Needless to say, we are unique combinations of qualities and flaws, weaknesses and strengths.
Maybe some people have a panic attack at the thought of speaking in public, while others can't wait for that town hall session to control the microphone and speak in front of large crowds. Some are born leaders. Others are excellent performers. Some work perfectly in a team. Others give the best results working on their own.
We are different, and we are not perfect.
Each employee brings something different to the table, which is a good thing. Having a diverse, dynamic, and collaborative workplace means you can approach and solve problems differently. An adaptive team understands their own and other strengths and weaknesses, and employees can support each other and offer alternative ideas.
As an owner or team leader, you are an example for your employees, and you should always try to improve the way you work. But this is only halfway towards a successful business. The other half means that you should focus on areas of improvement for employees.
Managers need to understand their team's strong and weak points, find ways of improvement, and establish how to assist employees’ development.
Every business is different, and what works for one team (or employee) might not work for another. But there are some universal skills that everyone can stand to improve. Including you!
Professional improvement is crucial because people who feel challenged to excel are more engaged and satisfied with their jobs. When people receive support from their leadership with both positive feedback and constructive criticism, they are more likely to grow professionally and become more effective contributors over time.
Many managers perform regular, one-on-one performance reviews with their direct reports to evaluate their work and provide useful feedback on areas of improvement. Every individual, including managers, can work to improve specific skills to:
Areas of improvement are qualities and abilities that an employee could develop or upgrade. An area of development is a skill that enhances professional life.
The manager and employee need to define areas of improvement on a personal level. This helps workers understand what skills they might lack in their positions and align their development goals with the company’s objectives.
Areas of improvement could include time management, delegation, organization, communication, and engagement. Many of these skills and abilities are those that employees use daily at work.
Along with businesses, employees also benefit from areas of improvement. As staff take up opportunities for improvement and start developing their skills, they quickly improve their productivity and accept new responsibilities.
Boosting areas of weakness and building further upon areas of strength makes every employee a more desirable candidate for future promotions or raises.
If knowing where you want to be, and establishing your personal vision, is the first step in any personal development, the next step is to understand where you are now. From this point, you can work out which areas are likely to need some work to improve your skills and abilities.
Many of us, even after we feel appreciated at work, want to keep brushing up on our skills and knowledge. Taking time to identify improvement areas not only helps you become more self-aware but it also boosts confidence about your contributions in the workplace. There are many advantages to establishing areas of improvement for employees.
Focusing on improvement areas increases productivity, collaboration, and empathy toward your coworkers. Furthermore, it opens new doors for career advancement as you are armed with increased knowledge and skills.
It may not seem like it, but there are countless opportunities to uncover blind spots and find areas of improvement. While those moments don’t appear magically, there are several scenarios where you can take the initiative to identify those weaknesses. For example:
From the culture to the processes in place - every workplace is different. However, when it comes to the actual individuals, we all have a similar set of skills and the same general areas for improvement. Although each staff member’s skill set may need upgrading individually, there are some common areas of improvement for employees in every company that stand the test of time. The first step is to identify those blind spots, choose what skills you want to work on, and ask yourself challenging questions.
Here are some examples of recurring areas of improvement for employees:
Time management is an essential skill for employees in any workplace. Being organized and meeting deadlines is one of the most valuable qualities. When workers manage their time wisely, they are more productive, engaged, capable to prioritize tasks and minimize procrastination. There are lots of strategies and activities for better time management, such as:
Another key area of improvement for an employee is expressing themselves assertively and clearly. Written and verbal communication are both equally essential due to the increasing need for soft skills and the ability to use modern technologies such as chats.
Communication shows others how professional an employee is and how well they know their work. Verbal communication requires a lot of practice. But your employees can level up their skills with:
Frequent public speeches and company meetings. Public speaking is hard, especially for introverts, as they usually feel worried and uneasy. With prior and good preparation, this feeling is overcome.
Team communication. One more great way to develop verbal communication is to organize team-building games. This way, employees can lower their social anxiety levels. It becomes easier for them to express themselves as they get to know their colleagues better and are less likely to be worried when communicating.
Communication and interpersonal skills go together, leading to brainstorming, idea-sharing, and uncovering some great, creative solutions to problems. But first, employees need to learn how to listen to their colleagues, solve problems with others, resolve interpersonal conflicts, and more.
Employees can level up their interpersonal skills through:
Active listening (not just hearing) means paying full attention to the speaker as they share their thoughts and interact by asking follow-up questions, displaying positive body language, and responding appropriately. While being able to talk well is great, being able to listen to others is an art.
Active listening is an essential skill that helps understand what others say, answer, and remember the necessary information for later. It requires lots of concentration and switching off the auto mode our brain loves so much. Those who want to improve active listening skills can:
Minimize distractions by putting away all the gadgets when talking to others, appoint a time for critical conversations, and avoid noisy colleagues.
Use non-verbal communication cues. Look into people’s eyes during a conversation, use gestures and positive body language, ask questions to find out more information, and reformulate sentences if you don’t understand something.
‘Are you a team player?’ is a must-ask question during interviews. Employers are eager to understand whether the candidate is open-minded and adapts quickly to any working conditions, whether it’s a new schedule, people, or workplace. Flexibility is more about the willingness to learn new things and resolve an issue in many ways. Showing flexibility is an essential improvement area for employee development.
Being more flexible, within reason, takes time and energy to master. To target and master this key area of improvement for employees, you can try these techniques:
Giving and accepting feedback isn’t a primary skill, but it’s an ability that you should integrate into your professional routine. How you seek, present, implement, and react to feedback can help or hamper your development. Feedback is an integral part of any workplace improvement. It allows workers and teams to see their mistakes at work and encourages them to find new ways to resolve them.
Being able to give and receive honest and objective feedback is a true soft skill. The following techniques will help both you and your team get it right:
You don’t need to be a manager or a team leader to sharpen this skill. Good leadership qualities help you stay focused, communicate effectively, and solve problems with greater efficiency. It even boosts the morale of your colleagues. Practicing leadership involves the development of all the skills listed above.
Independent problem-solving is as essential as cooperation among employees. Each employee can handle issues on their own while easily switching to working in a team. You can develop leadership in your employees by:
Arranging team building events where employees need to take charge and solve issues within a team
Encouraging your workers to enroll in leadership courses after work.
Areas of improvement: Wrap-Up
If you found some areas of improvement examples that you can relate to - that’s not a bad thing! Every employee should be striving for improvement, and becoming aware of blind spots is the first step to reaching your full potential.
Learning is an endless process. There’s no deadline for self-improvement in a professional setting. Even the most successful people across the globe continue working on personal growth. They aren’t defined by their success and view their lives as one long learning process.