What is one tangible employment tip to become a great employee? 

To help business professionals succeed in their roles, we asked CEOs and business leaders this question for their best pieces of advice. From owning up to your mistakes to proactively communicating, there are several strategies that may help you excel in your career.  

Here are 11 tips to become a great employee:

  • Commit to Company Initiatives  
  • Own Up to Your Mistakes 
  • Lead in Every Role 
  • Ask Questions 
  • Be Passionate 
  • Be Solution-Oriented 
  • Maintain Flexibility  
  • Give a Little Extra 
  • Understand the Team’s Goals 
  • Proactively Communicate 
  • Keep Learning  

Commit to Company Initiatives

Our company motto is the 3S Principle, which is built on service, speed, and superiority. A great employee is aligned with our values and inherently demonstrates those qualities in their daily actions. One side of our service principle is our dedication to corporate social responsibility. As a company, we work to reduce our impact and conserve our natural environment. Our employees contribute to this initiative with yearly ECO Week projects that team up with the City of Austell, which is where our main office is located. 

Ryan Shallenberger, SEKISUI 


Own Up to Your Mistakes

Becoming a great employee is often highlighted in terms of not being afraid of changes or making sure that you’re putting in your best effort. But along with those things, I think it’s important that a great employee is not afraid to take responsibility and own issues. We’re humans, and we make mistakes. But owning your mistakes, and working towards fixing them, highlights a person’s values of honesty and being responsible for their actions. This also shows a high level of self-reflection and self-awareness, knowing that a person can always do better.  

Sundip Patel, LendThrive 

Lead in Every Role

If you want to be a great employee, learn to lead without the job title. In my last role at another company, the CEO always used to say that when it comes to promotions, the easiest way to be considered for the role, was to already be showing signs of leadership in the current role. A management title is great, but you can be a leader in every role.  

McKenzie Nelson, Markitors 

Ask Questions

Do not be afraid to ask questions. Have clarity on all of your projects and know what to do before starting a task. This will help you stay on target with all of your work and show your employer that you understand the assignment given to you. It makes it a lot easier when you are willing to ask questions and be honest with your understanding. 

Jason Wong, Doe Lashes 

Be Passionate

To be a great employee, you must explicitly know yourself and your passions. Therefore, be strategic with the employers you say yes to, and research the company’s core values to see if they align with yours. With passion comes hard work. Without it, motivation will dwindle over time. 


Lori Price, PixieLane 

Be Solution-Oriented

Many bosses value a cheerful attitude. When you go to your employer with an issue, have at least one solution in mind. Even if the supervisor rejects your suggestion, you will appear to be a problem-solver rather than a complainer. Your supervisor, like you, has their own personal life to leave at the door. If you continue to pile on the emotional baggage, your supervisor may conclude that you are unable to separate your personal and professional lives. They won’t approach you if they want to ask employees for open-door input on work-related group endeavors. 

Eric Carrell, SurfShark 

Maintain Flexibility

Flexibility is so important for literally every business. From food service to high-end web development, the ability and willingness to wear multiple hats is a trait that everyone will value. By being flexible in your approach, you allow the business to use you where they need you most, rather than rigidly defining yourself in the role you prefer. If someone asks you to do something you’ve never done, jump at the chance to learn! Having a range of abilities and diverse knowledge of skills is crucial to being a great employee, and the best way to gain this knowledge is by being flexible in your expectations and open to trying new things.  

Abby Herman, Snap Agency 

Give a Little Extra

Your boss will notice if you go above and beyond your official job description when you do your work. If you do the little things that can make or break a customer’s experience with your company they will notice, and they will also notice the opposite if it happens. We’ve all had employees that did the bare minimum to get by, and they last about as long as it takes to find a replacement in most cases. Do the extra work, and it will pay off in the long run for you and for your company 

Ben Walker, Transcription Outsourcing, LLC 

Understand the Team's Goals

Oftentimes, it can be easy to fall into your own routines and just do your job. However, if you want to stand out at work, you need to start by understanding how your position contributes to your team’s ultimate goals. From there, you’ll be able to think creatively to come up with new initiatives and make yourself indispensable. 

Brooke Wilson, Fabric 

Proactively Communicate

To be a great employee, I recommend one thing above all else: be proactive with communication. Regardless of the mistake you make, difficulties you have, or hurdles you are trying to overcome, no issue is too large if you proactively communicate it to your team members. Specifically, proactive communication allows for group problem solving, collaboration, and alignment across multiple verticals. This will ensure that you are supported while also validating you as an employee. 

Dan Potter, CRAFTD 


Keep Learning

Continuous learning enables individuals to be of value to an organization, and it expands their skillset. If an employee constantly seeks opportunities to learn more about emerging trends or laws related to their profession or industry, it can help ensure that the organization stays abreast of any impending changes. Continuous learning also enhances individual growth and shows employers that you are self-motivated. Self-motivated employees are the most valuable strategic assets of employers. 

Annette Harris, Harris Financial Coaching

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