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How Employers Can Develop The Top 8 Qualities They Want In Workers

OI Partners canvassed its consultants to formulate 37 specific strategies employers can use to develop desired competencies in workers.


How can employers develop the top qualities they want most in their workers?

OI Partners canvassed its more than 1,600 consultants to formulate 37 specific strategies employers can use to develop desired competencies in workers.

The recommended approaches are in response to inquiries OI Partners received after uncovering the Top 8 Qualities Employers Desire in Workers in a survey the firm conducted earlier this year.   

According to that survey, the top 8 qualities employers most want in workers are:

1. Being a team player (selected by 71% of surveyed companies) 
2. Satisfy customers/clients (chosen by 68%) 
3. Motivate and engage others (65%)
4. Achieve their most important objectives (62%)
5. Work smart (60%)
6. Work hard (57%)
7. Add value (52%)
8. Contribute to improving the bottom line (48%)  

To download a free report on the 37 strategies employers can use, visit    

“The surest way to build these qualities is to establish a culture that supports them and provide the resources to grow and develop them. Demonstrate that these qualities are valued. Include them in performance reviews and consideration for raises and promotions - and recognize and reward employees who exemplify them,” said Patty Prosser, chair of OI Partners (, a leading global coaching and leadership development/consulting firm.

“In addition, offer managers behavioral interview training so they will have the skills to select people with the right characteristics that fit the organization and are essential to its success,” Prosser added.

OI Partners recommends the following ways to develop the desired qualities in workers. 

Quality #1: Being A Team Player - Place greater importance on achieving team outcomes. “Look for ways to partner employees on projects and concentrate on assembling compatible teams. Rate how well each employee works in teams as part of their performance reviews,” said Prosser.

Quality #2: Satisfy Customers/Clients - Have another employee shadow each worker when they meet with customers or handle client relations. “Share stories of employees’ outstanding customer service, acknowledge and discuss the successes. Feature stories in company publications and newsletters. Ask workers to write brief summaries after successes happen so the steps that were taken can be captured,” Prosser added. 

Quality #3: Motivate & Engage Others  - Encourage employees to engage others in a project or assignment. “Request examples from workers of times they were motivated and/or engaged by others. Assign employees to teams and direct them to measure how well they keep each other motivated,” Prosser stated.

Quality #4: Achieve Critical Objectives - “Managers must be clear and follow up with objectives and employees need to regularly check in to confirm what they are since organizational needs - and individual objectives - can change quickly.Conduct weekly roundtables to lay out the top objectives and reinforce them throughout the week via email,” Prosser said.

Quality #5: Work Smart - Discuss the circumstances when working smart is needed and working hard is the desired approach. “Working smart means you’re more likely to reach your goals. You can start working smart by enlisting the help of others, taking care of the most important things first, and stop multi-tasking,” said Prosser.

Quality #6: Work Hard - Communicate that the organization will not tolerate poor and marginal performers. “Don’t give employees a raise or recognition simply because they put in extra hours unless the outcome is worthy of being rewarded. Today, working hard is about taking risks and doing things others would rather not do,” said Prosser.

Quality #7: Add Value - Encourage employees to leave their usual comfort zones and help resolve problems that may be outside of their job descriptions.  Adopt an “open idea” policy that there are no bad ideas and no one will be criticized. Schedule regular “brainstorming” sessions.

Quality #8: Contribute To Bottom Line - Many employers do not share the bottom line with employees and they remain unaware of what it is. By disclosing some general financial information, workers will get a better picture of what is going on and how they may have an impact on it. 

The OI Partners 8 Qualities survey was conducted in April 2012 and received responses from 174 employers.


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