Weekly Wrap: The Top 8 Qualities Employers Want in Their Workers

As a long-time manager and executive, I know this to be true: Every manager has a list (at least one in the back of their brain) of the qualities they want most in the people who work for them.

If you are a manager, or executive, or ever supervised people at any level, I bet you could spit out your own list of those desired employee qualities pretty much on command.

But I find it interesting to see what other managers put on their list, and that’s why this survey of the Top 8 Qualities Employers Desire in Workers that was released this week by OI Partners, a global coaching and leadership development/consulting firm, was something I found pretty intriguing.

Top qualities employers want

Here’s the list:

  1. Being a team player (selected by 71 percent of surveyed companies);
  2. Satisfy customers/clients (chosen by 68 percent);
  3. Motivate and engage others (65 percent);
  4. Achieve their most important objectives (62 percent);
  5. Work smart (60 percent);
  6. Work hard (57 percent);
  7. Add value (52 percent); and,
  8. Contribute to improving the bottom line (48 percent).

Supporting a culture that grows and develops

“The surest way to build these qualities is to establish a culture that supports them and provide the resources to grow and develop them,”  said Patty Prosser, chair of OI Partners, in a press release about the survey. “Demonstrate that these qualities are valued. Include them in performance reviews and consideration for raises and promotions – and recognize and reward employees who exemplify them.”

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Patty is absolutely right, of course, but as so many workers know, quite a few organizations stopped worrying about pushing for “a culture that supports (workers) and provide the resources to grow and develop” during the economic slowdown over the last four plus years.

But, until the job market tilts more to the sellers (workers) than buyers (employers), as it is now, I suspect that developing workplace cultures that support employees and “provide the resources for them to grow and develop” is something that we’ll spend more time discussing than actually seeing in action.

You can get a copy of the complete survey, complete with suggestions on how employers can develop these great employee qualities, here from OI Partners.

Shocker! Employees whine and gripe at work

Of course, there’s a lot more going on than a survey about the qualities employers want in their employees  in the news this week. Here are some HR and workplace-related items you may have missed. This is TLNT’s weekly round-up of news, trends, and insights from the world of talent management. I do it so you don’t have to.
  • Is Fantasy Football good for the workplace? I’m long-time Fantasy Football fan and participant, but count me among those surprised by this blog post by Miami Herald workplace columnist Cindy Krischer Goodman that makes the case that Fantasy Football helps with work-life balance. She says, in part, “I see an advantage to employers: To be a better worker, we need to be well rounded and able to talk about something other than work all the time. One fantasy football participant admits to I did using some office time to research backup quarterbacks and figure out starting lineups. However, he argues: it’s refreshing to take a break from my daily grind and then get back to work with a clearer perspective.”
  • The worst company to work for? I hate to say it, but my satellite provider (Dish Network) was named “the worst company to work for in America” according to investment and commentary site 24/7 Wall St, and as reported in the Techknow Bytes blog in the Denver Post. The results come from employee reviews submitted to Glassdoor but are disputed by Dish chief executive Joe Clayton, who called the label “ridiculous.” The Post adds that “Dillard’s, RadioShack, Hertz and OfficeMax rounded out the top 5 worst companies to work for in America. …” This probably helps explain why Dish Network pulled popular channel AMC, home of Mad Men and Breaking Bad, in a silly dispute that simply punishes customers (like me).
  • Guess what? Employees gripe and whine on the job. I always get a laugh out of some of the silly workplace “trend” stories that The Wall Street Journal seems to suddenly stumble upon as if they were a big secret, and this one from this past week is no exception. The headline: What to Do With a Workplace Whiner. “In most companies, it’s getting harder to avoid the grumblers,” the story notes. “Some 18% of U.S. employees are “actively disengaged,” negative and likely to complain about their employers, according to an annual Gallup poll of 31,265 employees. That negativity can spread “kind of like a cancer,” says Jim Harter, Gallup’s chief scientist for workplace management and well-being.”
  • Goodbye voice mail. USA Today  reports that texting, instant chat, and a “loss of patience” are helping to do away with voice mail. “The behavioral shift is occurring in tandem with the irreversible fading of voice calls in general, prompting more wireless carriers to offer unlimited voice minutes. In data prepared for USA Today, Vonage, an Internet phone company, says the number of voice-mail messages left on user accounts was down 8% in July from a year ago. Checking one’s voice mail seems to be considered an even a bigger chore than leaving a voice message. Retrieved voice mail fell 14% among Vonage users in the same period.”
  • Kronos Time Well Spent cartoon. Kronos, the company that probably makes your organization’s time-and-attendance systems, publishes a regular Time Well Spent workplace cartoon by Tom Fishburne. I post them here from time to time in the Weekly Wrap.

John Hollon is Editor-at-Large at ERE Media and was the founding Editor of TLNT.com. A longtime newspaper, magazine, and business journal editor, John has deep roots in the talent management space. He's the former Editor of Workforce Management magazine and workforce.com, served as Editor of RecruitingDaily, and was Vice President for Content at HR technology firm Checkster. An award-winning journalist, John has written extensively about HR, talent management, leadership, and smart business practices, including for the popular Fistful of Talent blog. Contact him at johnhollon@ere.net, connect with him on LinkedIn, or follow him on Twitter @johnhollon.


2 Comments on “Weekly Wrap: The Top 8 Qualities Employers Want in Their Workers

  1. Love the post about Fantasy Football. I will admit it nice talking about something other than work with your co-workers. Our free league is a blast and everyone is very active in the league. 

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