Four Traits of Great Employees

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What makes a great employee? The American Management Association had an interesting take on that recently.

The association’s survey of about 800 managers and executives found that senior leaders value what the group calls the “Four Cs”: Critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity.  Those are also the kinds of skills that are critical for startups, where your survival can depend on how quickly you can adapt and innovate.

Three out of four managers think the “Four Cs” will become even more important in the next few years – and they say many employees are lacking in these critical skills. In fact, 50% to 60% of managers feel the majority of their workers are at best average in these skills.

These are skills you should look for when hiring, of course, and the survey suggests that they can be developed in employees too.

While experienced workers are much more likely to have these skills than recent graduates, survey respondents also said that it’s easier to develop them in students and recent graduates than it is to develop them in experienced workers.

One-on-one coaching and mentoring are by far the most effective ways of developing these traits in employees, according to the survey, so a mentoring program that pairs trusted senior employees with junior ones could be well worth the time and effort.

Adapted from Managers Say Employees Lack Critical Skills by Dennis McCafferty at Baseline Magazine. Follow Baseline Magazine on Twitter.