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Career Development Tips

Important Character Traits for the Workplace

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Last Updated June 29, 2021

Guide Overview

What are character traits?10 Important Character Traits That Enhance Work Performance: 1. Self-disciplineAmbitionDependabilityResponsibilityCreativityMotivationCompassionHonorabilityCourageFlexibility

Guide Overview

Importance of character traits

Many successful employees use their character traits every day to perform effectively in their roles. Think about the skills and qualities you possess to help you better understand what your key character traits are. Being aware of which character traits you have helps you develop them further to enhance your work performance. Learn more about what character traits are and how they're commonly used in the workplace.

What are character traits?

Character traits are certain aspects of someone’s behavior based on their beliefs, ethical responsibilities, overall personality, and morals. People usually notice your character traits when they see how well you approach certain situations or opportunities. Many supervisors value employees with positive and professional character traits because they can regularly use these traits to complete tasks and submit valuable work. Already having impressive character traits typically means you can easily develop them further to perform more effectively in your career.

10 Important Character Traits That Enhance Work Performance: 1. Self-discipline

Strong self-discipline helps you overcome any obstacles that keep you from completing projects and submitting them on time. Being self-disciplined involves constantly staying on task and focusing on your work, even when other activities may seem more appealing at the time. For example, if an employer assigns a complex task due at 5 p.m., but your coworkers invite you to take an ice cream break with them. Because you’re self-disciplined, you decide to stay at work and finish the assignment on time.


Having ambition means setting clear goals and letting nothing stop you from achieving them. Ambitious people usually develop plans for how they will accomplish their long-term goals. They’ll use their motivational skills to take the steps needed to overcome obstacles and meet their career goals. Many people with ambition are looking for ways to move up in their role and obtain leadership positions, so they can accomplish more business goals from the top.


Being a dependable worker involves supervisors and other employees relying on you to complete assignments for them. If you’re dependable, managers expect you to always submit valuable projects by the assigned deadline. Dependable employees always keep their commitments by arriving on time to meetings and following through on all their tasks, even if they’re complex or time-consuming. Employers typically assign projects to dependable employees knowing they will submit good work.


Responsible employees hold themselves to high standards by remaining accountable for their own actions. Following your company’s code of conduct and rules is a great way to prove to employers you’re a responsible and trustworthy employee. Acknowledging mistakes you’ve made at work is another important way to show how responsible you are.

For example, if you submit a report to a client and realize later that the data you entered was incorrect, admitting this and apologizing to your client shows you’re responsible enough to admit fault and correct the mistake.


Some artistic roles like graphic design or copywriting require creative traits to complete almost every task. Other jobs involve using creative thinking to develop unique strategies and plans to improve efficiencies. You may also use creative character traits when you’re presenting information to clients, finding unique ways to finish tasks, or thinking of creative solutions to complex problems. People who work in marketing or advertising regularly use creativity to brainstorm ways to build brand awareness and to make their business stand out from competitors.


Motivated employees are driven and determined to deliver impressive results to the company. Most motivated employees are constantly developing and achieving workplace goals. Employers are often interested in motivated employees because they’re not only committed to their own success, but they also motivate others to reach their career goals as well. If one employee is using self-motivation to meet goals and enhance their skill set, other employees may see this and motivate themselves to improve their own performance as well.


People with compassionate character traits are kind employees who care about the wellbeing of their coworkers. Many express sympathy for employees and are constantly working to boost morale. They’re consistently working to build a positive environment by encouraging others and helping them solve any workplace problems they’re facing. Compassionate employees usually perform well in a team-based environment or in a customer-facing role.


An honorable person is someone who follows a strict code of ethics. Honorable employees usually have strong integrity, which is an attribute that helps you use good judgment to remain honest, trustworthy, and kind. Being honorable in the workplace allows you to make smart and ethical business decisions. Honorable employees are always pushing themselves to do the right thing.

For instance, if you’re an office manager and have a choice between providing one department or another with access to their preferred workspace, you’d find a way to work out a compromise or other solution benefits that both departments.


Courageous employees are often brave and willing to take on tasks that seem difficult or time-consuming. Employers value this trait because they know they can rely on you to tackle tough assignments that other employees may be too intimidated or hesitant to work on. Courageous employees aren’t afraid to stand up for themselves or other employees if they feel they’re being mistreated or discouraged at work.

If a courageous employee isn’t afraid to speak their own mind during meetings or brainstorming sessions, this may encourage other employees to do the same. This can lead to more ideas regularly being shared, which can bring in impressive results for the company.


Flexible employees can usually adapt well to any situations that arise in the workplace. A clients’ needs may change at the last minute or an unexpected problem can occur that requires you to quickly and effectively resolve it. You may also have to deal with constant revisions and edits to your work from managers or clients. Supervisors want employees who are adaptable and can handle a changing work environment with a positive attitude at all times.

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