These Are the Top Employee Qualities Every Manager Should Look For

man adding wooden block to the rest symbolising hiring best employee qualities

Hiring employees can be like finding the perfect avocado: not too hard, not too soft, and just right for the job. As HR managers and small business owners, you know that identifying the key qualities of a good employee is crucial for building a successful team.

But what exactly should you look for? We've got you covered with this friendly guide on the top qualities every manager should keep an eye out for.

Whether you're scouting for a new employee or evaluating your current employees, recognizing these qualities will help you find reliable employees who not only meet deadlines but also contribute to a positive working environment.

From communication skills to a positive attitude, we'll dive into the essential traits that make for the best employees. So, grab a coffee, settle in, and let's explore the qualities that turn good employees into valuable assets for your business.


Reliability is a top quality every manager should look for in an employee.

Consistent attendance

One of the most important qualities of a good employee is showing up on time and regularly. Reliable employees who have consistent attendance are crucial for maintaining a smooth workflow and meeting deadlines. When employees work independently and manage work hours effectively, it not only ensures that projects stay on track but also sets a good example for other team members. Good employees understand that being present and punctual demonstrates their commitment and makes them valuable assets to the team.


Accountability means taking responsibility for actions and following through on commitments. Reliable employees are those who are accountable and don't shy away from owning their mistakes. This important quality ensures that tasks are completed efficiently and that the payroll process runs smoothly. When employees work with a sense of responsibility, it fosters a positive working environment where everyone feels valued and respected.

Accountability also encourages a culture of open communication, where employees can give and receive constructive feedback to constantly improve processes.

Communication skills

Communication skills are essential for creating a positive and collaborative work environment.

Active listening

Active listening is all about truly understanding and responding to colleagues. Good communication starts with listening. When employees practice active listening, they show respect and consideration for other team members' ideas and perspectives.

This skill helps in building strong interpersonal skills and fosters a collaborative work environment. Active listening also plays a crucial role in resolving conflicts and improving team dynamics, making it a key quality for any team player.

Clear and concise communication

Clear and concise communication is vital for effective verbal and written interactions. Employees who can communicate effectively ensure that messages are understood without confusion. This skill is especially important for managing work hours, meeting deadlines, and providing constructive criticism. Good communicators can articulate new ideas and provide clear instructions, making them valuable assets to any team.

Being a good communicator also means being detail oriented and understanding the importance of body language and tone in conveying messages. This important quality helps create a positive working environment where everyone can thrive.


Adaptability is crucial for employees to thrive in a constantly changing work environment.


Flexibility is the ability to handle changes and unexpected situations with ease. Employees who are flexible can adjust their plans and workflows without getting flustered. This important quality helps in maintaining a positive working environment, especially when new ideas or challenges arise.

Flexible employees are often seen as reliable employees because they can manage work hours effectively and are willing to take on new tasks or roles as needed. This adaptability makes them valuable assets to any team, especially during times of change.

Problem-solving skills

Problem-solving skills involve approaching challenges with a solution-oriented mindset. Employees who excel in problem-solving can come up with creative solutions to tough situations. This quality is crucial for maintaining productivity and meeting deadlines. Good employees use their problem-solving abilities to improve processes and find new perspectives that benefit the entire team.

Being detail oriented and having strong interpersonal skills also contribute to effective problem-solving, allowing employees to communicate effectively and collaborate with other team members to achieve common goals.


young team of colleagues working on project with sticky notes on the table

Teamwork is essential for creating a collaborative work environment and achieving common goals.


Collaboration involves working well with others to achieve common goals. Good employees are team players who understand the importance of contributing their skills and knowledge for the benefit of the group.

When employees engage in collaboration, they bring fresh ideas and new perspectives that can lead to creative solutions.

Effective collaboration improves team dynamics and ensures that everyone is working towards the same objectives. This makes the workplace more efficient and helps in achieving goals faster.

Supportive attitude

A supportive attitude means being willing to help colleagues and contribute to a positive team environment.

Dedicated employees show their support by offering more support when co-workers need it, whether it’s helping to meet deadlines or providing constructive feedback. This attitude fosters a positive working environment where employees feel valued and appreciated.

It also enhances interpersonal skills and builds strong relationships among team members. Supportive employees are not just good workers; they are essential for maintaining a harmonious and productive workplace.

Strong work ethic

A strong work ethic is fundamental for achieving success and maintaining high standards.


Self-motivation is about being driven to complete tasks without constant supervision. Dedicated employees are those who stay motivated and manage their time effectively to achieve their goals.

They understand the importance of completing tasks promptly and efficiently. Self-motivated employees often bring new ideas and show initiative, which are valuable assets to any team.

This important quality helps in creating a positive working environment where everyone feels responsible for their contributions and strives to improve processes continuously.

Commitment to quality

Commitment to quality means having a dedication to producing high-quality work consistently. Detail oriented employees who focus on quality ensure that the little details are not overlooked.

This dedication reflects a positive attitude towards their work and helps in maintaining a high standard of output.

Employees who are committed to quality often stay organized and use their time management skills to meet deadlines and exceed expectations. Their passion for excellence contributes to a professional development culture and ensures that the business stays ahead in the industry.

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a key quality that helps employees navigate interpersonal relationships and maintain a positive working environment.


Empathy involves understanding and considering the feelings of others. An optimistic employee with high emotional intelligence shows empathy by recognizing the emotions of co-workers and responding appropriately.

This important quality helps create a positive working environment where employees feel valued and supported. Good employees with empathy are more likely to be team players, contributing to a collaborative work environment where fresh ideas and new perspectives are welcomed.

Empathy also enhances communication skills, as employees who can relate to others’ feelings are better at active listening and providing constructive feedback.

Conflict resolution

Conflict resolution is about effectively resolving disputes and maintaining harmony within the team. Employees with strong conflict resolution skills are valuable assets as they help manage team dynamics and ensure a smooth workflow.

These employees work to address issues before they escalate, using their interpersonal skills to communicate effectively and find creative solutions. Good communicators who can handle tough situations with a positive attitude contribute to a more supportive and harmonious work environment.

This not only improves team dynamics but also helps in achieving goals and maintaining a productive atmosphere.

Positive attitude

A positive attitude is essential for creating a motivating and supportive work environment.


Enthusiasm means bringing energy and positivity to the workplace. An optimistic employee with a positive mindset can inspire and uplift other team members.

This enthusiasm helps in fostering a collaborative work environment where everyone feels motivated to contribute their best. Good employees who are enthusiastic about their work often come up with fresh ideas and creative solutions, making them valuable assets to any team.

Their passion for their tasks is contagious, encouraging others to stay motivated and engaged in achieving goals.


Resilience is the ability to stay positive and recover quickly from setbacks. Employees with resilience can handle tough situations without losing their positive attitude.

This important quality is crucial for maintaining productivity and morale in the workplace. Resilient employees stay organized and manage work hours efficiently, ensuring that they can bounce back from challenges and continue to meet deadlines.

Their ability to stay ahead despite obstacles makes them some of the best employees you can have. Their positive outlook and determination to overcome difficulties contribute significantly to a supportive and effective work environment.

Willingness to learn

divers business people in a meeting room looking at white board

Willingness to learn is a top quality that drives personal and professional growth.

Openness to feedback

Openness to feedback means actively seeking and utilizing feedback for improvement. Good employees understand the value of constructive criticism and use it to enhance their skills.

This openness is an important quality for professional development as it shows a positive attitude towards learning and growth. Employees who are open to feedback are constantly improving, making them valuable assets to any team.

They communicate effectively with their co-workers, showing respect and a genuine interest in developing their interpersonal skills. This approach helps create a positive working environment where everyone can thrive.

Continuous improvement

Continuous improvement is the desire to learn new skills and grow professionally. Employees with this mindset are always on the lookout for ways to improve processes and stay ahead of industry trends.

Their dedication to professional development ensures that they remain tech-savvy and up-to-date with the latest advancements. This commitment to learning not only benefits the individual but also brings fresh ideas and new perspectives to the team.

Detail oriented employees who focus on continuous improvement are essential for maintaining a high standard of work and achieving goals efficiently. Their passion for learning and growth fosters a culture of excellence and innovation within the organization.


Integrity is a cornerstone of building trust and respect within any team.


Honesty means being truthful and transparent in all dealings. Good employees who demonstrate honesty create a reliable foundation for the entire team. This important quality ensures that communication remains clear and open, fostering a positive working environment.

When employees are honest, they build trust with their co-workers and management, which is essential for effective teamwork.

Honesty also plays a crucial role in the payroll process, as reliable employees who are transparent about their work hours and contributions help maintain a fair and accurate system.

Ethical Behavior

Ethical behavior involves adhering to moral and ethical standards in every action. Employees who practice ethical behavior are committed to doing what is right, even when faced with tough situations. This dedication to ethics contributes to a positive work environment where everyone feels respected and valued. Good employees who consistently demonstrate ethical behavior set a strong example for other employees, encouraging a culture of integrity across the organization.

This commitment to ethics is also vital for professional development, as it ensures that employees stay motivated to uphold the highest standards in their work.

By valuing honesty and ethical behavior, companies can cultivate a team of dedicated employees who are not only reliable but also respected and trusted within the industry.


Finding the right employee qualities is essential for building a successful team. By focusing on key qualities like reliability, communication skills, adaptability, teamwork, a strong work ethic, emotional intelligence, a positive attitude, willingness to learn, and integrity, HR managers and small business owners can identify the best employees who are true team players.

Good employees show up consistently, communicate effectively, and handle tough situations with a positive mindset. They bring fresh ideas, stay motivated, and contribute to a collaborative work environment. Reliable employees who demonstrate honesty and ethical behavior create a positive working environment where everyone feels valued.

By hiring people with these top qualities, you can ensure a productive, harmonious workplace that thrives on mutual respect and continuous improvement. These dedicated employees not only meet deadlines and manage work hours efficiently but also drive professional development and stay ahead of industry trends. Remember, investing in employees with these qualities will pay off in the long run, as they become valuable assets who help your business achieve its goals.

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Topic: Employees / Employee Qualities