7 Traits of Supremely Productive Employees High-performing employees are worth their weight in gold.

By Chris Porteous

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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High-performing employees' have outstanding skills that distinguish them from their mediocre colleagues in the workplace. With a willingness to go above and beyond what is written in their job description, high performers keep the work flowing smoothly. But that's not all -- they follow directions enthusiastically and are not afraid of challenges. What's more, they exhibit creative thinking and leadership qualities, especially when decision-making is required. Striving to constantly develop new and existing skills increases their overall performance within the company.

Managers with high-performing employees can rest assured knowing that these workers will exceed their expectations. Their unmatched skills set them apart from others. In fact, Apple and Google have stated that there is a huge gap between high performers and average employees.

1. Initiative and self-direction.

Instead of depending on managers or supervisors for direction, the high performer will carry out their own research. Self-direction drives them to seek apt information for completing a project. This could mean contacting others within the organization who has fitting knowledge. Better still, they're prepared to attend conferences, sign up to training programs, read edifying books and even attend evening classes if required. Using initiative, they will boldly try new ways of working and take on more responsibilities to develop their career path.

Related: 4 Ways to Manage Employees Who Like to Figure It Out Themselves

2. Feedback to develop performance.

Being open to feedback and taking it constructively is crucial to the growth of an employee and their organization. High performers use feedback to evaluate their efficiency and look for areas where they can make an improvement. Therefore, they will actively seek feedback about their performance from management or supervisors to ensure they are always on track. In addition, feedback from other departments will provide scope for developing fresh, innovative ideas for the organization.

Related: 4 Ways to Get Truly Honest Feedback From Employees

3. Problem-solving at its best.

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." -- Einstein

Fresh challenges present an opportunity for high performers to showcase their problem-solving skills. Instead of dodging complicated tasks, they seek various diagnostic methods such as asking questions, exploring the issue, reading case studies or even calling for emergency team meetings. They use a systematic approach. First, identify the challenge, then look at alternatives, followed by deciding on the best approach and lastly executing the most suitable solution.

Related: 8 Problem-Solving Practices That See Startups to Success

4. Time management to avoid slacking.

Managing time effectively can save an organization money. High-performing employees are aware that time is money and put that understanding into practice. You won't find them wasting work time on social media, procrastinating or turning up late in the mornings. They are dedicated to performing at their highest levels to get things done on or before the scheduled time. Handling time well could also mean negotiating less urgent tasks to other colleagues in the department.

Related: Want to Be Successful? Quit Slacking Off.

5. A personalized system developed for order.

Staying focused is crucial for outstanding performance. A high-performing employee will develop a system for keeping their workday organized. And this starts with a clear, clutter-free desk. One principal factor that will reduce stress and tiredness is taking frequent breaks during the day. Other methods helping them stay on top are regular routines, using a checklist, developing a functional filing system, managing incoming emails and even keeping a work journal.

Related: How to Prioritize Your Inbox (Infographic)

6. A positive mindset to promote good energy.

Having a positive mindset doesn't necessarily mean the workday will flow without problems. But having the right attitude is key for knowing how to look on the bright side and deal with issues constructively. This thinking helps high-performers excel in the workplace. They have an air of excitement, produce superior work and outperform the employee with a negative outlook. Not only that, colleagues prefer to be around the person who is full of energy, optimistic and always engaged with their work. In contrast, a pessimistic employee dampens the atmosphere and moods of those around him.

Related: 20 Wise Insights on Gratitude to Spark a Positive Mindset

7. Healthy working relationships and networking skills.

Building relationships is important to high performers because of their lean toward like-minded people. As a result, they develop strong networking skills by connecting with other sources to gather information and worthwhile knowledge for their organization, when needed. This performance constantly grows their networking relations and provide easy access to contacts inside and outside of the workplace. In short, the high performer's innovative attitude benefits the organization who will be more than willing to invest in their personal development. This, in turn, will add more value to their skills.

To sum up, high-performing employees are worth their weight in gold. Their exceptional skills push them to continually perform at optimum levels to achieve superior results. Not only do they contribute to the bottom line and productivity of any organization, they are also on a successful career path.

Wavy Line
Chris Porteous

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

High Performance Growth Marketer

Chris Porteous is CEO of SearchEye, which offers unbundled digital marketing projects for clients and agencies across the globe.

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