Management Matters

16 Signs an Employee is Exceptional

Date Posted: 03/13/2017

16 Signs an Employee is Exceptional

So what are signs that make you say an employee is exceptional? What sets them apart and what makes them shine brighter than the rest of the people at work?

Ambitious. In a positive way. Exceptional employees are not content with staying put. They expect their job to teach them something new, or to open doors for them to learn something new. They set their personal bars higher and put in the hours, the effort and the discipline towards their advancement. These types set their eyes on greater feats and higher standards.

Collaborative. Star employees make their work environment hum with productive, creative, excited energy. They don’t shy away from asking others’ opinions or to solicit feedback. These types of people make use of available tools to improve their results while enriching daily workplace experience of their co-workers.


Confident. Confident but not arrogant. Confidence comes from conviction over something they believe is right and proven. Because they have experienced, done or proven it themselves. Excellent workers are diligent in building their expertise and improving on their weaknesses.

Consistent. They don’t give mixed signals and proactively offer explanations. They know when others rely or depend on them to get something done. They deliver results and are able to establish a cadence to their activities and a similar frequency to their communication.

Communicates effectively. They keep things brief and put information forward in simple language. They listen well, ask questions and confirm their understanding before giving an opinion.

Culturally adaptable and flexible. Culturally adaptable employees can mix and socialize with co-workers at any level in the organization and can interact with customers and clients in a multicultural environment. These are the types that expose themselves to the nuances of a diverse workplace and can be relied on to adjust to situations that call for open-mindedness and unbiased responses.

Customer-centric. This is probably the most talked about subject in this digital, mobile workforce. Employees whose personal mandate is to be of service to customers promote a healthy and high level of customer satisfaction. They work to create delightful experiences for customers, whether they have something to gain out of it or not. This is a skill that can be learned, and a quality that will greatly benefit companies, so most have gone out of their way to fold customer service training in their skills development agenda.

Detailed. Star employees are quality-driven. They can be relied on to cover all bases before turning in any project. People who are detail-oriented are meticulous and set their quality benchmarks higher than they do on speed or quantity.

Disciplined. Disciplined employees make exceptional employees because they make an effort to learn, to train and to manage results. These people are able to think ahead, plan their action steps and execute based on a calculated, organized, measured approach. They are not wishy-washy.

Ikon Top Filipino Talent

Driven. These workers push forward and go distances with clear, specific goals as their motivators. They fix their eyes on the finish line and they pay attention to the direction, time/pace they should be going at in order to reach their desired destination. Driven employees can be relied on to work with very minimal supervision and may possess the ability to influence people in their immediate circle.

Hard-working/Passionate. Passionate people work until their mission is accomplished. They are compelled by their desire to finish. Hard-workers are great to work with because they are dedicated and motivated. These people are not motivated so much by external factors but by their strong will to achieve what goal is set before them.

Honest and has integrity. While these qualities take time to ‘see’, these are no less critical in order for an employee to be considered exceptional. Honest people admit mistakes, own up to errors and make an effort to repair damages, where they may happen.

Humble. They work quietly and don’t boast about their accomplishme nts. They are able to celebrate success and take compliments graciously for a job well done but are not seen to shamelessly brag or promote themselves. They aspire to make a difference through their work, not be considered any better or different from their co-workers.

Independent/Interdependent. Independent workers carry out tasks and assignments without the need for excessive micro-managing that is usually required by lackluster performers. They ask for help when they need to but are also resourceful and will exhaust means to address their challenges without being a pain to others. They can work well solo or with a group of people. They think for themselves, are able to weigh options and make decisions without asking a second, third or fourth pair of eyes to approve, as situations require.

Learning Development. Exceptional workers love to learn. They don’t satisfy themselves with superficial knowledge. They almost always pursue continuous or higher learning, motivated by the desire to contribute something new to their organization. These are not only the ‘learned’ ones but oftentimes, the ‘learners’. Their dynamic attitude towards learning makes them a treasure trove of fresh knowledge in any team.

Respectful. A key trait of an exceptional employee is one who knows how to respect authority. They are able to communicate in a polite way and have no problem submitting or following directives.

All these qualities can be developed. Any organization that invests in their employees can find ways to train their employees to be more and more exceptional. A culture that promotes excellence more than perfection can employ programs that teach these character traits and encourage employees to be better than average. Everyone great used to be good and everyone who used to be good were once average. The only difference is this: the exceptional ones committed themselves to paying the price for breaking away from the pack. They are the ones who fearlessly carve their own path to fulfilling a personal mission–>to be the best that they can be wherever they may be.

Swifter, surer ways to identify perfect candidates at any level

One of the Philippines’ leading licensed recruitment specialists, Ikon, a human resources company emphasizing on the correct recruitment can help you pinpoint the best candidates for jobs at any level. We offer a refreshingly proactive approach which carefully customizes recruitment activities to your precise needs. Our 18 recruitment centers across the Philippines have helped numerous much over-stretched businesses like yours to fill thousands of vacancies!

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for future articles, please email us at [email protected].  We regret that replies cannot be addressed individually.

©2017 Ikon Solutions Asia, Inc.

All rights reserved.  No part of this article shall be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from Ikon.  No patent liability is assumed with respect to the use of the information contained herein.  Although every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this article, the publisher and author assume no responsibility for errors or omissions.  Neither is any liability assumed for damages resulting from the use of information contained herein.

Ikon specifically disclaims any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents of this article.