good employee traits

10 Employee Traits That Matter

Kristine Shreve is the Director of Marketing for EnMart and parent company Ensign Emblem. She developed and writes two blogs—the EnMart Threaducuate blog and the SubliStuff blog. Shreve also maintains the EnMart Twitter account and Facebook page. She can be reached via email at

Finding the perfect employee may be the Holy Grail for almost any employer, but it’s not a realistic goal. Humans are, by nature, imperfect, and it’s tough to find someone who will meet all your criteria. Instead, it might be wiser to focus on the traits that matter instead of focusing on perfection. With that in mind, here are 10 employee traits that matter.

  1. Reliability – Good employees show up on time. They do what they say they will do. If you can’t rely on someone to appear when they’re scheduled or to finish what they start, they’re less than helpful to your business.
  2. Resourcefulness – Good employees know how to find the information they need or get the input and supplies they need to make something work. They don’t wait around to be told what to do; they figure things out for themselves.
  3. Coachability – This isn’t just about being able to learn and take instruction; it’s also about criticism. Specifically, the ability to accept constructive criticism, learn from it and implement corrections.  
  4. Confidence – We’re not talking arrogance here, just a calm certainty that they can handle whatever comes at them and get the job done. Pride in their skills and abilities is a definite plus as well.
  5. Positive – Most everyone has had the experience of working with someone who is always negative. It poisons the atmosphere of the shop or office. Look for those employees who are always looking on the bright side.
  6. Invested – Look for employees who are willing to go the extra mile, who take so much pride in what they do they don’t stop until it’s done right. People who are eager to invest their time and effort in doing their best work are keepers.
  7. Self-Motivated – Self-motivated people don’t need to be prodded or micromanaged. They’re driven by their own engine and are committed to producing their best work. You can turn them loose and know that they’ll get the job done.
  8. Proactive – A proactive employee is one who sees the iceberg coming and changes course without waiting to be told. Proactive employees solve problems before they become problems
  9. Honest – It goes without saying that you don’t want employees that steal or lie, but honesty is more than that.   You do want employees that are willing to speak the truth to those in charge and willing to speak up when they’re unhappy or think something is wrong.
  10.  Detail Oriented – The details matter, especially when it comes to garment decoration.  You need someone who will pay attention to the fine details and isn’t afraid to double check to make sure they’ve done things correctly.   Getting the small details right means that employee is most likely to get the critical information right as well.