Even if you have a successful system in place of assessments to evaluate candidates and employees, that system doesn’t mean anything unless you know exactly what employee characteristics you’re supposed to be looking for.
What Employee Characteristics Should You Look For While Hiring?
While it’s wise to specifically define what qualities are needed for individual roles, there are several traits of successful employees that are universal when it comes to building an effective team.
Developed communication skills are what makes a good worker. No matter the position, great communication allows employees to express themselves clearly, resolve conflict, and make connections across your organization. This is essential to the larger success of your team.
Another attribute of a good employee is a growth mindset. “A growth mindset is the perspective that your abilities, qualities, and capabilities can grow and improve over time,” we’ve shared before. “The key is an understanding that all skills and talents can be improved. This requires an investment of time, of belief, and of self.”
What makes a great employee is their ability to adapt and innovate. Embracing a growth mindset means that they want to get better. They acknowledge that all skills can and should be improved, and that a process of continuous learning isn’t a burden but is rather a great excitement of life. Growth mindsets can be taught and encouraged, but finding someone who already embraces this mindset will give them a head start in the position.
What are the ideal employee characteristics for co-workers?
The features of a good employee are consistent in the two aspects mentioned above, but can differentiate when it comes to employees who will work on a team. Here are the employee characteristics you need to look out for.
Co-workers are a part of a team, and having a singular focused mindset won’t serve them well when meeting objectives as a group. Look for someone who thrives while working with others and loves to participate.
If your employees are working on a team and providing their skills to the group output, that means you can afford to get specific.
Being Proactive and Responsible
You need workers who are hungry for success. Find someone who takes responsibility for both their successes and failures. This acknowledgment means they are staying honest and accountable, and truly want what’s best for the role and the team.
Engaged in Their Work
Employee engagement is crucial for your organization. Look for employees who want to find and create personal meaning in their work. An engaged team will make all the difference; employee disengagement translates to a profit loss of 34% of the disengaged employee’s annual salary. Can you afford a loss like that?
What are the ideal qualities for leaders?
Leaders need a different skill set than their employees. Here’s how a leader can set themselves apart from the rest.
Can Deliver Constructive Criticism
Here’s where great communication comes back into play. Leaders need to be able to deliver feedback effectively, whether it’s positive or negative. Constructively working through failures and reframing them as opportunities for their employees to grow in their positions makes all the difference.
Big Picture Thinking
Leaders need to be able to comprehend and interpret the vision of a company, and then break that down into deliverables for their team. A leader without a larger vision lacks the introspection and passion organizations need to succeed.
This might be a less glamorous skill, but it’s crucial for leaders. A leader, whether that’s a team lead, a department head, or a CEO, need to be masters of resource allocation and delegation. Time, the capacity of a team, and financial resources are all elements that need to be managed and protected for a team.
Great Listening Skills
A lot of leaders are direct, fast-paced, and ready to go at all times. However, your personal communication style matters far less than the styles of your team. A great leader can adapt to what they need.
Active listening is one of the keys to emotional intelligence, which in turn is crucial for a healthy workplace.
How should you evaluate if a candidate is a team player?
The ability to thrive in a group setting is an essential employee characteristic. Here are the quality characteristics of a good employee and a good team player.
Emotional intelligence is a crucial skill for any member of a team. It allows individuals to become aware of their actions and emotions, and helps them understand the same of their teammates.
Evaluate if a candidate is a team player by asking them about conflict. The way one handles interpersonal problems is indicative of emotional intelligence; can you understand others and adjust to their needs? Are you open to learning from conflict and previous mistakes?
How do you evaluate personality traits?
Now that you know what employee characteristics to look for in your candidates, you need to figure out exactly how to evaluate those personality traits.
This is where assessments come in. Personality assessments give you an objective metric to measure behavior, motivation, skills, emotional intelligence, and more. People generally like others with similar personalities to them, and might clash with those who behave differently than they do.
How can you use assessments to match personality traits to team roles?
Assessments are the secret weapon of effective organizations. They aren’t just effective in the hiring process; they are excellent for matching team roles up with the right personality of the right person.
For example, if a candidate will be working in a front-line customer support role, they need to be energized by interacting and talking with others. If they are a Reserved communicator as indicated by their DISC results, they are not likely to thrive in their role. The best-case scenario is that they are able to fake it and fulfill the duties of their role, but the stress of working against their natural behavior will take its toll and result in burnout in the role.
Engagement increases when a role is well matched to the personality of that team member. It increases workplace happiness, productivity, and quality of work.
The skills of a great employee are as varied as the different roles a team needs to thrive. Assessments and an improved understanding of what you need to look for in leaders, coworkers and teammates will give your organization a boost.