Qualities of High Functioning Employees


One of things to appreciate in the workplace is the fact that we are not cookie cutter versions of each other.

Regardless of where you work or the industry, no two employees are the same, and that in my mind is a great thing.

You want to work with people with different mindsets, vision and values from yourself as it fosters diversity within the workplace, and encourages you as an individual to learn new ideas and ways of doing things.

Irrespective of the differences which exist amongst the people in the workforce, in my over thirteen years of Corporate workplace engagement, I have come to realize that there are some key traits which characterize highly functioning employees.

If you are not already on the path to incorporating these traits in your everyday life, I implore you to consider adopting some of them.

They prioritize

This is the number one thing that makes these employees successful. They know how to prioritize their work. An email from a close friend is important to them, but an email from their boss takes center stage. They know how to do the most important work tasks first.

They use management 

Employees who are highly functioning at work know how to manage their time. They do not waste the bulk of their morning chatting at the water cooler because they have a report which is due at 11:00am.

They are engaged

Although they realize the importance of time management and prioritization of tasks, they are highly engaged with their teammates and the people around them at work. They do make time to find out how their colleagues are doing and to have conversations about topics beyond work.

They delegate

If you think delegation of projects and tasks is only for people in management, you are sadly mistaken my friend.

High functioning employees know how to hand off tasks to others when needs be.

Delegation should not however be mistaken for laziness.

There is a difference between allowing others to help you and assigning key tasks to others, especially as it relates to a team project, versus constantly asking your colleagues to do your work. T

he latter, your colleagues will see right through very quickly, and they will be adamant about helping you with future.

They challenge authority

These employees know how to speak up at work, especially when a task seems unethical or just plain wrong.

They however do so in a respectful manner, and are more successful as they are not constantly fighting an internal battle between getting their work done and doing something that goes against their ethics and values.

They understand office politics

One of the things that makes a highly functioning employee successful is the fact that they understand the people dynamic in their workplace.

They know who is the office gossip, and who can be trusted.

They understand the relationship between people on their team and on teams that affect the whole organization.

As such, they know how to maneuver around the organization and get things done without ruffling any feathers. They are friends to all, understand workplace relationships and work hard to observe a stance of neutrality.

They are organized

One of the keys to their success is that they are organized.

However that organization may not always transcend itself to lists or spreadsheets.

These employees have the power to turn their brains into multi celled excel spreadsheets the likes of which you have never seen.

They remember dates, meetings, agendas you name it.

They limit their time on non essential tasks

Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms have very limited time in their workday.

Instead, they save these activities for after work, or spend minimal time on it during the work day.

They are happy

Learning how to separate personal life from work life can be challenging.

High functioning employees try their best never to allow their home life to affect, come into, or interfere with their work life.

They project a positive persona which people gravitate towards.

They ask questions and become (Subject Matter Experts) SMEs

Employees who function to a high degree know their work, they are highly knowledgeable about what they do, but they also, when they can, learn about other departments and parts of the industry/organization.

They set themselves up to be multi facetted employees. This leverages them to step in when others can’t.

They are restless

As such, they seek ways to improve their skills or gain more knowledge to get themselves to the next level.

They are never okay with the status quo.

Whether it be in terms of their finances, their personal knowledge, they are constantly seeking ways to improve their skills and learn more.

They network

Networking with like minded people in their industry or outside of, is one way that these employees are a cut above the rest.

They know how to speak with persons outside their realm and bounce ideas and learn off of them.

They ask questions

High functioning employees ask questions of persons in and outside of their department. They take mental notes about other job functions.

They do 80% listening, and 20% talking because they want to hear what others have to say.

Learning, networking, asking questions and being positive are all some of the ways that employees put their best foot forward in the workplace and ensure that they are seen as high functioning.

The rewards of having these employees in the workplace is huge. They are assets to the companies that they work for.

Which of these qualities are you going to work on today?

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