What Makes for Stellar Staff?

The truth is that I didn’t know it was Janet’s birthday. 

So who is Janet? While it may not matter to you that she’s part of our work team, it might matter that she personifies what it means to be a stellar employee.

While Janet may think I’m just saying that because I’m trying to make up for not remembering her birthday, the truth is it really did get me thinking. What exactly does it mean to be a stellar employee and what kind of impact does it have on a team?

For me, a stellar employee is more than simply being hardworking and reliable. They also bring hard-to-find qualities and characteristics that, while difficult to pin down, also have a significant impact. 

Like Janet, stellar staff tend to be quirky, interesting people. While perhaps a little off-centre, they’re different in way that makes work more fun. Janet plays full tackle football and also boxes - last year it was the roller derby. She rescues and fosters basset hounds and changes her hair as often as a chameleon changes its colour - right now she’s very blonde. As someone comfortable in her own skin, she is open to expanding her comfort zones and colouring outside the lines or even right off the page to help us come up with new and innovative ideas.

Although Janet’s atypical personality and raucous laugh makes for a lot of fun, she also knows when to play and when to be serious, when to push the boundaries and when to toe the line. It is a delicate dance but she does it well.

Another of Janet’s talents is being able to roll with the punches without taking things personally. Being part of a small non-profit organization without core funding means constant change and little job security. Yet, she remains adaptable, flexible, and upbeat. That positive, cheerful attitude together with a tendency to pay sincere compliments that recognize the contributions of others, has a wonderful and positive impact on the entire team. 

I especially appreciate that she ignores her job description. Our work is challenging and innovative and often means we’re laying the track as the train is rolling. We benefit from her as an employee who is able to think on her feet, adapt to priorities that can change at a moment’s notice, and do whatever needs to be done regardless of whether or not its previously been part of her job. One of Janet?s favourite expressions is, “Bring it on!” 

When she tackles a project she does it with a fearless attitude. When it works out, as it most always does, she doesn’t do a lot of bragging but instead simply takes a deep breath and looks for the next big challenge.

I don’t want to suggest that things are always peachy because for sure there are rocky times. However what I like about Janet is that she isn’t afraid to speak up and ask questions or bring both issues and challenges forward. Best of all, when she identifies an issue or problem, she also comes with potential solutions for consideration.

Lastly, what I think Janet contributes as a stellar employee is the good energy that comes with authenticity.  Even as we were hiring her, I found there was no need to second guess where she was coming from as it was a case of “what you see is what you get”. We couldn’t wait to get to know her better.

As it turned out, our decision to hire Janet meant we were blessed with a stellar employee who has combined her energy and an original and engaging personality with the application of an exceptional work ethic and sense of responsibility for getting the job done. Who could ask for more from an employee?

Happy Birthday Janet and thanks from all of us! 

Posted on 03-05-12


I so TOTALLY agree with everything said here about Janet!

•Posted by Barb Pedersen  on  04/03/12  at  05:08 PM

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