Characteristics Of A Good Employee

“To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge.”


How much do you know about your employees? How much do you want to know or need to know? How many of your employees would you say are the best and brightest? How many times have you said, “I wish I had ten more like him/her.” Why? What makes them so valuable to your business? What makes them so valuable to you? What characteristics do they have that make them stand out?

If you took the time to ask yourself that question, you might come to the same conclusions as, which identified some of the top characteristics of a good employee:

  1. Good communicator
  2. Self-Motivated
  3. Adaptable/Decisive/Effective Learner
  4. Team Player
  5. Helps Others
  6. Honest
  7. Ethical
  8. Polite
  9. Disciplined and Punctual

Other websites and articles identify similar characteristics. Are these important to you as a business owner? Are these the types of characteristics that describe your top employees? If so, why don’t you have more employees like these? Did you know that they had these characteristics when you hired them or did you help develop them along the way?

How do you know whether a current employee has these characteristics? Maybe more importantly, how do you know a potential employee has these characteristics before they become an employee?

Many business owners will simply state that you just know whether employees have these characteristics – by how they handle themselves, how they work with other employees, how they perform their work, and how they treat customers.

Would it be helpful if you could measure your potential employees and your current employees to see whether they possess these types of characteristics? Would it be helpful to create a position that not only shows the experience and skills needed to perform the job well but also includes the characteristics that are needed? Then, would it be helpful to actually be able to find candidates that match those characteristics?

We are talking about an added dimension: being able to know your employees/potential employees better. Finding out things that are not apparent in a resume or an interview so that you have the best-fitting employees working at your company. Wouldn’t that increase your productivity, save money and alleviate some of your headaches?

Let’s talk about the types of assessments you might find useful for your employees, teams, and potential employees and exactly what they measure:

Competencies – How do you know if potential employees are creative, flexible, or have negotiation skills? You ask them whether they have the skills and hope they can give you examples of how they were used. What if you could measure whether an employee not only has specific skills but whether they were considered well developed? TTI’s Competency Hierarchy measures 25 specific skills including interpersonal, presentation, written communication, problem-solving ability, creativity, empathy, flexibility, self-management, teamwork, decision making, leadership, customer focus, planning & organization, conflict management, and conceptual thinking to name a few. Wouldn’t it be good to know what competencies your employees and potential employees possess?
Behaviors – TTI uses the DISC profile to help identify an employee’s behavior style. Behavior measures “how” we do things and react to things. DISC measures a person’s natural and adaptive behavior style in 12 different areas including working with people, customer relations, consistency, following policy, follow up and follow through, versatility, change, organization, and urgency to name a few. Wouldn’t it be good to know that a person’s behavior style fits the job you have them performing?
Motivation – We are all driven by motivators. Motivators measure “why” we do things. The motivation assessment measures six areas of motivation: social (helping people), individual (personal recognition), traditional (social structure), theoretical (knowledge), utilitarian (economic rewards), and aesthetic (self-expression). Not everyone is motivated by the same things. Wouldn’t it be good to know what motivates your employees? Wouldn’t that help with employee retention?
Acumen – Research has shown that people who understand themselves (self-view) and the world (worldview) around them are the most effective in their career endeavors. The self-view measures the clarity and understanding of a person’s roles in life and direction for the future. The world-view portion of the assessment measures the clarity of a person’s understanding of people, tasks, and systems. Wouldn’t it be good to know how your employees will react in individual and complex situations and their capacity for resolving business and personal problems?

These types of assessments can be used to help with current employees and teams, and they can be used to add another dimension when looking for the ideal candidate for an open position.

There are many companies out there that offer various personality, behavior, acumen, competencies, emotional intelligence and other assessments covering the aforementioned sciences. One of the best is TTI Success Insights® – not only because it’s the company I use for my clients, but because of the sheer volume of the types of assessments they offer, the combination of sciences to create team/management reports (e.g., behaviors, motivators, competencies), the job benchmarking that no one else offers, and the fact that they continue to research and improve the science behind the assessments they offer.

Yogi Berra once said, “You never know until you find out.” Finding out more about your employees not only helps them in their work environment but helps you to better identify the best positions for them and the best ways to reward and retain your best employees.


Ron Feher
Ron Feher
“Making your business better by making your people better,” captures Ron’s commitment to helping people. He possesses a breadth and depth of experience in a variety of disciplines including job benchmarking, staff development, manager mentoring, executive coaching, employee and management training. Ron has over 30 years of experience working in large, mid-size, and small companies in both technical and management roles with responsibilities covering management and technical training, strategic planning, tactical implementation, P&L, budgeting, vendor and relationship management, user design and testing, PMO, and process/project management of corporate-wide. He has worked for large, midsize, and small companies in a myriad of industries including telecommunications (AT&T), computer manufacturing (Gateway), mergers and acquisitions (RSM EquiCo), real estate, IT outsourcing and publishing (Spidell Publishing). He possesses an MBA in Technology Management, certifications in project management, international management and eMarketing. He is a Value Added Advisor with TTI Success Insights™, a certified Behavior and Motivation Analyst and certified Career Direct® consultant. Ron is currently serving as Irvine Chamber of Commerce Leads Group Chair, FUSION Leaders Chair and Board Member along with being actively involved with several task forces and committees. As an outreach to the community, Ron offers a Career Transition Workshop to churches and non-profits and was a founding member of the Career Coaching & Counseling Ministry at Saddleback Church. Ron’s favorite quote is “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll still get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers

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  1. Most excellent information Ron! Thank you for sharing this article — as a major advocate and firm believer in the power of human capital, I also believe in the strength behind using assessments because we’re human – we all have blind spots. Even when we strive for absolute transparency, there’s always aspects that we couldn’t express even if we tried.

    Knowing where our peoples inherent values and motivators reside (insomuch as their innate tendencies for communication styles), we are better primed. Such information positions us to help relationships take root.

    When we know this type of information, we can better lead. We can better connect. We can form better relationships with them…. after all, they are dealing with our customers. And our customers sense this. They know.

    • Thank you for your comments and insights Dr. Beaman. I love the assessments that I use so that I can gather as much objective data as possible. You are correct, we have blind spots and when we hire people, we have built in biases. The more objective we can be, the better for everyone. Thank you again for taking the time to comment.