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 excellent employee traits

Top 5 Traits of Excellent Employees

Captain SpockYou know that saying, “Slow to hire, quick to fire,” right? Let’s concentrate on the “slow to hire” part. Why do you think it is important to hire slowly? First, it costs a company a lot of money to bring someone new on board. These costs include a lot of factors such as recruiting, entrance interviews, candidate evaluation meetings, pre-employment administrative expenses, drug testing, background checking, training, post-employment information gathering (records, payroll, etc.). The list goes on and on. Also, hiring the wrong person can be detrimental to the company as well as a drain on morale. That is why it is so important to take your time and get it right the first time. Here at Bit-Wizards we take the hiring process very seriously. We want everyone to benefit from a good hire and long-lasting co-worker relationship. I realize you can’t wait forever to hire someone, but knowing the values and qualities you desire the most can help narrow the list of potential candidates. I challenge you to look for key values or personality traits that align with your company’s culture and values. You can then use them as a guide for hiring future employees. These are some of our favorite and most important!

High Emotional Intelligence

Wouldn’t it be nice if we were all Vulcans at work? Where we judge everything purely from a logical perspective and don’t let our silly emotions get in our way. Of course, then we wouldn’t be able to be like Captain Kirk, the passionate, fearless, and emotional leader who took us “where no man has gone before". It takes a good balance of logic and passion to be both an effective leader and team member. And, in any workplace setting, especially with highly creative and passionate people, you are going to have some emotions. That is why having high emotional intelligence is so valuable. Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to monitor one's own as well as the emotions of others, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior. The ability to handle a stressful situation and cope with unforeseen situations while keeping a positive outlook is all about having high emotional intelligence.  Also, it can help you resolve conflict with coworkers in a productive way by keeping your cool. Emotional intelligence is a personality trait that is invaluable in any workplace. 

Humble Confidence

To be taken seriously, you must have confidence in your abilities. But coming off as arrogant or demeaning to others is very undesirable, and I guarantee these types of people don’t have too many buddies. Knowing how to be confident, while at the same time being humble can take some skill. To put this skill into action, it is good to keep in mind that everyone starts off as a student. Giving people the knowledge you have empowers them to be better, which empowers the world as well; this is a win-win. Remember, like uncle Ben says, “With great power comes great responsibility.” In this ever changing world, you are sometimes the master but also sometimes the student. So share knowledge where you can and collect knowledge when you can. Being smart is cool. But being smart and humble is even cooler.     

Effective Communicator

I know this one is a no-brainer. But, it is surprising to me how many people aren’t effective communicators. To be an effective communicator, you need to understand people. Understanding that everyone learns and communicates differently is a great start to being an effective communicator. I still work on this every day. I used to think that everyone thought like I did. Well, working in the real world you find out quickly that most people don’t think anything like you do. Therefore, I make a constant effort each day to understand my teammates. I do this by really listening and paying attention to them, and their body language. I ask myself the following questions when communicating with others. What things do they respond to? What things do they not respond to? How can I influence them to receive the result I want from them? I tune in on how best they communicate and learn, and I communicate to them in the way that they understand. This trait is effective in maintaining any healthy relationship! 

Ownership Thinker

At Bit-Wizards, we want to have autonomous self-starters. We desire these types of people because we want to foster a laid back, fun, and a non-micromanaged type of culture. However, these autonomous self-starters have to have ownership thinking in order for us to maintain a well-oiled system. They not only have to take pride and responsibility in their work, they also need to be proud of their work and employer. We want our team members to be “bought-in” to our company. We want them to value everything they produce. Because we know if they value their work, they will be less likely to make errors and will not settle for having a subpar work product. They own up to their mistakes and learn from them. They realize the importance of doing a good job, and do not want to fail.   

Having Grit

I saved the best for last! Having grit encompasses having passion and perseverance for a great period of time. Taking a step further, I believe having grit also includes persistence, dedication, hard work, and above all a "True Grittier" (as I like to call them) will get the job done. These are the people that when the going gets tough, they don't run away. They roll up their sleeves and get ready to jump in head first to provide assistance. They fight to succeed. They work hard to get results. In a Ted Talk, by Angela Duckworth, she states that she and her team performed a study on which kind of people are successful and which are not. In this study, they found out that the people that were most successful were not the ones who have high social intelligence or even a high I.Q. instead, they have grit. Why do you think that is? I believe it is because these people are persistent enough to work through the pain. They value succeeding more than being comfortable or just getting by. They want more than just to “check the box.” Shoot… They invented the box and keep striving to make the box bigger. This type of person wakes up each and every day and they choose to work harder and become better. 

Hiring the right employees for the right seats is a challenge. However, I believe that having a better understanding of traits you value and want to see in your employees gives you a higher success rate for hiring the right employees. Also, striving to cultivate these qualities in your current employees is an awesome way to foster the culture and environment you want in your company. You know the saying, “If you can perceive it, you can achieve it!” ? We take that philosophy seriously by continually instilling these values into our culture, so we can keep our great people. What are you waiting for? Get out there and get the best employees you can. Here’s to happy hunting for the truly best employees for your company!


Tabitha Erickson, Director of Finance
Tabitha R. Erickson

Director of Finance