Conscientiousness In The Workplace: How To Develop It

Why Is Conscientiousness In The Workplace Important?

Conscientiousness in the workplace involves someone who is organized, goal-oriented, and disciplined, realizing how their actions may often affect others. It is one of the Big Five personality traits that employers are looking for, and on some occasions, it is regarded as higher than work experience. Typically, professionals with this trait have increased awareness regarding their performance, efficient time management skills, and are highly reliable. Since they are detail-oriented and rarely miss deadlines, leaders trust them with completing difficult tasks and overcoming severe challenges. Finally, thanks to their developed emotional intelligence, they can build strong and trustworthy professional relationships with colleagues and clients. Read this article to find out what the two major branches of conscientiousness are and how you, too, can develop it.

The Two Branches Of Conscientiousness


When someone is industriously conscientious, they are devoted to setting their goals and trying to achieve them tirelessly. They address every challenge or setback with tenacity, discipline, and control. Also, people with this trait are determined to overcome hurdles and reach their target. Additionally, they are thrilled whenever they get the chance to showcase their skills and produce high-quality work. They strive to improve and are open to any learning and upskilling opportunity they get. Therefore, they are receptive to constructive feedback and can use it to get better.


This conscientiousness is rooted less in ambition and more in people’s sense of duty toward their team members. Industriously conscientious individuals may often try to achieve promotions and higher-ranking positions. However, orderly conscientious professionals excel at following rules, meeting deadlines, and striving to reach company objectives. They are very organized, reliable, and punctual, so their leaders trust them with important projects. Also, these team members think carefully before they act since they want to be efficient and avoid missteps.

How Can Someone Develop Conscientiousness In The Workplace?

1. Build A Strong Work Ethic

Conscientiousness in the workplace requires a fortified work ethic that helps professionals stay organized and focused. First, team members must minimize distractions, including their phones and multiple internet tabs, and take small, frequent breaks. Concentration helps them organize their tasks and allocate enough time to each one to produce quality work. But keeping your workspace organized is also crucial. Get rid of any unnecessary items that create clutter and confusion, and keep a task list of your daily responsibilities. Prioritizing is essential if you want to complete everything on time and efficiently. For example, you may use color coding in your planner or emails to mark urgent tasks. Additionally, you may need to work on your willpower if you find yourself easily distracted. Procrastination will only derail your efforts and crush your self-esteem.

2. Be Punctual And Reliable

Being punctual is a lot more than going to work on time. It is also about meeting deadlines, attending meetings at the designated time, and replying to customers promptly. This attribute shows true professionalism and a deep interest in your occupation. It also shows that you value the time of others. If you struggle to be on time, you can try leaving your house earlier or leaving space between meetings to cover for any delays. As a result, colleagues, managers, and clients will deem you reliable. This attribute is one of the most important in any professional environment and shows that you can manage your time and efforts. Also, when issues arise, you will have enough time to resolve them without having to derail your schedule.

3. Set Realistic Goals

Conscientious people are typically focused on their goals and try everything in their power to achieve them. But how can you be sure that your goals are achievable and that you haven’t overcalculated your abilities? Well, you have to be realistic and aware of where you spend your time and how efficient your practices are. So, after setting your goal, plan out the necessary steps and pinpoint possible obstacles. If the plan seems challenging, you can go back to each step and modify it. Maybe you need to allocate more time to some of the steps than you had initially planned. As for obstacles, make sure you have a backup plan to overcome them.

4. Build Professional Relationships

Conscientiousness in the workplace is typically manifested by showcasing excellent communication skills. To develop this attribute, you must build relationships with colleagues, leadership, and clients through mindful communication. This means that you should practice active listening, ensure your tone won’t cause misunderstandings, and express your viewpoints respectfully and calmly. You must always lead with empathy, ask your colleagues how they’re doing, and offer support when they need assistance. Consequently, they will eventually turn to you for help when they need it and regard you as a good friend and team member.

5. Be Resilient

Some tasks require harder work and more time to finish, and some people may struggle to power through the challenges. Showing resilience means finding a way to overcome obstacles by shifting your mindset. For example, when you have a large project, you may need to split it into smaller tasks. Step by step, you will reach your final goal more easily and feel a great sense of accomplishment. Additionally, some tasks may seem boring, making you want to avoid them. For instance, if answering emails seems trivial, try to shift your way of thinking. Imagine how one email can bring in new customers and thus increase the company’s success and your personal value.

Difficulties Conscientious People Often Face

While being conscientious is positive for your professional development, it may make you less adaptable to change. High conscientiousness often makes people less flexible, and due to their strict structure, they might find it more challenging to venture outside the box. Also, they may appear very serious in the office, making it hard for others to lighten up the environment occasionally. Their more perfectionist outlook may also result in workaholism and poor work-life balance. When they face failures or mediocre outcomes, they may feel very disappointed and fear that their teams will view them negatively. Lastly, conscientious professionals often feel like they have all the answers they need. So, when they encounter a hard situation, instead of asking for help, they keep pushing themselves. This can lead to burnout and failure to reach their final goal.


Conscientiousness in the workplace usually translates to someone who wants to climb the leadership ladder. There are many tools online that help you analyze your personality and check how high you score on this trait. It’s necessary to know yourself if you want to progress in your career and improve any areas that cause your performance to stagnate or drop. Following the steps we shared in this article will help you develop conscientiousness and reach new levels of success while avoiding the pitfalls.

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