EVERYONE in the workplace agrees that truly great employees are rare.

But what exactly is it that makes an employee great?

These top 10 traits give some ideas to employers looking to hire and to employees who want to operate at the top of their game:

1. Dependability

Great employees are always dependable. They do the job they are supposed to do every time, and no one has to worry that they don’t deliver the goods.

2. Team spirit

Great employees are team players. They do not constantly seek attention or hog the limelight. Rather, a great employee works with others to make sure that the things that need to get done do get done, for the good of the company.

3. Taking direction

Great employees know how to take direction. They know how to take criticism, feedback and advice gracefully and make it work for them when doing their job.

4. Trust

Great employees don’t spread office gossip and they don’t dish company dirt. Likewise, they always tell the truth to their employer, even if it lands them in hot water.

5. Confidentiality

This is strongly linked to No. 4. Great employees always guard the confidential nature of their business dealings and protect everyone’s privacy.

6. Participation

Great employees participate in the day-to-day life of the office. They don’t bow out of meetings or skip the office birthday celebrations. These activities may not be a fun part of working life, and everyone involved knows everyone else has some place they would rather be, but a great employee wouldn’t be any place else.

7. Likeability

Great employees get along with other employees. Every office has one person that minds everyone else’s business, talks too loudly on the phone and generally stirs things up and gets under everyone’s skin. This kind of employee zaps office morale. A great employee is a good co-worker to everyone.

8. Competence

Great employees have good working skills. It may sound obvious, but a great employee has the abilities needed to do his job, and he constantly seeks ways to improve, such as going to training seminars or seeking further education. Great workers have great skills.

9. Tact

Great employees have tact and a sense of decorum. If there is a problem in the office, a great employee doesn’t make a scene in front of everyone else. A great employee will deal with such issues with privacy and diplomacy.

10. Attitude

Last, but certainly not least, great employees have a great attitude. Bad attitudes bring everyone down. A great employee helps make the office great for everyone else with his positive attitude, his thoughtfulness and enthusiasm for his work.

That is a lot of good traits to try and acquire! Don’t be dispirited if you fail to match up on a number of them. Just work on them one at a time and you will find your career progressing faster than you would have ever believed possible.