Engagement numbers have not changed much in the years that the Gallup Organization has been keeping track. In the United States, employee engagement numbers hover around 30%. In the rest of the world, the picture is even bleaker – only about 13% of workers are engaged.
What exactly are the traits of a rock star employee? Here are seven attributes that you’ll find in most members of that elusive group.
Responsible: Top performers take ownership of whatever project they are working on and set high standards for their performance. They are only satisfied when your customers are singing your company’s praises. When they make a mistake, they admit it, and they learn the lessons so that it doesn’t happen again. When they have a success, they make sure the others that helped and supported them along the way are also recognized for their contributions. In order words, they share the credit and take the blame.
Optimistic: No matter what is going on, they are programmed to look for the good in people, projects, and situations. They are energetic, enthusiastic and confident about their work and how the members of their team work together. They look at obstacles as challenges to overcome as they are excited to grow and open to change. They have a positive outlook and can be counted on to lighten up the room when they’re around.
Creative: Rockstar employees have the ability to look at all sides of a problem and come up with a host of new and exciting solutions. They are not afraid of failure, as they know that part of being successful is having to fail from time to time. They have the unique ability to utilize out-of-the-box thinking to develop new methods for looking at and solving problems.
Kind: Engaged employees have excellent people skills and have an extensive network of people who know, like and trust them. They nurture their professional relationships and are more focused on giving, rather than receiving. They get to know people as individuals and abide by the “do unto others as THEY would have done unto them” rule.
Studious: Your top talent wants to be better tomorrow than they are today. Top performers invest in themselves and their skills so they can develop and grow both personally and professionally. They love to learn, and they look for any opportunity they can to gain knowledge about a variety of subjects. If they aren’t sure of something, they will do the research necessary to discover the answer.
Team players: Gallup shows that actively engaged employees have a strong network. Engaged employees focus on lifting others as they climb and enjoy sharing the spotlight of their accomplishments because they realize they did not do it alone. Although they may take the lead on projects, they have a clear connection between team activities and the team’s purpose. They allow others to enjoy the work and the journey with them.
Action-oriented: Average employees make to-do lists. Rock stars set their priorities and get the job done. They do not hesitate based on fear or indecision, they look at the situation and take action based on the information they have at the time they receive it. Because “objects in motion tend to stay in motion,” rock stars choose to “fail forward” and keep the momentum going. Their passion for what they do helps them know when to compromise with others and when to stand firm.
Risk-taker: Natural leaders are not afraid to shake up the status quo. They make the decisions necessary and push the limits of their comfort zone. They take bold action toward their goals. They feel that if they are not making mistakes, they are not learning. They love to propose new ideas and new ways of thinking, and their passion inspires others to take their lead.
Take the time to notice when your ROCK STAR employees are accomplishing great things. Ask them for their ideas and learn from them. You can then incorporate their ideas and methods into new hire training and developing the rest of your team. When you utilize the best practices learned from your actively engaged employees, you acknowledge their value to your organization and help the rest of your team move your company ahead.