The 5 Must-Have Qualities Of The Modern Employee

Jacob Morgan
May 31, 2019

Jacob Morgan

Creator of "The Future If" Community and Founder of The Future of Work University

There is a huge focus on managers and leaders transforming for the future of work. It is not just managers that need to adapt and evolve to the changing workplace; it's also the non-managerial employees. Dramatic changes in the way we work are being fueled by new behaviors and new technologies. In fact, there are five trends which are shaping the future of work. To keep pace there are five qualities that the modern employee needs to possess.

Embrace change

Employees have grown accustomed to doing things a certain way. They have used to the same technologies and the same processes for many years but that doesn't mean that those technologies and ways of doing things are the best for our companies or for ourselves. Consider that in a few years millennials are going to become the majority workforce in the United States. These are people who grew up using social and collaborative tools to communicate, collaborate, and find people and information. This new workforce means new behaviors and new technologies; employees should be stepping forward together and embracing the change that is going to make their jobs and lives easier. As Winston Churchill said, "To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.

Have a voice in your company

For the first time in the history of business "leader" and "manager" are not mutually exclusive. Leaders no longer to have to be managers, they have to be people who are passionate, knowledgeable, and comfortable with sharing (which is another key quality mentioned below). New collaborative technologies are empowering every single employee within an organization to share their passions, interests, ideas, and feedback. If you care about something you have the opportunity to become a leader and a known voice on that topic within your organization. However, this can't happen if you don't speak up. You can't become a leader if you are scared of sharing your voice and your opinions. This means using the new collaborative technologies that are available to you to get recognized within your company. Why be a employee when you can become a leader?

Be autonomous

Now that employees have the ability to work from anywhere at anytime, being self-directed is crucial. There is no longer a manager watching your every move and reminding you to "get back to work." This a privilege but it's also a responsibility. A great deal of trust is being placed on you to accomplish your tasks. As a modern employee you must be capable of executing on your deliverables whether you are in an office, cafe, or at home.

Share and help others

This was one of the key qualities for the modern manger but it's also a key quality for the modern employee. Traditionally employees wanted to keep ideas to themselves to get credit for their own contributions. This model is no longer effective. With the emergence of collaborative tools, ideas and feedback can easily be traced back to individuals within an organization. Sharing not only benefits the team but it also benefits you as an employee. Your peers and managers will recognize your can-do attitude and ability to lend a helping hand. Sharing can take many forms; you can share your ideas, feedback, what you are working on, documents, or anything else that you choose to. By sharing, your team and neighboring departments will recognize your name. To be a modern employee you must become comfortable with sharing and helping others.

Filter and focus

In today's work environment we are pulled in many directions. We are on meetings while we check email, simultaneously tweeting, editing a document, and IMing with a colleague. With the proliferation of content and tools that coworkers and friends can "ping" us on it's all too easy to lose focus. With emerging technology employees must remember to focus on what needs to get done. This means being able to put people and messages "over ice." Information bombards employees from every direction which means employees need to become adept at filtering out and focusing on what's crucial.

What other qualities do you think are crucial for the modern employee?

Learn the proven & powerful concepts in today's most effective organizations with my free training series on Employee Experience here.

Jacob Morgan

Want Jacob Morgan for your next event?

Find out more information, including fees and availability.
Find Out More
Keep Reading
The 5 Must-Have Qualities Of The Modern Employee
Jacob Morgan
Jacob Morgan
May 31, 2019
There is a huge focus on managers and leaders transforming for the future of work. It is ...
Think Of Yourself As An App
Jacob Morgan
Jacob Morgan
May 30, 2019
Most, if not all, of us have smartphones these days and we all have our favorite apps. Whether you like to use ...
Business Leaders Discuss The Importance Of Diversity
Jacob Morgan
Jacob Morgan
May 29, 2019
Diversity is definitely a buzzword in today's business world. But more than just a ...
The 5 Must-Have Qualities Of The Modern Employee
There is a huge focus on managers and leaders transforming for the future of work. It is not just managers that need to adapt and evolve to the changing workplace; it's also the non-managerial employees. Dramatic changes in the way we work are being fueled by new behaviors and new technologies. In fact, there are five trends which are shaping th...
Read More
Think Of Yourself As An App
Most, if not all, of us have smartphones these days and we all have our favorite apps. Whether you like to use Instagram, Pandora, Google Maps, or Ebay, "there's an app for that".Click here to listen to the podcast minisode.You may have noticed that every once in awhile your apps will update. Just like the apps on your smartphone, we -- as indiv...
Read More
Business Leaders Discuss The Importance Of Diversity
Diversity is definitely a buzzword in today's business world. But more than just a passing trend, diversity should be a core value of every business. Each week I talk with business experts on my podcast The Future of Work Podcast. I enjoy hearing what they have to say about important topics, and diversity is no exception. Here are a few things m...
Read More
5 Signs You're Working For A Truly Great Company
If you were to ask people, "what makes a great company," you would get quite a variety of responses. It's one of those things that's hard to define but easy to identify if you are part of a great company. I've had the opportunity to interview, work and speak with some of the world's top business leaders to find out how they run their respective ...
Read More
Are We Living In The Future Of Work?
There are countless conversations, concerns, theories and ideas about the future of work. Will AI and automation take over? Will we experience major job loss? Will there be a ton of new jobs created? Will we all be on Universal Basic Income and be able to do whatever we want?Listen to the podcast minisode here.But what if the future of work is e...
Read More
How To Really Drive Change At Work
Long hours, bad cubicles, tedious work, toxic culture -- there are a lot of reasons why people would want to make a change within their organization. Change can be something as small as getting the office supplies you need or as big as revamping the corporate culture and brand, but no matter the size, change can have a big impact on the morale, ...
Read More
Say Goodbye To Knowledge Workers And Welcome To Learning Workers
In today's workplace environment, does it matter what you know or how you know it? It turns out how we value workers is changing, and the emphasis now is on learning and adapting instead of coming into a job with the skills required to do everything.In the old system of working, you were often categorized as a "knowledge worker" if you dealt wit...
Read More
Where Is Your Yellow Notepad?
Sam Walton was the creator of Walmart and Sam's Club, two hugely successful retailers that have been around for many, many years. He had a practice that he carried out for many years at the beginning of his career that we may view as simple nowadays, but it was extremely effective and, I think, something we can learn from today.Listen to the pod...
Read More
Don't Empower Your Employees, Stop Disempowering Them
One of the common questions I have been asked in the past is, how do we empower our employees. For me the answer has always been about investing in employee experience. But lately I have been thinking about the root cause of this problem. Why do we need to empower our people in the first place?Listen to the podcast minisode here.If you think abo...
Read More
Five Signs You're Working For A Truly Great Manager
The role of management has changed quite a bit over the past few years. Few people realize it, but the role of management was originally created to maintain the status quo and enforce rules and protocols. Managers were supposed to push employees and extract everything they could from them. Management never cared about engagement, empowerment, or...
Read More