icon Best Qualities of a Good Employee & How to Find Them | HRDQ Skip to content
Best Qualities of a Good Employee & How to Find Them - HRDQ

Best Qualities of a Good Employee & How to Find Them

The hiring process can be tricky. Not only do you need to know exactly what you’re looking for in a new employee, but you have to determine whether they truly possess the traits you desire. Even if you’re not hiring, it can sometimes be difficult to define and identify the top employees you currently have. To make the process simpler, we’ve narrowed down a list of the best qualities of a good employee. Plus, we’ll show you exactly how you can find these qualities in your employees or hiring candidates!


click hereHRDQ offers a library of online assessments that can help you spot desirable traits in your potential and current employees. Start now with the HRDQ Online Assessment Center.


Top 5 Qualities of a Good Employee

Explore the top five qualities to look for in a good employee. If you can find an individual who possesses each of these traits, you can trust that they’ll make a great asset to the company:


Reliability is extremely important to look for in an employee. Having someone who is reliable on your team means that you can trust them to consistently meet deadlines, listen to instructions, show up on time, and take their job seriously. You should always feel like you can depend on your employee to be as responsible as possible when it comes to their job.


click hereWhy trust is fundamental in the workplace: Trust: The Ultimate Test


Great Work Ethic

Meeting deadlines means nothing if the work that’s produced isn’t top-quality. That’s why it’s also necessary to seek out people who exemplify a great work ethic. Those who go the extra mile, thrive on producing fantastic results, never have to be asked twice, and don’t stop until the task is complete—and completed well—will be a huge benefit to your team.


A self-starter is someone who has no problem taking matters into their own hands when necessary. If they spot a way to improve a process or simply come across a task that needs to be completed—even if it’s not part of their general duties—they’ll go out of the way to do it. These are very driven individuals who know how to get the job done independently and effectively, without much direction from others.

Team Player

Being a team player is equally as important as being an independent self-starter. A mix of these qualities ensures a versatile individual who can adapt to a variety of situations. Having the ability to work well in a team setting, in particular, also indicates that an employee can communicate effectively, work with a variety of personalities, has decent interpersonal skills, and understands their role on the team.


Lastly, enthusiasm about both the job and the company is also a critical quality to look for. Employees who have a bad attitude can be severely detrimental to the work environment and spread negativity throughout the office, bringing down even your best workers. On the other hand, those who really care about their jobs will inspire success. They will put more time and effort into their work because the end results truly matter to them. If you hire for attitude, you’ll quickly see how a person’s positivity translates throughout the office and in their work.

How to Identify Top Qualities in Your Employees & Candidates

With a solid grasp on the best qualities of a good employee, you need to have a method to actually identify them. Below are just a few ways that you can spot the top qualities in your potential and current team members:

Provide a Personality Assessment

The best way to identify people’s specific traits is through a personality assessment. At HRDQ, we offer a complete library of online assessments that are professionally designed to accurately gauge individual soft skills. You’ll be able to view participant results instantly so you can determine which applicants or current team members have the qualities you desire.


click hereIdentify potential employees' preferred communication style: What's My Communication Style


Create a Short Screening Prompt

When it comes to hiring, another way to get an idea of a person’s attitude and feelings is through a prompt question. For instance, you could ask an applicant to respond to a question as simple as, “What interests you about this job and our company?” Their written response can provide valuable insight into their values, goals, and qualities that they believe make them a good fit.

Carefully Design Interview Questions

During an interview, the questions you ask are integral to uncovering top employee qualities. Be sure to curate questions that are specifically designed to draw out a person’s personality traits, such as the following:

  • How would your supervisor describe you?
  • What do you believe are your top two strengths and weaknesses?
  • Do you prefer to work independently or as a team?
  • How do you prioritize tasks?
  • What accomplishment are you most proud of in your career?

Host a Team-Building Exercise


click hereImprove your team's output and satisfaction: Team Effectiveness Profile


If you’re trying to spot top traits in your current employees, a great way to do so is by hosting a team-building exercise. The exercise can provide a great representation of:

  • How specific workers function in a team environment
  • Who naturally takes the lead
  • Who thinks outside of the box
  • Who goes out of their way to complete the task
  • How people follow directions
  • How people divide tasks

Stay Involved with Your Employees

Finally, as a supervisor, it’s important to stay involved with your team. It can be easy to lose touch when you’re tucked away in your office, but how your employees interact and function on a day-to-day basis is a solid indication of who really cares and what employees are simply disengaged. Body language, time away from one’s desk, and attitude can be picked up in a matter of hours and can certainly indicate who is not putting their best foot forward versus who is showing dedication.


click hereExplore HRDQ Team Building Training Materials and develop your team today.


Develop Your Team with Tools from HRDQ 

Now that you know the best qualities of a good employee and how to find them, it’s time to take action. Get started identifying and training your team members with tools from HRDQ! Here’s how we can help:

Related Products of Interest

Previous article The Ultimate Guide to Developing Training Materials For Your Staff

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields

About our author

Bradford R. Glaser

Brad is President and CEO of HRDQ, a publisher of soft-skills learning solutions, and HRDQ-U, an online community for learning professionals hosting webinars, workshops, and podcasts. His 35+ years of experience in adult learning and development have fostered his passion for improving the performance of organizations, teams, and individuals.