

In today’s digitally developed world, you might be forgiven for thinking that skills now play a greater role in impressing an industry leader. But make no mistake, it’s a person’s traits that separate them from the rest of a skilled workforce.

To ensure that leaders in your industry value you and your work, you need to be boasting the attributes that they actively look for in an employee.

1. Psychological Safety

This one is direct from Google’s own study. According to them, employees need to feel psychologically safe enough to take risks and display creativity without feeling insecure or embarrassed.

You could equate this one with confidence, but I feel that part of this trait includes not making others in your team feel insecure about expressing themselves, too. It’s a communal thing.

2. Creativity

Speaking of creativity, today’s business world demands it.

There’s a reason Google puts emphasis on creating a psychologically safe environment, and it’s not just to make their employees feel good. It’s to breed creativity.

Every industry is feeling the impact of the digital age, and the creative juices of every employee is the fuel that’s needed for the growth of any brand.

3. Passion

You may be completing tasks, but are you putting any passion into them?

There’s nothing an employer likes more than to see his workforce truly engaging with their work. And the only way to do that, is to care.

Realistically, if you don’t already feel some passion for the industry you work in, this may not be a trait that you can manufacture. Instead, it may even be time to look for work in an environment where your passion will manufacture itself.

4. Reliability

Your employer needs to be able to depend on you.

Whether it be meeting deadlines, closing sales, or grabbing them their favourite coffee. They have to know that you can handle your responsibilities.

After all, what use are all of these other attributes if you can’t deliver them in a reliable way?

5. Conscientiousness

Psychologists at the University of Minnesota analyzed large data sets of job performance information to find out which personality attributes employers value most. Conscientiousness was top of their list.

What they meant by conscientiousness, was; behaviour that involves being dependable, persevering, and orderly.

In other words, all of those traits you’re told to mention on your resume – except, you actually have to have those traits.

6. Agreeableness

Agreeableness was another trait that was found to be in demand by study from Minnesota University.

The term encompasses being cooperative, flexible and tolerant when dealing with colleagues and bosses.

On the other hand, don’t ever be agreeable for the sake of being agreeable. Know when to say no, and you may even earn some respect.

7. Independence

No employer wants a needy employee.

Teamwork is naturally a major cog in any organization's workflow, but the ability to handle yourself in situations is also vital.

Leaders in your industry want to see you have your own thoughts, and they want to see you putting your own ideas into practise.

8. Knowledge

In today’s digital world, no industry is static. New technologies and trends are constantly evolving the business world in which we all work, and with enterprise software spending set to hit $201 billion by 2019, you better believe that the future of big business is being carved out by software.

For an employee to be valued, they don’t just have to have knowledge of the industry they work in – they also need to be aware of how modernity can affect it.

It’s not easy to adopt all of the above attributes, but if you can begin with just one, you’ll be well on your way towards being the employee that leaders in your industry are looking for.

About the Author

Kaya Ismail is a wordsmith and founder of Employ the Internet. He is a seasoned content marketer with a love for video games and coffee.

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