What sets an exceptional employee apart from the rest?

What sets an exceptional employee apart from the rest?

An exceptional employee is a significant business asset that should be nurtured and grown within your business. But how do you go about identifying an employee that will be a business asset? In this article we consider the top characteristics of great employees and the skills they have that make them different from the other staff in your organisation.


Personality versus emotional intelligence

A recent survey of more than 500 business leaders on what sets great employees apart from the rest, attributed personality as the key differentiating criteria. Personality was the main characteristic at 78%, cultural fit was also seen as important at 59% and the employee’s skills only came in at 39%.

Personality, however, is a very broad term and when things were narrowed down, the qualities that business leaders were looking for are actually attributed to emotional intelligence. Unlike personality traits most of which are fixed in early childhood, emotional intelligence skills can be changed and improved upon.


The emotional intelligence skills of exceptional employees

  • Unconcerned about reward

An exceptional employee is not bound by their job description and is happy to take on work beyond its boundaries. They are not intimidated by new challenges and are not entitled. They are not troubled about recognition and compensation and forge ahead in their work, confident they will be rewarded later, but unconcerned if they are not.


  • Conflict resistant

Exceptional employees are resistant to conflict. They don’t seek it out, but don’t avoid it either. They are happy to stand their ground and present their point of view logically in a composed fashion. They are resilient in the face of a personal attack and always have their eye on the greater goal.


  • Focused

Exceptional employees don’t get distracted by background noise, politics or internal squabbles. They can differentiate between a problem that needs to be addressed and what they can ignore. They are able to prioritise and give the most urgent matter their attention, before moving on to the rest.


  • Brave

Exceptional employees are not afraid to speak their mind and speak up when others remain silent. They ask the difficult questions and are able to challenge executive decisions if they need to. They have innate common sense and know when to speak out and when to keep silent.


  • Secure

Exceptional employees are not driven by their ego. They are secure in their own worth and are willing to admit when they are wrong or when they need to improve on things. They are willing to accept other people’s ideas and understand the importance of working as part of a team.


  • Perfectionist

Exceptional employees always believe that things can be improved and there is a better way of doing things. “Good enough” is not in their vocabulary. They see problems as things to be fixed, rather than things to be intimidated by.


  • Likeable

Exceptional employees are liked by their fellow staff and their directors, They interact well with everyone within an organisation and have integrity. They are good leaders and people respond well to them. They are unaffected by toxic people and tend to avoid them. They don’t allow their anger and frustration to negatively impact on issues and keep their feelings in check.


Our commitment to recruiting exceptional candidates

At GG Recruitment we believe in finding exceptional candidates for every position. We work closely with the companies we recruit for to ensure that the candidates we present are of the highest calibre, with the right skills and emotional intelligence for the position required. For more information about finding exceptional employees for your company, speak to us today.