Whether your business is just getting off the ground or it’s been booming for years, the recruitment and hiring of employees is a huge part of the success equation. Good companies understand they need staff to get the work done and (hopefully) make money. Great companies understand that employees are the key component to whether they sink, swim or rule the ocean.

Speaking of good and great, employees can fall into those categories too. There are many good employees out there; you can likely think of several of your own right now. Good employees are just that: good. They come to work, do their job and are generally happy to be there – but they aren’t game-changers. How many employees do you have that are great or even exceptional? What do those types of people even look like? What makes them so darn awesome? Here are five traits of truly awesome employees.

They’re team-oriented.

A great, nay, an exceptional employee is one who understands that true success comes not just from their own work but from the work done by the team of people they work with. Your business isn’t run by one or two people alone; each individual in your company and the vendors you work with are important to the success of the business. Exceptional employees truly harness this, promoting themselves less and working towards the completion of their job knowing that it’s a by-product of the entire team’s effort.

They have grit.

Grit is the bridge that connects passion with purpose. It is the difference between wish versus want; a large number of people taking on a big challenge and only a few of those people committing to the process and actually overcoming said challenge. Exceptional employees view challenges and problems with curiosity and fervor; they don’t fall back on the comfort of security and familiarity and will search for and test solutions until they find just the right one.

They reflect on past performance.

We’re not talking about a once-a-year performance review with the boss here. Exceptional employees will review previous projects and issues they’ve overcome to understand how they could have done those same projects or overcome those same issues better. They don’t pin their performance on things that are uncontrollable, such as weather or the opinions of others, but take responsibility for their actions and consider all the ways they can improve, no matter how well they did their job in the first place.

They continuously learn.

People who are exceptional employees consistently consider their situation as an opportunity to further their own greatness. This certainly doesn’t mean they’re only looking out for number one; quite the opposite, actually. They understand that the more they learn, the better they will be at their job, and the more the company will reap the benefits of their continuous improvement with things like fresh ideas, work efficiency and increased profit.

They are humble.

Humility enables a person to desire knowledge from other people. Exceptional employees actively seek out the knowledge and expertise of others because they understand that they don’t know everything. Being humble also helps a person to be open to new experiences and trying new things, as doing so allows for higher learning. Exceptional performance is often a result of the willingness to try, something that cannot be done if you already believe you know everything.

Trust, intelligence, friendliness, honesty, and integrity are a few other traits of exceptional employees. Reflect on the performance of your staff – as well as your own! – to see where there’s room for improvement with the aim to become even more exceptional.

Written by Jess Campbell