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What Characteristics Make a Truly Great Employee?

It’s something that every employer wants – awesome, make-you-wanna-dance, exceptional employees. But what exactly makes an employee great? I recently reached out to my management team here at Staffmark to ask this very question, and their responses are spot-on.

Take a read! And then leave a comment on our Facebook page letting us know what YOU think truly makes a great employee.

A great employee believes they make a difference 

“Truly great employees are individuals who believe that what they do each day makes a difference. They love their work, and their passion shows. They are totally engaged in their daily duties and with their customers. They are focused and fun to be around. They are respectful, resourceful, and relatable. They are open to ongoing learning and embrace inevitable change. Truly great employees have personal integrity and are committed to their company mission.”

John Koberg, CSP, Senior Vice President, West Business Unit

A great employee is honest 

“What I believe that makes a great employee is someone who is honest when no one is looking and can admit with they made a mistake – and grow from it.” 


Melinda West, CSP, Area Manager

A great employee goes above and beyond

“I would say the strongest characteristic of a truly great employee is someone who goes above and beyond what is expected. Skills and processes can be taught but passion comes from within. My best employees care for their co-workers, their customers, and their jobs – and it shows!” 


Julia Mollenauer-Brown, CSP, Regional Vice President of Operations

A great employee is passionate

“A truly great employee is one who is excited to work, takes ownership, thinks outside of the box, completes tasks on time, and helps others. This person ignites passion in those around them because passion is contagious!”


Kathryn S. Bernard, Executive Vice President and General Counsel

A great employee gets the job done 

“I know many action-oriented employees, those who you can trust to get the job done. These people look at the bigger picture and seek for ways to improve a process, minimize costs, expand the business, etc. A great employee is one you can count on to be proactive instead of reactive.”


Wendy Reiner, CSP, CSC, Director, Operations Support

A great employee takes initiative 

“A great employee takes initiative – they see what can be better and brainstorm ways to get there. A great leader inspires the people around them to do the same.”


Jennifer Prospero, Chief Financial Officer

A great employee is positive 

“A great employee is someone whose “glass is always half full!” Their disposition is one of “can do” and they are excited for the possibilities. Someone who has a smile on their face – and in their voice! Someone who likes to collaborate and celebrate others’ achievements. Someone who others just like being around because they make them feel good and push them to be even better.”


Carla McKelvey, Senior Vice President Talent Engagement and Culture

A great employee is confident and dependable 

“People who are confident and dependable are two greatest characteristics I look for out of anyone on my team. I need employees who are secure in themselves and the decisions they make, while also being able to receive constructive feedback.”


Billy Fields, Director of On-Site Operations

A great employee adapts to change 

“Being able to easily adapt to changing technology and shifting business practices is critical to the success of the employee and the employer. Effective, timely communication is also paramount. An employee who possesses strong communication skills can help avoid pitfalls before they become “real” issues. Knowledge sharing and mentoring can help an organization do more with less and can often lead to individual growth.”


Forrest Wagner, Vice President of I.T.

In closing, I thought I’d share a quality that I think many great employees possess – and that is AUTHENTICITY! Some people feel like they have a split personality between home and work. Great employees are professional, but also don’t kick their personality to the curb during the workday. Great employees are sincere and genuine. And, as a result, they are also happy because they are being their true selves at work.  

Ok, don’t forget to hop over to our Facebook page to share what characteristics you think great employees have. I look forward to reading your responses!