What makes a good employee? (Part 1)

I often think about what sort of rules or standards of conduct I would expect from general employees if I were an employer.  This is one of those, and more may follow if/as I decide to record them.

  1. A good employee understands that the employment is an agreement for the employee’s work in exchange for an amount of money. A bad employee, however, tends to believe that they are being paid to “show up” and will expect additional compensation from some party in exchange for any actual work that they do.

In other words, a good employee understands that he/she is paid to do work for the employer, while a bad employee will demand personal or business favors in addition to their compensation in order to perform their job duties.  This is most applicable to situations in which employees work on teams to accomplish tasks or projects together.  Bad employees will often excuse themselves by pitting competing projects or tasks against each other until their extra demands are met.

Does this mean that good employees can never ask personal or business favors for their work?  No, a good employee will negotiate for additional compensation when asked to do more work or take on additional responsibilities, unless the employer and employee already have an agreed upon compensation for that additional work.  In other words, if one works at a job that expects overtime and has a prearranged bonus system to compensate employees for the additional time, then only a bad employee would ask for additional compensation when asked to stay late.


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