What makes you a remarkable employee?
Jeff Haden’s post on 8 Qualities of a Remarkable Employee does a great job differentiating a remarkable employee from a great employee. Two qualities, in particular, caught my attention: what makes a remarkable employee

  • The level of motivation in remarkable individuals, most notably, intrinsic motivation
  • The ability to control behavior

Intrinsic Motivation

According to the author, remarkable employees will step in and help in situations that are out of their realm of responsibility. Think back to a time where you went above and beyond to help a customer or resolve a situation. These situations would not typically be found in your job description, but you knew that taking these actions were the right thing to do for company. The motivation of the remarkable employee wasn’t the extrinsic motivation of a reward or receiving praise. Instead the motivation is found internally in these individuals.

This intrinsic motivation can lead to better processes and procedures or better quality of products and services for the company. Remarkable employees don’t just stick with the status quo. If they recognize things can be improved, they are prone to create this improvement. Again, you won’t find these types of actions listed out in a job description. The internal motivation fosters the need for the remarkable employee to readily see areas where improvements can be made.

Behavior Control

Remarkable employees also know how to control their behavior. It’s easy to let our emotions get the better of us at work. We spend 40+ hours in the workplace. For some, many of those hours are stressful. However, remarkable employees are able to take a breath and know when it’s appropriate to question procedures, divulge sensitive information, and speak up in meetings. Impulse control can help with these situations. Many of us have been in situations where we wish we could take back what we said to a co-worker or in a meeting. Remarkable employees can hit a mental ‘pause’ button before speaking to take stock if it is the appropriate time and place.

Even if we don’t meet all eight criteria, I think this article is a good reminder of actions we can all take in our workplace. Consider adding in some or all of these behaviors into your daily routine. It isn’t typically feasible to completely change our behavior all at once. Target one or two behaviors you can try and incorporate more regularly at work and pay attention to the results. I think you might be surprised how small changes can really impact your work.