We can all spot a great employee: she’s dependable, proactive, hardworking, a great leader, and a great follower. She brings a wide variety of easily defined–but hard to find–skills to the table.
Some employees, though, are exceptional. They have skills and qualities that aren’t evaluated on performance appraisals but make a huge impact on that individual’s performance, the performance of the people around her, and especially on the company’s results.
Here are eight signs an employee is truly exceptional:
1. They think well beyond job descriptions.
The smaller the company, the more important it is that employees can think on their feet, adapt quickly to shifting priorities, and do whatever it takes, regardless of role or position, to get things done.
When a key customer’s project is in jeopardy, exceptional employees know without being told there’s a problem, and they jump in without being asked, even if–especially if–it’s not their job.
2. They’re quirky…
The best employees are often a little different: a little eccentric, sometimes irreverent, even delighted to be unusual. They seem slightly odd, but in a really good way. Unusual personalities shake things up, make work more fun, and transform a plain-vanilla group into a team with flair and flavor.