There’s a popular inspirational quote that says, “Some people dream of success, while other people get up every morning and make it happen.” These are A-Players, top employees.
And while there’s nothing wrong with dreaming and having big ideas, without the element of action, nothing gets done.
When you’re running a business or you’re in a leadership role, you need to know who on your team has the will and skill to drive the company forward. Not every team will be full of standouts. One crucial element of success is developing your star players – or A-players, as we call them – while avoiding devoting too much time and energy to people playing in the margin.
Your top employees are the people on your team who work the hardest. They are respected and liked universally, and go above and beyond the call of duty. You want to identify these individuals, nurture them and do everything in your power to keep them on board.
There’s a good chance you don’t have a lot of these people on your team. Your average employees are typically doing “good enough”. They will show up for work every day, do what they’re told, and stay out of trouble.
Unfortunately, many managers spend too much time on these marginal ”B-players”. Damage is done when your A-players get stuck around too many of these individuals. They’ll often choose to leave your company when faced with this situation. A-players crave growth opportunities. They work hard not to get stuck in the rut of the mediocrity surrounding them.
We spent some time with CharTec’s Director of Human Resources, Jason Rivas. Keep reading as Jason offers up some valuable advice on spotting A-players.

Pay attention to those who take initiative

One prime A-player trait, Jason says, is showing initiative. Taking it and doing the work. People who have initiative will look at what needs to be done and start making moves toward it. They don’t stop at the idea stage – they spring into action. Even if they cannot do everything, they’ll make progress. “Star players,” Rivas said, “don’t just let things happen to them – they affect the happening.”
A person on your team who thrives, no matter what is thrown at them. This person is A-player material. For example, if you have a technician who closes a ticket, then comes in the next day and says they found another way to solve the problem and wants to show the rest of the technicians, that’s someone you want to hold onto.

Look at who is earning the respect of others

Another quality to look for is a person who has earned the respect of those around them. Someone who is viewed as a leader of their group even if they lack a formal designation of leadership. Perhaps other coworkers see them that way, or maybe it’s clients. People who have a magnanimous feel about them and consistently and willingly give extra time and effort are prime A-player candidates.

Other qualities of Top Employees

Here is a look at some of the other qualities many A-players possess.


Innovation is one of the most powerful strategic advantages a company can have in today’s competitive marketplace. A-players are willing to take risks and accept failures as part of the journey to solve problems. If you value these choices, the risk-taker should thrive.


The internal drive and motivation to start tasks and see them though is a key characteristic of A-players. These people are continuous learners who genuinely enjoy finding out everything they can about topics that help them meet their professional and personal goals. They commit to tasks wholeheartedly.

Strength of character

We’re looking for a person with integrity. Someone who can do the right thing even when it’s difficult and can use emotional maturity to constantly find opportunities, for example. This person is a huge asset to any company.

Good team player

A-players acknowledge and value the importance of teamwork. They want to work on improving as a group. Not only do they listen with interest to the opinions of team members, but they are also happy to offer a helping hand to those who want or need their support.
A great A-player can replace several B-players at your company, which is something to keep in mind when considering raises or lay-offs. Knowing who your A-players are and treating them accordingly can raise your company’s productivity and efficiency. Start looking at your team with these traits in mind to find your stars.
If you are having trouble finding or retaining ‘A’ level employees, we can help. Jason Rivas will be presenting two Training Sessions at our Virtual Academy. On May 19th, Jason will present; “Attracting and Retargeting Quality Employees”, and on May 20th he will cover; “The Ideal Employee Onboarding Experience.” Click here for the full Agenda.
You can register for Academy here!