How Reliable Is Reliable?

[audio:|titles=How Reliable Is Reliable?]

We’ve touched on this subject in other tips, but have not addressed it directly.

The word reliable is defined in the “Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English”:

“Someone or something that is reliable can be trusted or depended on.”

Let’s look at some of the facets of a person’s work that add up to being trusted or depended on.

First a few of the basics:

Showing up on time.

Putting in the agreed upon hours each day.

Accomplishing the essential duties of one’s post.

Going a bit further, we might also want to depend on our staff to:

Work hard to make the workplace a harmonious environment.

Go the extra mile with customers to show a very high level of care.

Alert management (or ownership) to major issues in the workplace.

Be on the lookout for ways the business can be more successful. Communicate these ideas to the right people.

Be loyal.

With many qualities that demonstrate character, they’re usually not black and white. They exist on a graduated scale.

Some employees are simply relied upon to show up and get the basic duties of their post done. Others are relied upon for more. The more responsibility a position has, we of course want a higher level of reliability.

If you had a team that demonstrated all of the traits above, you’d have a great scene. But that may not be realistic for every position in your business.

Before you sit down with an applicant, have a clear idea in your mind what level of reliability you’re looking for. If you demand more of someone, especially in the beginning, than is really needed, you’ll run into difficulties.

And don’t listen to folks who say “people can’t change.” People can become more skilled, more competent, and yes, more reliable. Proper training and apprenticing produce all kinds of positive changes.


As the law varies in each area, please check with an attorney to ensure you are applying these tips within the law.

Our three minute video will help you hire the right people.

Scroll to Top