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10 Habits of High-Performing Employees and How To Become One

Need a way to improve your reputation as a good performer in the workplace? Look at this article to learn how you can become one of the top performers at work.

10 Habits of High-Performing Employees How To Become One

If you’ve ever worked hard for a promotion only to see it be handed over to your co-worker, you’re certainly not alone. There are plenty of reasons why your boss may have felt like your colleague deserved it more — and that includes them simply being a high-performing employee. From delivering an amazing presentation to bringing in new business, your co-worker probably showed off big results that convinced the bosses they are top-notch material.

High performers are more likely to receive better benefits than the average employee, such as higher salaries, promotions, and respect from colleagues. Fortunately, there are ways for you to identify yourself as a top performer. This will involve putting in a little extra effort to showcase your abilities and taking on challenging projects to shine amongst your co-workers.

Finding opportunities for personal development in the workplace shouldn’t be difficult. Fortunately, the Headway app provides an easy way to engage in continuous learning and growth with detailed book summaries. Download Headway to explore non-fiction works by leading experts and affluential authors in career advancement.

So, are you ready to differentiate yourself from being an average worker to a top performer? This article gives ten tips on how to become a top-performing employee at work.

Key points:

  • Being a top performer at work can open the door to many professional opportunities. This includes promotions, better networking, and a higher degree of respect within the workplace.

  • The best employees take their job seriously and perform above and beyond requirements and expectations. High performers show a natural curiosity on the job, are open to criticism and show everyone respect regardless of their position.

  • Using the Headway app is a great way to maintain your image as a top performer in the workplace. With this app, you can listen to summaries of books on some of the leading topics in professional development and career advancement.

10 tips to become a high performer at work

Being a top performer is more than fetching your boss a cup of coffee every morning and hoping they will notice your efforts. Here are ten top tips for becoming a high performer.

High-Performing Employees - Headway App

1. Demonstrate natural curiosity

Curiosity may be a natural human trait, but only a select few know how to use it to their advantage. You can use curiosity to help you become interested in career-boosting activities like reading. If you’re looking for a way to become a top performer in your field, you should consider reading some specialized books. For instance, Headway is a bite-sized learning app dedicated to helping you bring your curiosities to fruition with detailed book summaries.

With a collection of over 1,500 book summaries, users can access key insights from the world’s bestselling non-fiction books. Many of these books are written by professionals and affluent celebrities with experience in various fields. Available in both text and audio formats, listening to Headway’s book summaries can help you expand your interests and pursue self-improvement on a professional level.

Download the Headway app on the App Store or Google Play to discover a vast professional development and self-growth resource.

2. Focus on your goals

There are opportunities to move up in your profession in most of the corporate world. Making it to the top of the corporate ladder may not be as out of your league as you thought. With this mindset in place, you can achieve short-term and long-term goals that seem beyond your current reach. Moreover, showing your boss that you have the ambition and motivation to pursue goals can help you gain a reputation as a top-performing employee.

Making a list of goals and outlining the steps to get there shows that you are ready to take the plunge into more challenging roles. You can do this by thinking of ways to surpass your current means. For example, you may aspire to become the manager of your workplace. As you set this goal, you can then focus on taking the appropriate action by exhibiting leadership skills and building positive relationships with management.

3. Be open to criticism

You aren’t exempt from feedback and performance reviews even as a top-performing employee. No matter where you are on the corporate ranking, there may still be areas that your boss thinks you need to work on. Accepting there is always room for improvement is often a key distinction that can pinpoint you as a high performer, as it shows that you are willing to maintain consistent growth.

You may want to prepare how you will react when criticism comes your way. A negative reaction to a poor performance review can tell your boss that you aren’t ready to handle higher positions that require more pressure and feedback. Instead, show them that you are eager to grow from your mistakes and use their feedback to improve your shortcomings and build your professional skills. As such, your boss will be more likely to view you as someone who takes their professional development seriously and is willing to improve wherever necessary.

4. Improve your skills

Showing your boss that your skillset is constantly growing and improving is a great way to demonstrate your willingness to continue learning while on the job. These skills may depend on the field that you are in. For example, retail workers may focus on improving their product knowledge, while business professionals might look at their networking skills.

Some skills you should consider working on as a professional in any field include:

  • critical thinking;

  • leadership;

  • time management;

  • problem-solving;

  • teamwork;

  • organizational skills.

Building a toolbelt full of these skills will ensure you are equipped to handle any problem or adversity that comes up in the workplace. Not only does this show your employer that you have a broad range of abilities, but it also opens you up to projects that require knowledge from fields you have studied or have experience in. In turn, you will receive more opportunities to showcase your skills and receive professional benefits.

Habits of High-Performing Employees - Headway App

5. Show respect to everyone

Working in a corporate environment means that you will be exposed to highly diverse groups of people. In this case, employees need to have proficient social skills that allow them to get along with anyone who comes their way. Social skills can allow you to build professional relationships and help you network effectively to receive various benefits like job offers and opportunities to participate in professional projects.

For instance, a high-performing employee will treat all colleagues with the same respect they would show their boss. This shows colleagues and management that you take the time to get to know people and understand their roles within the company. It also identifies you as potential management material with a healthy work dynamic and strong professional relationships. In a manager, this is a highly sought-after quality that demonstrates your leadership skills and ability to converse with a broad range of people.

6. Put in consistent effort

As a top performer, you should be willing to go above and beyond every project’s expectations. For example, always meeting deadlines and targets shows you are committed and manage your time well. You may also decide to start side projects to work on off hours to demonstrate an eagerness to build the company.

Besides surpassing present expectations, there needs to be a constant level of effort that demonstrates your capacity for hard work. A good way to do this is by completing tasks to the highest quality each time. Remaining consistent with your project quality paints a picture that you can manage any task given to you, no matter the skill level or time commitment.

7. Maintains a positive mindset

Many successful people can attest that having a positive mindset can enormously impact your life and career. The reason for this is simple — showing up to work each day with a negative attitude can make you less motivated and more likely to perform poorly. A positive mindset allows you to look on the bright side of every situation and make the workplace friendlier and more agreeable.

Maintaining a positive outlook can be done by changing your initial reaction to certain circumstances. For instance, if your boss decides to give you extra work over the weekend, you can view this as an opportunity to showcase your drive and determination rather than seeing it as an inconvenience. Then, you can confidently present your finished work and demonstrate your willingness to remain optimistic about challenges.

8. Takes on challenging projects

If you want your photo framed on the “Employee of the Year” wall, taking on more projects outside your comfort zone may pay off. In particular, you might consider working overtime now and then to show your boss your hard work ethic and willingness to finish things on time. You could also emphasize helping employees with their duties and projects, which gives the impression that you are highly knowledgeable and capable of handling a high workload.

You might also take your current projects further by going above and beyond your initial requirements. However, ensure you receive approval from your management team before making any changes to an existing project. This might look like creating a professional slideshow with carefully thought-out slides and confidently presenting them to the team.

Top Habits of High-Performing Employees - Headway App

9. Seeks growth opportunities

All high-performing employees have one thing in common — they are constantly seeking out opportunities to help them grow as a person. This includes working on their existing skills and improving themselves daily. For instance, a good employee would take advantage of any resources given to them by management, such as access to professional development workshops or participation in weekly team meetings.

You may also seek growth opportunities by looking within yourself to see your progress. Consider asking yourself questions like, “How can I be a better employee?” and “What are some ways my efforts can be noticed by my boss or management team?” Reflecting on these questions will help you identify where you are performing well and which areas require growth.

10. Can work with little to no guidance

It isn’t unheard of to see managers praising employees for working well on their own. Independent working is just as much a skill as being a team player and can benefit your professional image. Bosses tend to favor employees capable of solving problems without needing to take others from their line of duty for help.

Although a desire to learn consistently is a desirable quality, asking too many questions can give your colleagues the impression that you aren’t sure how to do your job without excessive help. Maintain your image as self-assured and sophisticated by trying to figure things out on your own before asking for help. Then, collaborate with your colleagues and seek their guidance on any issues needing others’ attention.

Become a top performer with Headway

Headway provides a way to focus on becoming a high performer at work by listening to 15-minute summaries on leading self-help books in various genres. You can experience benefits like promotions, improved networking relationships, and a better mindset at work.

The Headway app offers a broad range of summaries on the world’s bestselling self-help books on career guidance and professional advancement. Users can participate in fun challenges and achievements while tracking their reading progress. With Headway, you can indulge in easy-to-digest reading material and learn important information to help you become a top performer at work.

Download the Headway app to access a comprehensive library of over 1500+ summaries of your favorite career-boosting books.


What is a high performer?

High performers are professionals who surpass their manager’s expectations by showcasing exceptional qualities and work. This includes completing projects on time, getting along with colleagues, and showcasing a consistent ability to produce high-quality work. As a high performer, you can receive several benefits in the workplace, like a higher salary, leadership, and more professional opportunities.

How do I become a top-performing employee?

Becoming a top-performing employee takes hard work and perseverance. High performers usually exhibit several qualities and skills that you may need to develop, including critical thinking, problem-solving, and efficient time management. Once you begin exhibiting these skills and continuously seeking opportunities for professional advancement, you may be able to convince your manager that you are a high performer.

How can I identify high performers in the workplace?

As a manager, knowing how to spot top-performing employees who are going above and beyond is crucial to ensure you are giving credit where it is due. Consider keeping a close eye on employees exhibiting the qualities of a senior professional. These qualities include being open to criticism, taking on challenging projects, and putting in a consistently high level of effort in all their duties and responsibilities.

How can book summaries help me be a better employee?

Book summaries can be an effective tool in your professional development journey. Reading and listening to book summaries can help with memory absorption and introduce you to new skills and professional concepts. If you are interested in using book summaries to gain important insights into some of the world’s leading career development books, check out Headway to explore thousands of detailed summaries of your favorite non-fiction books.

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