10 Characteristics of Fully Engaged Employees

Adapted by The Leadership People

1. They want to learn about business

They understand they’re part of something bigger than just their job. They look to learn about other areas of the business and be fluent in finance and management so they’ can contribute more.

What leaders can do: Make available information and training on business basics like accounting, marketing, and management so all employees have easy access to learn and grow.

2. They care about the business

They treat the company as if it were their own. They look to make decisions about expenses and opportunities with the long-term future of the company in mind.

What leaders can do: Be transparent. The more you share your financials and philosophy, the easier it is for employees to make the right decisions.

3. They create opportunities

They see company growth as a collective effort, not just the responsibility of sales and marketing, and constantly keep their eyes open for opportunities.

What leaders can do: Make sure all your employees understand your value proposition and then reward them openly for their efforts.

4. They anticipate problems and resolve them

Fully engaged employees are always looking to improve things proactively rather than waiting for problems to occur before taking action.

What leaders can do: Communicate a clear written vision of where the company is going and encourage initiative so people feel empowered to make changes.

5. They tell it like it is

Engaged employees understand that hiding bad news helps no one so they find ways to bring uncomfortable information to the surface before major damage is done.

What leaders can do: Foster an open environment where people are not only given permission to tell the truth but are required to.

6. They set themselves high standards and live up to them

Fully engaged employees quietly drive their own high standards and can be relied upon to meet them without supervision.

What leaders can do: Set the example and the tone for high performance and publicly reward those who deliver in the same manner.

7. They develop themselves, and others

They not only drive their own career but they inspire others to do the same, leading by example without creating animosity or resentment.

What leaders can do: Encourage personal development and growth through dedicated group time and learning for career advancement.

8. They do their own research, apply it and learn from the experience

Engaged employees proactively explore options, take action and then improve without direction from the top.

What leaders can do: Encourage people to explore projects first and consider all the options before making decisions.

9. They create a happy environment

Nobody can be happy all the time but engaged employees are self-aware and able to bring out the best in people. They exude positive energy, even in stressful times, and transmit it to others.

What leaders can do: Create an environment where people can openly express themselves without fear of comebacks.

10. They improve their bosses

The example they set means that their boss has to live up to, or exceed, the same standard, creating a virtuous circle of improvement.

What leaders can do: Make the effort to show appreciation for engaged behavior so people feel their value is recognized. Then they will do the same for you.