What Is An Employee? (Definition, Types And Benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 12 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

An employee is a professional who receives compensation for performing and completing their work-related duties. After completing an application and interview process, a company hires employees based on their skill set. Knowing everything about what an employee is, what they do and their types can help you make an informed decision during your job search. In this article, we answer, “What is an employee?” and where they work, outline the different types of employees and explore some qualities of a good employee.

What Is An Employee?

To better understand the answer to, “What is an employee?”, it is beneficial to review its definition. An employee is a business professional who performs specific duties based on the job role. These are professionals who work for a private company or a government agency. They collect an hourly wage or a fixed salary based on their work agreement. Companies hire different employees for different functions, and It is important for business owners to properly classify employees for tax purposes.

Related: Employer Vs Employee: What Are The Fundamental Differences?

Types Of Employees

Every employee a company hires performs specific duties and tasks. They may work in a part-time, full-time or temporary capacity. Here are the different types of employees working in an organisation:

Full-time employees

A full-time employee works for almost 40 hours a week and they usually work from Monday to Friday. Though they typically work for eight hours every day, this number may vary depending on their service contract. Some employees can work six days a week and complete 48 hours a week. Usually, full-time employees only work for one employer at a time.

Part-time employees

When compared to full-time employees, a part-time employee works fewer hours. Usually, the traditional workweek of an employee might vary from 30 to 40 hours a week. Many employers do not provide the same benefits and perks package to part-time employees as they provide to full-time employees. Often, companies prefer hiring part-time employees for job positions that do not require full-time work. They may also choose to hire multiple part-time employees to ease the work stress on their full-time employees.

Related: How To Find A Part-Time Job

Fixed-term employees

A fixed-term employee is an individual with a specified start and end date. Similar to full-time and part-time employees, these professionals perform specific duties specified by the employer. Employers usually list their work duties in the job description. Companies treat their fixed-term employees the same way they treat their permanent employees.

Seasonal employees

Seasonal employees are professionals who a company hires depending on their seasonal requirements. For instance, a retail company may hire five to six seasonal employees to manage retail operations during the peak months and the holiday season. As they are not permanent employees, they are less likely to receive all full-time employee benefits.

Related: Why Employee Motivation Is Important: A Complete Guide

Leased employees

A leased or contractual employee gets hired by a staffing agency. The staffing agency then leases this staff member to complete a job-specific task. Such employees work in the location of the leased company. While they are full-time employees, these employees are on the staffing agency's payroll. A leased employee receives salary and benefits through the employment agency rather than through the organisation for which they are working.

Related: What Is Employee Retention? (And How To Increase It)

What Do Employees Do?

An employee performs specific duties and tasks for compensation and benefits. These professionals perform specific duties for the company in their workspace. For fulfilling all work-related duties, an employer provides their employees with the required tools such as phone, computer, desk and office supplies. Often, employees have access to paid subscriptions that help them complete their job duties. For example, employees can work in customer service, accounting, marketing and information technology departments. Many organisations use a goal tracker or a performance management system to motivate employees to perform their job well.

Employers may integrate training opportunities to enhance employees' skill sets. Many organisations use a performance management system to motivate employees to perform their jobs. Often, companies integrate training opportunities to increase their employees' skills level and experience.

Related: Employee Engagement Tools (With Features And Examples)

What Is The Average Salary Of An Employee?

An employee's salary primarily depends on the job role for which they get hired. For instance, the national average salary of a customer care specialist is ₹15,175 per month, whereas the national average salary of a customer service representative is ₹16,873 per month. The salary of an employee usually depends upon many factors, such as job location, company size, employee performance and qualification.

Factors That Influence Employee Salaries

Here are some factors that can increase or decrease the salary of an employee:


Employees who work in big cities typically receive a higher salary than employees working in small cities. For instance, the national average salary of a business analyst in Bengaluru is ₹54,664 per month, whereas the national average salary of a business analyst in Kochi is ₹24,775 per month. When comparing salaries of employees, it is also important to consider that the cost of living is usually high in bigger cities.

Company size

Larger companies typically pay a higher salary than small companies. This is because large companies have higher annual turnover and higher revenue. Larger companies invest in growth on a bigger scale than local businesses do. So, such companies offer higher salaries and employee benefits.

Related: What Is An Employee Self-Service Platform? (With Features)

Employee performance

Often, employees who complete their job perfectly and on time receive extra compensation for their hard work. It is common for employers to give monthly bonuses to their high performing employees. These employees are also likely to get promoted to a leadership role.

Related: Gross Salary And Net Salary: Definitions And Examples

Qualities Of A Good Employee

A good employee is someone who understands their position within a company. Some traits of a good employee are:


A good employee is someone who is reliable and performs consistently. These employees often ensure timely completion of work and meet the employer's expectations by performing at a high level. Such employees are confident in their abilities and can deliver work that meets organisational standards.


Often, ambitious employees can help an organisation reach its goals. To achieve professional growth, these employees can develop strong work ethics. Ambitious employees can advance their careers. For instance, a customer service representative strives to learn how to use advanced technology in their workplace. Their ambition enables them to learn new technologies that increase customer engagement.


Another essential quality that employers look for in employees is creativity. Developing innovative ideas and being creative at work can help employees distinguish themselves from others. Employers prefer creative thinkers because they help a company adapt to changes and enhance workplace collaboration.


Often, employers prefer hiring candidates who can overcome challenges and help a company accomplish their goals. Being dedicated means showing a positive attitude towards work and adapting to constant workplace changes. Showing dedication towards your work means finding a potential solution to workplace problems.

Communication skills

Employers often prefer hiring employees who can communicate effectively with team members, customers and managers. Often, this skill set differentiates you from other employees. The ability to listen to managers and supervisors and respond to their queries is imperative for a rewarding and fulfilling career.

What Are Some Benefits And Perks A Full-Time Employee Receives?

A full-time employee receives many benefits, making it an appealing employment type. Some common benefits are:

  • Health insurance: Most companies provide health insurance to their employees, and the coverage amount varies from company to company.

  • Paid time off: Most companies offer paid time off (PTO) for vacation, sick and personal time.

  • Leave travel allowance: Many employers offer a leave travel allowance (LTA) that covers the travel costs of employees on leave.

  • Gratuity: All employees who work for over five years in a company are eligible to receive gratuity, which is a portion of an employee's salary.

  • Profit-sharing and bonus: Many organisations offer a share of their profit to employees who are working with the company for a specific time period.

Related: What Is PTO? Definition And Types Of PTO To Know More About

Where Do Employees Work?

Traditionally, employees work on location at a company site or corporate headquarters. Depending on the job, employees may also work outside, underground, underwater or in the air. Over the years, the concept of the workplace has evolved. People with computer-related roles are more commonly filling positions that allow them to work from home or a remote location.

Related: How To Calculate A Bonus In Easy 3 Steps (With Types)

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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