Whether they think they are being seen or not, employees are being observed by employers, who are always conscious of which employees go above and beyond their basic duties and which employees are just average. Being an exemplary employee brings the respect of employers, helping to ensure job security and promotions. It also sets a standard that fellow employees can look up to and learn from. Characteristics of a model employee range from punctuality to the respectful treatment of fellow employees.
Get into the habit of being punctual. Arrive to work on time and with a positive attitude each and every morning. Being 10 to 15 minutes early is even better. Take breaks as scheduled and return promptly. Never leave work before the shift is over, unless otherwise told to do so. Take sick days and other days off only when necessary. When you are sick, let your employer know promptly.
Dress appropriately for the job and practice good hygiene. If necessary for professionalism, cover up tattoos and remove piercings. Keep travel-size toiletries, such as antiperspirant and mouthwash, at work for those times when you need to freshen up. Always wash your hands after going to the bathroom.
Manage your work time well. Think about your daily duties and organize your day in such a way that your duties are fulfilled attentively and in good time. Be self-disciplined and show that you do not need constant supervision. Avoid idleness and always find things to do, even during “down time.” If ever in doubt, ask others what you can do to help.
Show consideration and respect for other employees. Communicate in a positive manner, listen openly and give praise when it is deserved. Think of all fellow employees as equals, even if they have a lower job rank. Avoid gossiping and talking behind the backs of others.
Learn about the employer and the company. Knowing the history and the ins and outs of the business will show that you take pride in your job and will enable you to gain the knowledge necessary to improve your own job. Take any relevant skill development classes that are available to you, whether they are offered through your employer or at a local community college.
Allow yourself to be constructively criticized and coached by fellow employees and employers. Not putting up a defensive wall will allow you to take in a greater wealth of knowledge.
Keep your area clean and organized. Cleanliness and organization will help keep you focused and structured, while also ensuring a safe and sanitary work environment.
Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.