As an employee, which list are you on—Naughty or Nice?
The best employees are trustworthy, responsible, proactive, unconventional and industrious; they possess a variety of qualities that may ruffle the feathers of higher-ups, even though they provide the one thing every company needs—results.
These qualities are not on any performance appraisal, but are on everyone’s Nice list:
- They are a little offbeat…
Think about the best employees you have ever worked with in the past; inevitably, they were someone a bit offbeat, but somehow got the job done better than anyone else. The people who make that kind of lasting impression often stand out from the pack; they are (slightly) irreverent, distinctive and proud to be that way.
Unusual characters create an appealing workplace. Marching to your own beat—in a good way—puts a little spice in an otherwise bland team, and recognize the importance of getting things done. They think of new ways to solve problems, not afraid to shake things up.
- And also know when to hold back.
When the heat is on, the best employees know when to dial back on their quirkiness; they fit into place when the situation calls for it. Expressing individuality is good, but there is a time for teamwork, as well. Extraordinary employees know the difference and can reach the balance when needed.
- They praise constructively…
One of the greatest of all motivations is praise. From a boss or supervisor, approval is great—but from a respected co-worker, praise can be inspirational. Outstanding employees understand the value of a good word and when to compliment a coworker for a job well done, especially in a group setting.
- And complain productively.
Criticism is the flip side of praise and can be just as productive, especially in a business setting. Great employees know both the right time and place to breach difficult subjects. Since they often have the respect of co-workers and bosses, they have enough space to talk about them in a group setting.
- They want to prove themselves.
Exceptional employees always set the bar a little higher; they enjoy proving themselves to others. Rarely satisfied with the status quo, they have—above all—the determination to succeed.
Employees that rise to prominence have processes, albeit one that may not be the company norm. They know what works and what doesn’t and are always ready to try new, creative ways to improve.
By bucking trends—and fighting blandness—exceptional employees may look like they are “Naughty,” but with their drive, ingenuity and willingness to work toward the greater good, they will always have a place on the “Nice” list.
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