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How to Spot a Great Employee

Maria Petit

When it comes to spotting a great employee, many business owners feel like they are looking for a needle in the haystack. It can be difficult to identify someone truly exceptional, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience hiring employees. 

However, there are certain key and sometimes, very subtle qualities that all good employees should have. In this blog post, we will discuss some of those qualities and give you tips on how to find…. and retain them.

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Finding good employees can cause headaches to any HR department, small business owner, or startup founder. With the war for talent being fiercer than ever, it’s essential to be able to identify a great employee when you see one. After all, it does take an amount of money and dedication to get an efficient hiring streamline. 

According to a Glassdoor study, on average, it costs $4,000 to hire an employee. Furthermore, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that it costs about six to nine months’ worth of that employee’s salary to replace them. With this in mind, it’s key to learn how to identify a good employee from a great one. 

So, what qualities should you look for when spotting a great employee? Stay tuned, we are telling you!

Key Qualities of a Great Employee

A great employee is not only defined by their skill set and experience. Other essential qualities make them top performers and excellent addition to your team. 


Maybe it could be shocking to see this trait as first on our list. After you all, you were looking for someone who can manage Excel without a hitch, right? Previously, it was assumed that companies generally recruited individuals with technical or functional skills yet today employers value qualities that are harder to measure, like excellent communication skills, the ability to work well with others, being flexible, and having a positive outlook.

One of the most important of said soft qualities is integrity. People with integrity are honest and ethical in their behavior. They can be trusted to do the right thing, even when no one is watching. A person with integrity will not cut corners or take shortcuts, even when there is no one around to catch them. 

A person with integrity follows their moral convictions and does the right thing in all circumstances, even when it is difficult or unpopular

If you’re looking for someone with integrity, pay attention to how they handle themselves both inside and outside of work. Are they honest about their mistakes? Do they take responsibility for their actions? Are they respectful to others, even when they disagree with them? People with integrity are valuable assets to any team because you know you can trust them implicitly.

Work Ethic 

Of course, if an employee has integrity, their work ethic will be strong! Work ethic is a set of standards regarding what behaviors and beliefs are acceptable to have at work. People with a strong work ethic are reliable, punctual, and disciplined. They understand that there is a time for work and a time for play. 

This doesn’t mean they don’t know how to have fun, but they know that when it’s time to work. They are focused and dedicated to their tasks, and they see their projects through to the end. People with a strong work ethic are also usually self-motivated and don’t require constant supervision. 

If you’re looking for someone with a strong work ethic, pay attention to how they handle themselves both inside and outside of work. Do they show up on time? Do they put in the extra effort? Do they take shortcuts? People with a strong work ethic are valuable assets to any team because you know that you can rely on them.

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Communication Skills 

Great employees also have excellent communication skills. They can communicate clearly, both verbally and written. They are also good listeners and make sure that they understand what is being said before responding. 

Every great employee’s communication starts with understanding communication styles. There are four communication styles: analyzer, relator, director, and socializer. Each communication style has its own way of sending and receiving information. The communication style you use the most will determine how successful your communication is.

  • The analyzer: This style is great for employees who are good at solving problems. They can see both sides of every issue and they are excellent at finding creative solutions. 
  • The relator: This communication style is ideal for employees who are good at building relationships. They are excellent at communication and they always put the needs of others first. 
  • The director: This one is perfect for employees who are natural leaders. They are decisive and they can see the big picture. 
  • The socializer: This style is ideal for employees who are outgoing and enthusiastic. They enjoy working with others and they always have a positive attitude. 

Employees with excellent communication skills are valuable assets to any team because they make sure that everyone is on the same page.


One of the skills that employers are looking for in an employee after the pandemic is versatility. Versatile employees can adapt to change and they are always willing to learn new things. They are also good at problem-solving and they are always looking for ways to improve. 

An employee who can adapt to changes in the work environment and take on new tasks as they are assigned is an asset to any organization

The ability to adapt to new tasks and situations is essential in today’s ever-changing workplace. A versatile employee is someone who can be counted on to take on new responsibilities without hesitation. 

If you’re looking for someone versatile, take into account these questions: Are they able to adapt to change? Are they willing to learn new things? Do they take initiative? 


Being accountable means being responsible for your own actions and being able to account for them to others. As an employee, being accountable is one of the key qualities that you can have to show that you are reliable and trustworthy. 

If you are not accountable, then it will be difficult for your employer to trust you with important tasks

Being accountable also requires that you be able to take ownership of your mistakes and learn from them. By doing this, you can demonstrate to your employer that you are willing to grow and improve as an employee. 

When accountability is coupled with a strong work ethic and a positive attitude, it becomes clear that an employee is committed to their job and wants to be a valuable member of the team. 


Being action-oriented is a key quality of a great employee. It means taking initiative and being proactive instead of waiting to be told what to do. 

A great employee sees a problem and comes up with a solution instead of just complaining about it. They don’t wait for someone else to take care of the issue – they take care of it themselves. This can mean going above and beyond their job description, but it’s always worth it in the end. 

A company wants employees who are going to take action and get things done, not just sit around and wait for someone else to do it. So if you’re looking to be a great employee, make sure you’re always taking action and striving to be the best you can be.


A disorganized employee is more likely to miss deadlines, make mistakes, and hurt the workplace. Yet, when employees are organized, they will efficient and productive in their work. 

When an employee is organized, they can keep track of their work tasks and deadlines. They know where to find things when they need them and are not constantly searching for lost items. In addition, the organization helps an employee to be less stressed and more focused on their work. 

When everything is in its proper place, it is easier to calm the mind and concentrate on the task at hand!

Solutions-Oriented Mindset

When faced with a problem, a great employee will not just see the problem, but will also look for potential solutions. This type of mindset is essential in the workplace, where problems are bound to arise daily. 

Ultimately, a solutions-oriented mindset is one of the key things that separate the best employees from the rest

A solutions-oriented mindset can help to prevent problems from spiraling out of control, and can also help to find creative solutions that might not be immediately apparent. In addition, a solutions-oriented mindset demonstrates a willingness to take initiative and to think outside the box – two other qualities that are essential for any great employee. 

Eye for Strategy 

An eye for strategy is a key quality of a great employee. The ability to see the big picture and develop plans to achieve goals is essential in today’s fast-paced business world. A great employee with an eye for strategy can be the difference between success and failure.

The ability to develop and implement strategies is a complex skill that requires both creative thinking and logical analysis

A great employee with an eye for strategy can think abstractly and see the potential outcomes of different actions. They are also able to break down problems into smaller pieces and develop solutions that are both effective and efficient.

An eye for strategy is an essential quality for any employee who wants to be successful in today’s business world. Those who have this skill will be in high demand by employers looking to achieve their goals.

Culture Fit

Now, let’s say you found someone with all these great traits, but will they fit in your company’s values? After all, no matter how skilled or qualified a candidate may be, if they don’t fit in with the culture of your company, it’s not going to work out.

When employees understand the company’s mission and vision and are passionate about their work, hence building a positive work environment. This leads to a happier workplace and increases retention rates. 

When employees share similar values, they’re more likely to get along and support each other

Culture fit is an important quality to consider when hiring new employees and should be taken into consideration throughout the entire hiring process. Yes, culture fit should not be the only factor considered when hiring new employees, but it should be one of the main factors considered

Let’s say an employee that got hired has passed all these checkpoints, you are happy you got yourself such a great asset, but can you keep them for long?

Tips for Retaining Great Employees

Even if you have found the perfect employee, there is always a chance they could leave for another opportunity. To help prevent this from happening, here are some tips for retaining great employees:

  • Offer competitive pay and benefits: Employees are more likely to stay with a company that offers competitive pay and benefits. If your company can’t offer the same pay and benefits as your competitors, try to offer other perks, such as flexible hours or remote working.
  • Foster a positive work environment: A positive work environment is essential for retaining great employees. Make sure your company culture values employee happiness and satisfaction.
  • Invest in employee development: Employees are more likely to stay with a company that invests in their development. Offer training and development opportunities to help your employees grow in their careers.
  • Show appreciation: Showing appreciation for a job well done is a great way to retain employees. Make sure you take the time to thank your employees for their hard work and dedication.

By following these tips, you can create an environment that is conducive to retaining great employees.


The bottom line is that spotting a good employee is essential for any company looking to be successful. Many qualities make up a great employee, but the ones discussed in this blog post are some of the most important. If you can find candidates who possess these qualities, you’re well on your way to building a strong team.

When you’re ready to start your search for great employees, keep these qualities in mind. With a little effort, you can find the perfect candidate for your company. We hope you enjoyed our post, stay tuned for more!

-The Monitask Team

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