Finding a good job is exciting, especially when you are passionate about the industry. However, there is more to enjoying your work than just passion, generous benefits, and a competitive salary.

The very people you share the workplace with can contribute to your overall happiness at work. In short, your co-workers can inspire you to work harder (and even enjoy your time at work more) or your co-workers can make every task at work drudgery.

However, the burden to be a good team member doesn’t just fall on the shoulders of your team mates. You, too, must also be a good team member. So what makes a good team member?


Punctuality is perhaps the easiest way for an employer to assess an employee. After all, punctuality demonstrates professionalism; it also paints you as a reliable employee. Beyond just pleasing your employer and allowing you to start your work on time, punctuality actually helps an employee become a better team member. Showing up to work on time makes you a reliable employee.

Consider the following scenario: if an employee works as part of a team, but he is late to work, he will not be able to complete his portion of the project on time. If he misses his deadline, that affects other team members who were also working on the project.

Repeatedly being, tardy or absent, tarnishes your reputation as being someone your employer and co-workers can count on.

Being punctual (both on time physically to the office as well as completing group projects on time) is the mark of a good team member – one that is reliable and trustworthy.


Paying attention to details – even the smallest details – turns an okay team member into a great one. But just what does “pay attention to details” mean? It covers everything from safety protocols to taking proper notes at a staff meeting or from a telephone call.

  • Putting out a “wet floor” sign if a liquid spill occurs
  • Completing every task on your daily to-do list
  • Following all safety protocols
  • Remembering a co-worker’s allergies when planning a work luncheon
  • Learning all of the needs of a customer and their likes and dislikes
  • Noting any change to any schedule, meeting, or planned telephone call

While this list certainly isn’t extensive, it highlights the wide range of what constitutes paying attention to details. When an employee pays attention to details, it shows that the employee cares for their employers, co-workers, and customers.


All relationships (both personal and professional relationships) are strengthened by open and honest communication. First and foremost, this means avoiding the office rumor mill. Participating in gossip around the office does nothing to create a productive environment; in fact, it does just the opposite. Rumors can sabotage professional relationships and make it difficult for team members to work together peacefully. Second, honest communication is critical for team projects. Instead of sugar-coating feedback to avoid hurt feelings, honest feedback can actually help other team members learn (constructively) from mistakes. Third, honest interactions with all team members and customers ensures that the workplace remains a safe, enjoyable place to be AND work.


Even though everyone must deal with personal problems from time to time, a good team member leaves personal problems at home. Bringing minor personal problems to work and taking work time to vent to your team mates can distract team members from their own tasks and duties. Leave your problems at home or wait until a break or after work to chat with your team members.

Note: If there is a serious problem at home, speak with your supervisor and let him/her know what is going on.


Being fully present is easier said than done, but it is a mark of a good team member. Being fully present allows an employee to better serve fellow co-workers and customers. What does being present look like?

  • Putting your personal phone away during meetings or work-related phone calls
  • Turning off your computer screen when you’re not using it
  • Keeping a clutter-free desk (less things to distract you)
  • Engaging in eye contact when speaking with a co-worker
  • Scheduling time to think about personal problems outside of work hours; thinking about non-work related issues can slow down your productivity and cause you to miss important details
  • Limit multitasking when possible; do one task well at a time

In addition, being fully present allows team members to work more productively and effectively by focusing on what is important during each moment.

Once you implement these tips, you’ll find that you enjoy work more and your team members enjoy working with you mores as well.

Are you a good team member? If so, click here to find out about job opportunities at SSVA.