Updated: May 20, 2020
While getting your work done in a timely manner may make you a reliable employee, it won’t make you stand out with senior leadership. Employees that stand out are those that take the extra initiative to excel, even when their work is challenging. I recently had a fruitful conversation with C-Suite executives, and here is that they identified as key attributes of successful employees.
Being a good communicator is an important skill that comes as a bit of a commodity in the workplace. “Good communication” means different things to different people, so it is crucial that you learn what it means within the team that you’re working with. Learn the modes of communication (live chat, email, phone, in-person) that works best, as well as what and how often you should be communicating.
Your senior management wants to know that you are happy in your role and are excited about the work that you’re doing. Be enthusiastic about your job and how you can contribute within your team.
Don’t be tardy for the party. Being punctual is a pillar of professionalism, whereas being tardy can give off the vibe that your work is not a serious priority.
Willingness to learn
Leaders have expressed an appreciation for employees that are eager and willing to learn. Take ownership of your work by doing all that you can to ensure that you’ve given it your best effort. Then, go a step further by becoming an expert in whatever it is that you’re working on. Continuous learning is the key to a successful career.
Contributing your point of view
Expressing your point of view can be intimidating, especially when you’re doing so to company leadership, but let’s face it- you were hired for the way you think and the potential you bring to the team. Don’t shy away from an opportunity to give your point of view; your contributions have the capacity to make all the difference in the world.
Work won’t always be easy or pleasant, and leadership recognizes that. Employees that are capable of staying positive even throughout the rough patches are seen as team motivators and are held in high esteem by their team members.
Possessing a unique skill can be invaluable in helping to distinguish you from other employees on your team. Determine what it is that you do better than anyone else and develop that skill to the point of proficiency. Doing this will make you a subject matter expert and even bigger asset within your team.
Being understanding and showing that you can relate to your colleagues (and customers) will help you bring a different perspective to the table. Furthermore, empathy is an important emotional intelligence skill held by the best leaders in the world. The ability to understand the world through the lens of others and identify with they are going through will help make the quality of your work better and help gear you towards a leadership role.
Attention to detail
This is huge. Senior leaders want to work with individuals that make their life easier. Thus, paying close attention to detail and eliminating avoidable errors is greatly appreciated.