While we focus a lot on the entrepreneur and startups, it is also important to look at employees in startups and their essential role in making a business a success.

Let’s be honest here, employees often aren’t central to a startup success story and we focus on the entrepreneur behind the business. However, great employees are often the bedrock on which successful companies are born.

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So here are 5 great traits that make a great startup employee.

1. Enthusiasm and willingness

No one knows exactly what their role is in most startups, so you need to be willing to learn. Also, you shouldn’t be negative about the need to change and learn.

If you aren’t being productive, then honestly completing your tasks is worthless to the overall success of the startup. Your willingness to try to grow is a crucial part of being an essential member of a startup team.

A workplace with countless rows of desks.

You can make mistakes, not know how to do something, but as long as you know that you will continue to try, you’re an important part of the team. Negligence, laziness, and demotivation never work.

2. Efficiency matters

An entrepreneur looks for two things in every person they hire; are they efficient and productive. This is a crucial part of working in a small, resource-light team and having to compete against better-funded players who seem to know a lot more than you do. This means that you should be utilizing fewer resources in order to achieve your goals in the most efficient way possible.

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The efficient behavior of an employee can be the most important character that your entrepreneur sees in you. This doesn’t mean knowing everything from that start, but learning fast and being able to reproduce results after you’ve learned how to do the task. A small group of highly-skilled efficient and productive employees is often much more valuable compared to a department of overpaid pencil pushers who lack the drive to go the extra mile.

3. Be a great communicator

One thing startups are famous for, is having almost no discernible internal infrastructure. Often the first thing to suffer is communication.

Communication is the best tool to move your company forward as a whole cohesive unit. You need to interact and socialize as much as you can as a group so that everyone is on the same page and grows at the same time.

Communicating makes it easier for the employee and the entrepreneur to understand things in a highly stressful environment. The entrepreneur is more likely to see things from your point of view and work with you in order to achieve the common goals. Remember that entrepreneurs are also people and may be lacking in some skills such as communication, so bringing that to the table is a great value-add.

It can also be non-verbal, by means of supportive gestures, regular emails, and Slack messages.

4. Be trustworthy

The power of a loyal friend or employee cannot be overemphasized. An entrepreneur who trusts and knows his employees are loyal has more confidence and is more likely to succeed because of that.

Loyalty means avoiding any form of misconduct that may cause harm to the organisation or its people. This includes sharing company secrets, holding the company hostage when it comes to salary demands and purposefully damaging the company’s reputation in any form.

Obviously, misfortunes occur. Uncertainties are a part of life but deliberately being involved in any criminal or fraudulent or cheat activities to harm the reputation of the business set up is definitely unacceptable.

5. Being a creative thinker

This ties in a lot with efficiency and being willing to learn. Creative people are crucial to helping young companies overcome hurdles and accelerate their growth.

The entrepreneur that you are working with is likely to be a creative mind as well, being able to take the plunge to start their own business and make their own path. Creativity also seeps downwards into other people in your company so you can help your colleagues improve their problem-solving skills and help your startup grow.