The Difference Between Good and Outstanding Employees

 What makes an outstanding employee?  In my 17 years of management I have had many good employees, but there are only a few that immediately come to my mind when I think of “outstanding.”

I have had the opportunity to lead multiple office manager workshops where the subject of outstanding employees always seems to be a hot topic. Over the years I have complied a list of the top 10 common attributes that managers agree on that these employees possess.  Year-after-year the list pretty much has stayed the same with little variance.

1. They are generalist at work, they can do multiple job tasks so they are very valuable to their employer.

2. They give high quality service to customers, clients and their co-workers.

3. They are creative in their thinking.  They will offer new and better ways to complete job tasks or run systems.

4. They have good communication skills and use them.  They speak up but do not dominate conversations.

5. They keep their job tasks up.

6. They will take on other projects or additional responsibilities, but will not over-extend themselves and jeopardize their job.

7. They keep themselves updated in their field of work on their own time.  They  have a hunger for knowledge and a desire to better themselves.

8. They praise their co-workers for a job well done and recognize their value to the overall team.

9. They step-in, step-up and go the extra mile when it is needed.  The business is their top priority while they are at work and they do everything they can to keep it running well.

10. Their attitude is always great, even when things are not going well in their personal life, they choose to bring a good attitude to the workplace.

When you look at this list not one of the attributes is unrealistic or difficult to do.  It is when you are able to continually do all of them because it is what you want to do that makes the difference between good and outstanding.

What other attributes do you think that outstanding employees possess?



5 thoughts on “The Difference Between Good and Outstanding Employees

  1. Tina,

    This is a great list. I think another item for the list is that they are humble, ever seeking ways to improve and provide better service to others. They never feel that they’ve reached the peak of their careers.

    Have a great day!


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