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Identifying the 10 key traits of a teammate employee

RYAN ESTIS discusses the most important characteristics in valuable employees who contribute the most to a business’ success.

When I decided to start my business more than 10 years ago, I wasn’t entirely sure where it would take me – but I knew who I wanted to join me on the journey.

My first employee was also my first friend in my first job after graduating from university. While our careers had taken different paths, our friendship had persevered – and to this day, her skills and contributions are reflected in my business’ bottom line.

That is the value of teamwork, and it’s never been more important.

According to research, the time spent by managers and employees in collaborative activities has ballooned by more than 50 per cent in recent years.

The proportion hovers around 80 per cent at many companies, and this trend is likely to continue. Teamwork, indeed, makes the dream work.

The most worthwhile things I have ever achieved haven’t been solo ventures – I was part of a very good team, and I find that the shared experiences are more meaningful and fulfilling.

So, what makes a good ‘teammate’ employee? Here are the 10 key traits to consider.

Displays emotional stability

Great teammates tend to be optimistic and full of positive energy. They are deeply invested in their organisation’s vision of the future and their own their part in making that future happen.

Having a good sense of emotional intelligence in the workplace also ensures a comfortable and productive environment for everyone.

When someone can regulate their emotional state and show empathy towards their teammates, they report higher job satisfaction and perform better.

Who wouldn’t want to work with someone who is aware of both their own needs and the needs of the team?

Understands their role

Great teammates are competent in their roles, and they take full ‘ownership’ of their area of responsibility – that is, they completely understand the purpose of their role within the structure of the business and are proactive in completing their duties.

This makes collaboration easier for everyone else; it also fuels the success of the business and benefits the rest of the team.

In a 2015 study on behaviour in the workplace, researchers found that when individuals have ownership over their work, they’re significantly more generous with their time and resources.

Prioritises customer experience

In a competitive environment, how you interact with customers and meet their needs can be the deciding factor between them choosing your business over another.

In fact, 86 per cent of shoppers say they will pay more for better customer service.

Personalisation, customisation, a sense of urgency and trust is what consumers want, and a great teammate knows when to go above and beyond.

Great teammates set the tone for everyone’s behaviour and standard of service; their dedication is contagious.

Has a drive to win

The drive to win customers and outperform the competition is essential to the success of any sales team.

Competition is also one of the primary driving factors of a productive work environment, with 67 per cent of workers saying that it’s a strong motivator for them to give it their all and win.

If you want to win, you are hungry for the challenge of competition – and that brings out the best performance.

As a business owner, you need to surround yourself with others who feel the same way and can match that intensity.

Shares in success

Good teammates don’t care who gets credit – they want the best for the team, and they are genuinely happy for other people’s success.

Recognising and celebrating team members’ accomplishments improves the whole team’s productivity, and in a report published by employee engagement platform TinyPulse, the majority of participants said that having the respect of their peers was the number-one reason they went the ‘extra mile’ at work.

Solves problems
“A great teammate listens to feedback and finds ways to make meaningful improvements because they always want to get better.”

The past year has demonstrated how important it is to have creative problem- solvers in your business.

Organisations across the globe have had to overhaul the way they provide services, collaborate, and expand.

In an environment like that, business owners need teammates who are curious and open to innovative ideas.

Great teammates are committed to learning continuously. They are willing to test, experiment and improve in every facet of their role. They recognise problems quickly and solve them in creative and effective ways.

Problem-solvers set up the businesses and organisations in which they work for resilience during times of uncertainty and disruption.

Displays integrity

One of the most valuable traits in a teammate is trust. According to David Horsager, founder of management consultancy firm Trust Edge Leadership Institute, “A lack of trust is the biggest expense in organisations.”

Horsager describes trust as the core that holds together a company’s day-to-day operations, and when things start to break down – no matter the department or the type of issue – a lack of trust is always the common denominator.

However, trust isn’t just about reliability – though of course everyone wants to work with people who ‘have their back’.

Trust also means displaying integrity and being willing to weigh in, challenge the status quo and offer constructive feedback.

When trustworthy teammates call it like they see it, business owners – and colleagues – know that feedback will push the business to reach its potential.

Open to coaching

The best teammates want to be challenged and coached. To be ‘coachable’ is to have the mental mindset to receive constructive feedback and turn it into an opportunity
for improvement.

A great teammate listens to feedback and finds ways to make meaningful improvements because they always want to get better. When the feedback is negative, they are highly self-aware and don’t take things personally.

Yet not all feedback is equal or effective; in fact, only 14.5 per cent of managers strongly agreed that they were effective in providing feedback, according to a 2018 survey by US analytics firm Gallup.

The most effective teammates not only sort through the feedback they receive to make high-impact changes to their behaviour and performance, but they also provide effective feedback to their colleagues.

Knows when to disagree

The best teammates aren’t afraid of a little healthy conflict and tend to be forthcoming about their opinions.

When you encounter challenges and tough decisions, it’s always great when someone brings thoughtful arguments and alternative perspectives to the table.

As a business owner, you won’t always agree with your teammates, and sometimes you can encounter a problem with no clear solution.

In those cases where the business owner must make a tough choice, a great teammate always commits to the final decision – even if it’s not the route they would have chosen.

Commitment to the team’s direction helps keep everyone on track and ensures that the team remains unified when faced with complicated situations.

Has a sense of fun

My motto is, “Work hard and have a blast doing it!”

It may seem trivial, but morale is crucial to performance in any business. When someone is a team player on every front, they make working together fun and engaging every step of the way.

They bring out the best in their colleagues and help motivate them, keeping their mindset focused and positive; they uplift and encourage.

If you want to be successful, surround yourself with people who exemplify these 10 traits – and more importantly, strive to be that kind of person. Most organisations need more good teammates, especially as the world becomes more connected, collaborative and competitive.

As a team member at any level, I invite you to consider this formative question: how do I want to be remembered by the people I work with?

The answer is important, so reflect on it and write it down. Let this be your guide for how you show up and what kind of contribution you intend to make.

 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ryan Estis

Contributor •


Ryan Estis helps companies to embrace change, attack opportunity and achieve breakthrough performance. Learn more: ryanestis.com

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