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12 skills that set high performers apart

Alice Boyes

Author Bio

May 16, 2024

Psychometric testing company SHL conducted a survey of 20,000+ employees from various industries, geographic regions, and job levels to evaluate whether a common set of skills can broadly predict job performance  and an individual’s potential to be successful with more complex and varied challenges. 

The study found 12 critical skills that universally predict job success:

  • Takes action: Seeks additional work and proactively takes on new responsibilities.
  • Strives to achieve: Sets demanding goals and works hard to achieve them.
  • Establishes credibility: Presents self in a manner that earns respect.
  • Coordinates others’ work: Takes ownership of organizing and coordinating others’ work.
  • Attends to multiple tasks: Attends to and delivers on multiple tasks effectively.
  • Offers practical solutions: Provides workable solutions to problems.
  • Applies functional expertise: Proficiently applies relevant knowledge and skills to one’s job.
  • Learns quickly: Absorbs new information and masters new techniques easily.
  • Uses time efficiently: Manages own time and delivers work on schedule.
  • Analyses information: Identifies key factors and integrates information to understand data or situations.
  • Makes difficult decisions: Makes difficult decisions and is not deterred by opposition.
  • Takes responsibility: Takes accountability for decisions made and accepts responsibility when things go wrong.

The combination of these skills drives action, reflection, and learning. They also strongly correlate with a growth mindset, a concept many organizations are cultivating in their cultures and workforce. 

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