10 Employee Traits That Matter

Marshall Atkinson is a graduate of Florida State University (BS in Art) and is now the owner of Atkinson Consulting LLC. He worked for T-Formation of Tallahassee Inc. for nearly 18 years as both art director and vice president of operations and was instrumental in the company's third-party certification through the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership - the first apparel company to receive such accreditation. Atkinson has participated on trade show and webinar industry panel discussions regarding sustainability and the Consumer Product Safety Information Act. Currently, he is also responsible for the education division of InkSoft

To learn more about Atkinson Consulting, visit: https://atkinsontshirt.com/.

What makes or breaks the success of any company is their employees' level of awesomeness.

Do you have what I call “deadwood” employees on your payroll? Deadwood employees are those staff members that just are constantly at the top of the cut-list. These knuckleheads aren’t contributing much to the velocity of your company's success.

For this article, I thought I would take a stab at outlining the 10 key employee traits that should guide your outlook. To me, these are the core values to use when thinking about your current staff, and even some possible hires in the future.

1. Dependability

These are your go-to people for anything critical, as you know that they will consistently hit that home run for you. Everything runs on time, every time. Anything that is thrown their way is handled perfectly.

2. Work Ethic

These employees are like machines. No matter the task or circumstances they crank it out. They are always at the top of the charts for performance too.

3. Self-Motivated

These employees are the easiest to manage as you hardly have to talk to them at all. When they run out of things to work on, they will start helping someone else or even work ahead on future projects, all without asking. They solve their own problems.

4. Team Player

They always have your back. Whatever is needed they are quick to jump in and help out. If you need someone to stay late or work on a Saturday, you know all you have to do is ask. No argument.

5. Positivity

This person exudes friendliness and positivity all the time. They only have an “On” switch. Just having them around makes everyone feel good. When they aren’t there, it seems like something is missing.

6. Communication

This rating is for the best active listeners on your staff. These people are great communicators. Whether in person, on the phone, by email, or maybe even with a text. They raise the bar in your shop with how they handle challenging situations by using effective communication to sort it out. Your customers love them.

7. Flexibility

Ambiguity is commonplace in the decorated apparel industry. Most orders use familiar decoration methods but are completely custom in nature. Great staff members can be flexible in how they think and solve problems. They just need a starting point for their rocket ship of awesomeness to launch. This group is your creative thinkers that solve problems.

8. Customer Service

Whether it is internal or external customer service, these staff members are the very best. They work proactively to solve problems for others. Support is the blood in their veins.

9. Skills

Highly skilled in their area. They are the best you have in the company, and in fact, could teach the material. You may even advertise that they work in the shop, as they are known for their skill level.

10. Intangibles

They bring a lot more to the table than what you initially hired them to do. In fact, you are constantly amazed that they even work for your company. Customers give you business just because they are in your building.

Marshall's full-length article, including a rundown of what it looks like to have less than A-plus employees, can be found here