10 Tips for How to Be a Good Employee (Plus Benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 17 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Your characteristics, behaviour and personality traits usually dictate how good an employee you are, but the definition of a good employee might vary depending on the employer. A good employee is often an individual who contributes to the business operation with efficiency and effectiveness while fostering a collaborative environment through selflessness and a positive attitude. Understanding the elements of an outstanding employee can help you act in a professional environment in a way that impresses your employer. In this article, we provide several tips on how to be a good employee and list the associated benefits.

How to be a good employee

Below, you can explore some tips on how to be a good employee:

1. Help the business achieve its goals

Employers typically value employees who work toward achieving business goals. If you identify the business goals and actively contribute toward achieving them, you can show your company-oriented mindset. This can highlight to the employer that you value teamwork and collaboration. It can outline your selflessness, as your priorities are to improve the business rather than gain personal benefits. Helping the organisation achieve its goals can actually benefit you as an individual because the more successful an organisation is, the more likely you are to remain employed and potentially receive a pay rise.

Related: How to Set Achievable Business Goals at Work

2. Follow organisation guidelines

Most organisations have guidelines to help employees behave favourably. These guidelines may dictate codes of conduct for employees to follow. For example, most organisations have a drug and alcohol policy that outlines the rules regarding drug and alcohol consumption at work. Guidelines may also include codes of conduct addressing discrimination in the workplace. If you follow these guidelines, you can ensure you consistently behave in a manner favourable to the organisation. You might think of these guidelines as behavioural benchmarks set by the organisation. If you follow the guidelines, you can meet the organisation's benchmark for good behaviour.

Related: 8 Code of Conduct Examples: A Workplace Guide

3. Treat colleagues with respect

A crucial part of being an excellent employee is usually to be a good colleague. If you treat your colleagues with respect, you can foster a healthy working environment. By treating others with kindness and respect, you can encourage others to do the same. An inclusive, respectful and comfortable environment can create many individual and organisational benefits. For example, if everyone feels comfortable conducting their duties, they typically gain a higher sense of satisfaction from their job. It can also improve workplace productivity, as employees can focus on their tasks rather than interpersonal conflicts.

Related: What Is the Importance of Soft Skills? (7 Key Reasons)

4. Develop your expertise

Personality and behaviour can contribute to your employer perceiving you as an exemplary employee, but so can your technical expertise. If you can conduct your duties professionally and expertly, your employer may believe you're a valuable asset to the organisation. You can perform your duties efficiently and productively by developing your expertise, which is a characteristic of a good employee. You can adopt varying methods to improve your expertise, such as completing training and development programs, attending seminars, observing mentors and addressing your weaknesses.
Related: How to Develop Your Skill Set to Advance Your Career

5. Motivate yourself to work hard

Self-motivation is often a primary trait of good employees. If you can motivate yourself to complete tasks, you can show your commitment to the organisation and your ability to contribute to the operation. It can also outline your independence and autonomy, as you don't rely on external sources to be productive or efficient. Employers usually value employees who can conduct their tasks productively without monetary incentives. Your ability to self-motivate can also foster trust between you and your employer, as your attributes reflect reliability and commitment.

Related: 9 Tips on How to Self-Motivate (With FAQs)

6. Be accountable for your mistakes

Accountability is typically an excellent trait to possess. It can reflect your professionalism, team-oriented mindset, selflessness and maturity. If you're accountable for your actions, you acknowledge the outcomes of your behaviour. For example, if you make a mistake during a process that costs the organisation resources, you could notify your manager of the mistake you made. It might not solve the mistake, but it can highlight your integrity, which can be an excellent trait for developing trust in the workplace. You may find that employers assign you important tasks because they believe you're a trustworthy individual.

Related: What Are Professionalism Skills? (And How to Improve Them)

7. Foster relationships

Healthy relationships are often crucial for a productive and comfortable workplace environment. Employers usually consider excellent employees to have extensive interpersonal qualities that allow them to collaborate with colleagues. These qualities typically refer to communication, teamwork, collaboration, social awareness, empathy and integrity. If you possess these qualities, you can minimise the potential for interpersonal conflicts, which might hinder productivity and performance. If you have strong relationships with colleagues and managers, you can contribute to a healthy organisation culture, which most employers value highly.

Related: 8 Examples of a Working Relationship (With Helpful Tips)

8. Accept workplace changes

Your ability to adapt to and accept workplace changes can demonstrate your adaptability, which is often a primary characteristic of a good employee. When organisations change, many employees may resist. This is usually because of many factors that can vary between individuals. Changes may inconvenience some employees, making their processes longer or more complex. Other employees might resist change because they don't feel comfortable with new procedures. If you accept changes without resisting, you can show your employer that you're agreeable, supportive and cooperative with the business, leading to strong relationships and trust between you and your managers.

Related: How to Adapt to Change In the Workplace (With Tips)

9. Volunteer for additional work

Employers often value employees who're selfless and display an extensive commitment to the organisation. An excellent method of displaying these traits might be volunteering for additional work. This can show that you're proactive in contributing to the organisation and helping it achieve its goals. You might volunteer for additional responsibility or offer to work overtime. While you might not receive extra pay for your volunteering, it might eventuate into a pay rise, as employers feel may reward your dedication and selfless acts.

Related: Professional Development Opportunities: Definition and FAQs

10. Create solutions

Many organisations experience issues, whether they're interpersonal conflicts, process inefficiencies or external challenges to the operation. You can show your employer that you're a valuable asset to the organisation by actively trying to solve these issues. This pro-activeness can outline your ability to contribute valuable solutions that improve the working environment and the operation. It can also show your commitment to the organisation, as you're actively creating methods to help colleagues and improve processes.

Related: Problem-Solving Skills: Definitions and Examples

Benefits of being a good employee

Below, you can explore some typical benefits of being an excellent employee:

Job security

By showing your employer that you're a valuable employee, you can maintain the security of your position. This is because employers may deem you a valuable asset to the organisation. If the organisation requires department restructuring, resulting in employee redundancies, you might keep your employment, as the organisation believes you're too valuable to lose. It's usually helpful to understand that being a good employee doesn't guarantee your employment. In some situations, being made redundant by an organisation may be unavoidable.

Promotion opportunities

If your employer deems you a good employee, they might consider you for internal recruitment when filling a managerial position. When an organisation has management vacancies, it typically looks for candidates with excellent interpersonal qualities and leadership capabilities. If you're a good employee, you may possess these traits. Organisations usually prefer recruiting internally when filling management positions, so if you display your qualities and commitment to the organisation, you may receive a promotion.

Job satisfaction

If you're an outstanding employee, you may experience many benefits that contribute to your job satisfaction. For example, you may have strong relationships with colleagues and managers, which usually contributes to a healthy working environment. If you're an excellent employee, you may also receive recognition and rewards from your employer. This might improve your experience in the workplace, leading to high job satisfaction.

Potential for a pay rise

A typical part of being a good employee is usually to perform with excellence and contribute to the organisation. If you have a good employer, they may likely reward you for your contributions and commitment to the operation. There are different methods for recognising employees that your employer may adopt. One of those methods is usually to offer a pay rise. If you're a great employee, your employer may feel inclined to reward your efforts and encourage your continued performance by offering you a pay rise.

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