6 signs of a highly productive employee

These signs will help you look beyond the obvious and identify employees who are truly valuable. By Satyaki Sarkar

Employee evaluation is a vital part of the corporate world and one that has a massive impact on employees’ careers. However, while the textbook process of employee evaluation, which considers a number of parameters based on cold, hard facts, are followed by most organisations, it doesn’t take into account a number of other signs that a highly productive employee exhibits. Here are six signs to look for so as to gain a better perspective and deeper insight into your employees and ensure you’re grooming the right talent.

1. They know their goals and the why behind them
Hard work is definitely to be applauded and something that is expected from every employee. But hard work without a sense of direction or purpose quickly stops being fruitful. Employees who are productive are always clear about their goals and what they hope to gain out of them. Instead of being weary cogs in the corporate machine they already have clear-cut paths to their long-term goal, and numerous short-term goals dotting the way, help them get ahead. When an employee has personal motivation to get ahead, it’s win-win for the company and the employee.

2. They are proactive, instead of reactive
An unproductive employee treats the job as a compulsion, and doesn’t make the effort to go above and beyond what is expected of him/her, or try to explore how things can be done in a better more efficient way. Productive employees, on the other hand, don’t wait to be told what to do, but actively seek out what more can be done, and proactively do it. They take steps to constantly seek out potential problems before they occur, and take it upon themselves to deal with them, without needing motivation through reward.

3. They are highly responsible
While some believe success or failure depends on luck, and other external factors, productive people know that achieving success or failure is purely dependent on their behaviour. They do not succumb to blaming others, or uncontrollable factors like luck for their shortcomings and failures, and instead, treat them as learning opportunities that can help them do better next time. In any kind of a crisis situation, they will be the first to step up and take charge, without waiting for someone else to take the lead, because they know and understand the critical nature of the work they do, and place the highest priority it that.

4. They constantly update themselves
A productive person will never be satisfied with doing the same thing over and over again, but instead, will constantly keep trying to seek out new and better ways of doing the work, as well as exploring other responsibilities and tasks that interest them. And in today’s highly competitive corporate world it is an absolute necessity for an employee to keep reinventing himself, and upgrading his skill sets, because stagnancy will not only cause him to become frustrated with his career, but will also greatly hurt his potential chances for growth. Thus, a productive person will always be on the lookout for more responsibilities to take up, and hone and expand his professional expertise.

5. They find success in the success of others
Productive people, while always wanting to make personal progress, know the value of appreciating the success of others as well. They understand the importance of the work they do, besides being able to appreciate the hard work and talent of others. As such, they revel in the success of their peers, and instead of letting themselves be affected by insecurity, treat them as a goal to surpass at the very next opportunity. This competitive spirit ultimately benefits the organisation, as it builds a healthy focus on personal and professional development, besides leading to the success of the team, as a whole.

6. They can handle criticism and have an open mind
The ability to take criticism and feedback objectively is a key part of success. Therefore, productive people don’t take criticism personally, and instead are always on the lookout for points of improvement. As such, rather than taking it as an injustice or bias, they look forward to criticism to figure out where they are going wrong, and what they can do to fix that. They appreciate having another person’s perspective on their work and work skills as it shows them how they can improve and opens their mind to other ways of thinking.

Photograph: Jannoon028/ 

Categories:   Lifestyle, Work Buzz


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