Whether you’ve been working for a few months or many years, there are always areas for improvement.
The question is, where should you start?
This post will define different areas of improvement, dive into areas of improvement examples, and show you some strategies for success.
Areas of improvement are specific skills you can target to develop or enhance your performance in the workplace.
Employers may suggest improvements based on your current performance or areas of need within the organization.
You may also determine areas critical to improving your performance based on your current skill set.
Professional improvements can be beneficial in the following ways:
Let’s now look at some areas of improvement examples.
Areas of improvement for employees can be broken down into three categories:
Let’s go into each of them in detail.
If you want to enhance your planning and organization skills, here are some good ways to start.
Time management skills are crucial to a successful workday, as they help ensure you reach your daily objectives and complete critical task items.
Shifts in the workplace, such as a transition to a hybrid environment, make it more critical than ever to understand when and how you’re spending your time.
Here are several tips for managing your time successfully:
Learn more about proper time management and goal-setting.
Improving your organizational skills can lead to greater efficiency and productivity in the workplace. Set up your physical workspace and materials so you can access what you need easily.
Label it: Project category_subcategory_Project/customer name_Project start year
Example: SEO_social media ads_ABC Company_2023.doc
Label it: Customer Name_file description_contract start date
Example: ABC Company_annual budget_2023.xls
Label it: YYYY.MM.DD_File description
Example: 2023.12.12_Daily sales report.doc
Flexibility is a soft skill that comes easily to some and not so to others. The good news is you can improve flexibility without compromising your work product or performance.
Start with your mindset. If you learn not to take things personally, you’re halfway there.
Continue with your preparation. Knowing you have your ducks in a row makes it easier to adapt to changes or updates.
Work with your team or management to shift projects or deadlines as needed. Look into software solutions that can make organizational flexibility even easier.
If you’re not a dependable employee, it’s time to take action.
According to Jen Fisher, Deloitte’s Chief Well-Being Officer, trust is the foundation of a healthy work environment.
This sense of trust goes both ways.
Consider the following areas if you want to boost your management and leadership skills and exceed expectations.
Conflict in the workplace can range from disagreement over a project deadline or debate on the best way to implement a new customer service solution.
Successful conflict resolution occurs when both parties agree to the decision or outcome. If you are a hybrid employee, learn more about the collaborating conflict style and how it can benefit your team.
Moreover, mastering communication will help you deal with difficult work situations.
You are probably already familiar with the basic steps of problem-solving. Identify the root cause, brainstorm possible solutions, select and apply the best one, and then evaluate the results.
To strengthen your problem-solving skills, see how you can level up in each area.
Start with the cause. Do your research. Learn how to interpret and apply data in context to drive effective solutions. After all, if you don’t know a problem’s cause, you’ll be hard-pressed to find the right solution.
While you’re determining possible solutions and evaluating the results, use tools to help guide your process. Brainstorm, identify the Five Whys, or use SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis to help guide your team.
In addition, check out the most prominent work-related strengths of top performers.
The most in-demand skill companies seek is a willingness to learn management roles.
Take on additional leadership roles and responsibilities related to potential growth.
Reflect on your relationships with your employees, management, and customers. Are you someone they can turn to when they need support or advice?
Seek out opportunities to demonstrate collaborative leadership within your company, whether that means taking the lead on a new project or becoming the point person for resolving a customer complaint.
Empathy involves taking the unique perspective of others to understand how they think and feel. It is distinct from sympathy. Empathetic people identify with how others think and feel to understand where they’re coming from.
Sympathy, however, involves showing concern without involvement. Consider your employees, too. About 87% of employees believe empathy is essential to an inclusive workplace.
Strategies for improving empathy include asking questions, identifying areas of commonality, and practicing a growth mindset.
Adaptability relates to not only how adaptable you are in your job but also how you approach cultural, age, and generational differences in the workplace.
Try to keep an open mind. Adapt your communication style to different managers, employees, colleagues, and customers.
Communication and interpersonal skills range from your verbal delivery to how well you collaborate with others.
Effective communication positively affects your job satisfaction and connections with your colleagues. Most workplaces require efficient verbal communication in meetings, 1:1 conversations, small group discussions, and presentations.
Level up your verbal communication by thinking before you speak and using clear language.
Strong emotional intelligence skills can take you far in the workplace. If you’re not adept, consider how well you pick up on cues from body language, facial expressions, gestures, posture, and tone of voice.
Be aware of the cultural differences impacting these behaviors. For example, maintaining eye contact is valued in the United States, but it can feel aversive to those from other countries.
Today’s hybrid and remote workforces often rely on communicating in the written form.
The way you write influences the way others perceive your abilities, so you want to demonstrate strong writing skills.
Depending on your job, you may write emails, reports, meeting notes, letters, or contracts. Be sure you are using strategies for collaborative communication.
If you feel your writing skills could use some work, here are some ways to improve them:
Strong communication skills are essential for building relationships with colleagues.
Strategies for active listening include asking questions and verifying what the other person has said. When you actively listen, you are more likely to understand and act upon the information efficiently.
As a manager, consider the importance of active listening skills among your workers. About 75% of employees don’t feel heard about certain areas, which can lead to breakdowns in trust, engagement, and job performance.
Collaboration is critical to today’s workforce, especially as more and more people turn to remote and hybrid positions.
Developing strong collaborative skills leads to more successful teamwork and project outcomes.
Accepting and responding to feedback is another critical part of everyday job performance. It’s also an exemplary quality of any good team member.
Feedback may be formal or informal, written or verbal, scheduled or spontaneous.
Effective feedback provides you with immediate takeaways to improve your performance. Be prepared to accept and address both positive and negative aspects of constructive feedback.
Now that you know which area(s) of improvement you’d like to focus on, here are some strategies to boost your likelihood of success.
No matter which area you want to focus on, set goals. Determine your long-term goals and set short-term objectives to reach them.
Be specific. Which goals will help you develop or enhance in-demand skills? Align your goals with your company’s mission, values, and long-term objectives to see how you are contributing to the big picture.
Set goals that match your strengths, capabilities, personality traits, and interests.
It’s not enough to do your work each day — you want to feel engaged in it, too.
Attaching meaningfulness to work improves job performance. You’ll feel more connected to your job and better understand your contributions.
Engaged employees are also better at managing stress. As 44% of employees report being stressed, boosting engagement with your manager and colleagues will foster connections to help you combat this issue.
Use techniques to engage others, too. For example, catchy meeting names can help make meetings more appealing.
Use tools to promote engagement where it matters. For example, OfficeRnD Hybrid can help you encourage employee engagement by providing employees with user-friendly scheduling software that’s fully embeddable and integrates with the apps they already use and love.
Look for professional development opportunities supporting your goals. Stock your library or eReader with business, leadership, and development books.
Continue your education by taking classes in person or online.
Find a mentor in your field or apply for an apprenticeship. Gain additional certifications to further improve your marketable work skills.
A work-life balance is critical, especially in hybrid work positions.
HR reports that about 44% of employees leave companies if they can’t achieve this balance.
The good news is you can start achieving a better balance today. Here’s how:
Stick to consistent start and stop times. Take breaks during the day to recharge, have lunch, and rest. Put the laptop away at the end of the day, and turn off your email alerts.
Use vacation days and leave times when needed, including doctor’s appointments and family responsibilities.
Your mental health is important, too. Spend time with family and friends. Dive into those hobbies, personal interests, and community events that bring you joy.
Planning and organization, leadership and management, and communication and interpersonal skills are the three top areas to focus on in your journey to improve in the workplace.
Level up your written communication so that every report delivers. Learn more about how to resolve conflict in the workplace.
Support collaboration and teamwork by using a hybrid workplace management software such as OfficeRnD Hybrid. It allows you to create a thriving and productive workplace that focuses on collaboration.
With it, you can:
Areas of improvement often fall into one of three broad categories. Consider improving your planning and organization skills, leadership and management skills, or communication and interpersonal skills.
Get specific. Identify the area in which you want to improve and the actions you need to take to address it.
For example, to improve written communication skills:
“I will produce work-related emails free of typos by proofreading my work through Grammarly.” or “I will generate meeting notes with clear action items and deliver them within 24 hours.”
Strengths and areas of improvement examples are highly individual.
Consider the feedback you’ve received from management, colleagues, and customers to inform your strengths and define areas of need.
You can also highlight an area of improvement within one of your strengths.
For example, “I am proficient with addressing conflicts during one-to-one interactions. I want to improve my ability to address issues during small group discussions and team meetings.”
As an employee, your major areas for improvement include enhancing your time management skills to boost productivity, developing advanced technical skills relevant to your field, and improving interpersonal communication to foster better teamwork and collaboration.
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