Professional development is essential in any career path. You must identify and address your areas of improvement in order to continue developing your skills and improving your work performance. Knowing where you can improve is the first step toward becoming a better employee by overcoming your weaknesses.
Who is a good employee?
Employees must have both soft skills and technical skills, also known as hard skills. Soft skills include an employee’s social expertise, personality and character makeup, communication skills, emotional intelligence, influence, and work approach. These complement hard skills – abilities that have been learned and can be measured and quantified – and can make an employee more valuable to a company.
Here are some of the qualities and skills of a good employee:
Understanding both the why and the what. Above and beyond simply knowing how to do their job, good employees understand why their job exists. This enables them to generate new suggestions and ideas for improving their tasks.
Professionalism. Being professional at work entails being polite, well-spoken, calm, and presentable.
Innovative concepts. Employees who bring forward innovative ideas and suggestions that will have a positive impact are a valuable asset to a company. Growth is thwarted by stagnation and complacency.
Problem-solving skills. Employees who work on a task until it is solved or completed, and who use their best efforts to solve problems, are regarded as good employees.
Ambitious. Employees who have a clear, personal career plan or goal in mind are less likely to expect their employer to drive their career for them, so they strive for advancement.
Dependability, dependability, and accountability. Employees who accept responsibility for their actions, are dependable, arrive on time, do what they say, and do not let their teammates down are highly valued.
Dispute resolution. Good employees address and resolve conflict maturely, rather than avoiding it, by maintaining respect for those involved, not blaming, and not acquiescing simply to keep the peace.
Positive outlook. Employees who bring a positive attitude to work have a positive impact on those around them and increase team energy.
Emotional intelligence (EQ). Emotional intelligence (EQ) is about being aware of one’s own emotions as well as those of others on the team. Knowing how to manage these effectively is a critical component of being a good employee.
Teamwork. The ability to work with others in a team by cultivating professional relationships in order to achieve a common goal is a valuable asset to any company.
Eagerness to learn. Hard skills obtained through education are insufficient for good employees; they are open to new ideas and share their ideas and personal insights with the team.
Creativity. Creativity is not innate in everyone, but it is a skill that can be developed through experimentation, imagination, questions, collaboration, and information processing.
Generosity. Good employees’ coach and mentor their co-workers. They generously share their knowledge and experience. They recognise that knowledge is only useful when it is shared with others.
Every employer wants their employees to exhibit one trait, professionalism and a strong work ethic. Whatever job you get after graduation, your employer will expect you to have strong, professional social skills as well as a strong work ethic.
Employees who take the initiative and complete tasks with little supervision or encouragement are highly valued.
A Dissatisfied Employee should:
Be willing to learn. Maintain and fulfil your desire to learn more about your field. This can be accomplished by attending all group meetings. In addition, ask your senior employers questions and express your desire to collaborate with other departments.
Create connections. Stay up to date on everyone’s contributions and actively participate in discussions, whether it’s your team member, team leader, or department head. This establishes a respectable professional rapport and naturally improves your work performance.
Maintain a positive attitude. You may be asked to work extra hours on weekends or to shift your focus from your primary project to a high-priority project. Do not allow the change to disrupt your workflow. Adapt to it and absorb all of the fundamentals that will propel you to completion of the new project.
Effective areas for development:
Here are some basic areas where you can improve to become a better employee:
Be a good listener.
It is more important to be a good listener than a good speaker. When speaking with high-level employees, stay alert and take notes on key points. The importance of two-way communication is frequently underestimated by new employees. Make it a point to cross-question and clarify your doubts during the conversation.
Accept feedback, but make a concerted effort to incorporate it. This method of managing feedback gives you a firm grip on the elements that your team leader wants you to include. This also demonstrates your willingness to embrace opportunities for growth.
Enhance your interpersonal skills.
Experiment with using your interpersonal skills in an enterprising and enticing manner. This sends a clear message to other employees about your ability to interact. Furthermore, you will naturally have an advantage when it comes to receiving more responsible work assigned by seniors. Most importantly, be mindful of your body language and show empathy in conversations.
Employ critical thinking.
Strive to deviate from the norm. Get ahead of your responsibilities and apply a detail-oriented approach to all of your tasks. This allows you to brainstorm on a larger scale, taking into account all of your clients, products, and partnerships. Critical thinking also allows you to gain access to different perspectives at work. In fact, the more perspectives you have, the more likely you are to come up with brilliant ideas.
Adjust to changing circumstances.
Never be surprised by the onset of company changes, team changes, or new, more difficult projects. Even if you have a strict deadline to meet, shift your mindset from stressing to adapting to reality. Remember that acceptance comes easily with adaptability, but acceptance comes with resistance without adaptability.
Work on endurance.
Be persistent in difficult situations if you want to improve your professional image at work. Your manager may occasionally overload you with multiple difficult problem statements. It is your responsibility to maintain your morale and either complete the work quickly or openly discuss your concerns.
Develop your leadership abilities.
If your co-workers are slacking and appear to be burned out, seize the opportunity and assume leadership. It’s the best time to express your thoughts, take the initiative, and devise a solution that compensates for their lack of attention. This could be an exceptional area for improvement for employees seeking an appraisal.
Delegating while acting as a leader demonstrates your critical thinking and decision-making abilities. You gain a better understanding of how to distribute your resources at work. Even better, you can break down a project into sections and develop a more in-depth view of the entire project. Above all, delegation allows you to assess the effectiveness of your interns and senior team members.
Opt for optimism.
Develop a positive attitude toward your workplace difficulties. Focus on the present moment and make a statement with every task you complete at work. Choose to view challenges as opportunities to expand your skill set.
You and your clients, managers, or colleagues may have disagreements. Never let a conflict linger. Make an effort to resolve the problem. Otherwise, you risk disrupting smooth operations and creating a negative atmosphere that will harm the business or project. Whether you resolve a conflict in person, via email or phone, or in a group e-meeting, make sure the conversation ends on mutually satisfactory terms.
Emphasize customer service.
Customers are essential to the success of any business. Making a connection with them allows you to gain deeper insights into your target audience. Also, when customers are pleased, they are more open, making it easier to identify their sensitive points. All of this information is essential when discussing marketing strategies and sales tactics with your team.
Develop a sense of teamwork.
Individual work has been shown to be less productive than teamwork. Involve your team in brainstorming even the smallest setbacks, and you could see tremendous results. For example, suppose one employee believes that increasing the marketing budget for ads is preferable to upgrading the website. In that case, the team must conduct an analytical discussion and make the necessary compromises in order to achieve their ultimate goal.
In today’s fast-paced office environments, stress is unavoidable. However, this does not make it completely unavoidable. Simply use personalised stress management techniques at work. If you feel relieved, feel free to request a project shift or a mental health discussion with the members of your organisation.
Establish personal KPIs.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) accurately assist you in determining where you stand in terms of your career progression. Choose a KPI based on your goals for the near future. It could be a financial boost, an influential network, more involvement at work, or even a promotion.
Maintain your self-assurance.
When you lack confidence, your performance metrics may suffer. Avoid making intimidating responsibilities or conversations an impediment. When you have a naturally acquired confident personality, you have a natural catalyst within you that drives you to constantly improve your professional etiquettes.
Control your time.
Productivity can only be obtained through responsibility and wise time management. Begin by making checklists, using a planner, making to-do lists, using a calendar, and selecting time management software that can be accessed while on the go. This area of development for an employee deconstructs the specifics of how you approach your goals and priorities.
Improve your writing skills.
The way you write emails, briefs, proposals, notes, and presentations reveals a lot about your professional standing. Improving your writing skills at work isn’t as difficult as you think. The important thing is to keep writing and practising. Choose to write important, descriptive emails, re-write existing presentations, and request that you be designated as the point of contact between clients and team members.
Accept your mistakes and face the truth. This clears your conscience while also putting you in a position to work with a solution-oriented mindset. Develop a reputation for integrity and keep your promises. If you can’t keep up, notify your team instead of abandoning the task.
Avoid waiting for a senior to remind you of an obvious responsibility. Display your preparedness and relieve upper management of your responsibilities. Ideally, point out errors before they occur and anticipate what they require ahead of time. Such initiative makes a good impression on your superiors and increases your chances of receiving an appraisal or promotion.
Study business etiquette.
There is a significant difference between generic professional etiquettes and company etiquettes. The etiquettes of your organisation must be tailored to their values, clientele, and industry. Begin resonating with their values with the intention of improving how you present yourself as an employee of the company you work for.
Employees who fail to meet their employer’s expectations in any given field risk being fired. If management has provided adequate training to improve your performance and you are still unable to meet the job requirements and perform to expectations, the employer has the right to fire you. Employees are initially enthusiastic about their new jobs, but their enthusiasm fades over time. As a result, the company will lack the drive and positive motivation that it requires. In any ongoing employee dismissal process, a lack of enthusiasm can add fuel to the fire.
If you are frequently late or take sick leave, you will almost certainly face employee replacement. Your absence could cause work to be disrupted, both your own and that of others on your team. In conclusion, you will not be referred to as a team member and will be fired immediately. If you use up all of your vacation days and develop a habit of taking unpaid holidays, it indicates that you are not a hard worker and are unable to add value to the company. Your unplanned absences will be reported to the HR department.
Distractions and interruptions can disrupt your flow and have a negative impact on your work performance. Learn how to avoid similar situations and how to improve your work performance.
Work performance is a broad term that describes your ability to perform well on the job. People who perform well are typically more likely to receive pay raises and job promotions.
Managers can assess employee performance using a variety of metrics. The most common are:
Consider hiring a professional coach if you don’t know where to begin. You can work together to develop a skill development plan to help you reach your career goals.
Task completion isn’t everything. Workers in today’s complex work environment should expect to use a variety of soft skills on a daily basis. While they have nothing to do with output, they do reflect on you as an employee.
The strategies for improving your workflow may be simpler than you think. Here are some suggestions for improving work performance. Examine these strategies and determine which ones are most applicable to you and your job.
Reduce distractions. This is a tip that many people know but rarely use. Reduce the number of potential distractions. Of course, eliminating distractions is impossible all of the time. Try scheduling focus blocks in your calendar instead. Silence your phone, turn off email alerts, close your office door (if you have one), and concentrate on the task at hand during this time. You’ll be surprised at how much you can get done.
Set goals and objectives. Large tasks frequently lead to procrastination. However, breaking projects down into steps on a simple to-do list often makes them feel more manageable. Plus, once you start crossing things off your list, it’s simple to gain momentum.
Set specific, attainable goals. When it comes to your goals, be realistic. We all want to be super-producers, but we need to be aware of our energy levels and how much we can accomplish in a single workday. Splitting large goals into smaller, more specific goals will help you stay on track. Setting attainable goals allows you to be kind to yourself while doing your best. Nobody wants you to exhaust yourself.
Multitasking should be avoided. While multitasking may appear to be efficient, switching between tasks actually reduces your efficiency. That is, if you’re writing a report between emails, you’re probably not getting as much done as you think. Instead of juggling tasks, choose one and stick with it.
Improve your time management skills. It’s time to hone your time management abilities. Make a schedule for your time. If you know a task is due in a few weeks, work backward from that date and schedule your time accordingly. One hour of focused work per week is more efficient than three hours of last-minute work. Procrastination is linked to high stress, an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and fatigue. It even reduces life and work satisfaction.
Prioritize the most important tasks. Prioritizing urgent tasks is a good way to keep your to-do list organised. If you’re called away from your desk, the only items left are those that can wait. Schedule some time at the start of each day to work on what’s most important to ensure it gets your full attention. Use techniques such as the Pomodoro Technique to increase the quantity and quality of your work throughout the day.
When possible, delegate tasks. It’s normal to have a long to-do list as a manager. Look for chances to delegate some work tasks. Divide projects into manageable chunks and provide clear instructions to team members. They can assist you in completing all of your tasks. Knowing when you’re doing too much is part of having strong management skills.
Make your workspace presentable. A cluttered desk can be a source of distraction. Keep only what you need for the task at hand and get rid of the rest. Close all the tabs in your web browser while you’re at it. Cleaning up your computer can also improve your mental clarity.
Maintain your health. Exercise and a healthy diet are both known to keep your brain happy. Each morning, get your workday off to a good start. A healthy breakfast and a walk outside can improve your concentration, energy, and motivation.
Clear communication is essential. When working on a large project, everyone involved must understand what they are responsible for and when. Effective communication leads to excellent teamwork, which boosts your overall performance. Notifying people when you’re nearing capacity is also part of communication.
Take frequent short breaks. Your body isn’t designed to work for eight hours straight. If your focus wanders while working, it could be your body telling you to take a break. Take a break instead of working through it. Make time each day to go for a short walk, stretch, or grab a drink at a nearby cafe. You’ll feel refreshed and ready to focus again after a 15-minute break.
Make self-improvement a priority. We should evolve in tandem with the rest of the world. Learn new skills, read books, watch videos, and listen to podcasts to broaden your horizons. You might come across some useful information that you can bring to work with you.
Keep a work-life balance. Everyone has a personal life. It’s critical to unplug at the end of the day. You can be at your best while working if you take care of yourself.
To stay productive, avoid doing the following:
Limit these two common distractions to stay focused:
- It’s fun to hear the latest news in the office, but too much idle chat can take away from your work time. Keep track of how much time you spend conversing with your co-workers.
- Smartphones: These ground-breaking devices have done wonders for keeping us connected, but they’re also designed to keep your attention. During work hours, turn off notifications and keep it in another room. This will keep your phone from luring you away from your work and into social media apps.
Level up: When your work performance improves, those around you will notice. Increasing your productivity puts you in line for raises and promotions. Furthermore, working productively will make you feel better. However, getting started can be difficult. Find someone who can help you stay on track to hold yourself accountable. A work buddy or a career coach can assist you in increasing your productivity.