As an employer, you hand-pick the most qualified employees for the job, but there will always be room for potential improvement. Your employees may work for financial compensation, or because they believe in the cause of your business or organization, but they also work for the experience, training, and continued education that you, as an employer, have to offer. These are our top six skills and qualities to cultivate in your employees.
The most important and time sensitive work obviously needs to be completed first, especially in a client services business, so an employee’s ability to prioritize is essential. If you haven’t already, create a WIP (work in progress) list that is distributed to everyone in your organization on a daily or weekly basis, which accompanying due dates next to each project or task. Employees should also always be thinking of “the big picture” rather than becoming preoccupied with smaller tasks that are less important. Allow a fair degree of autonomy and self-direction in order for employees to use their own judgement to facilitate the completion of more important projects first.
Modern day businesses are becoming smaller, further specialized, and more collaborative. It’s no surprise to walk into an office these days and find ten people in a medium sized room working collaboratively. The approach here is to create a highly specialized “dream team” of employees who are the best of the best, but in order for the team to function properly it is essential that everyone involved is communicating, collaborating, and playing nice with each other. Make sure that your employees are working cohesively as a tight-knit team in order to expedite work, avoid confusion, and to create a friendly work environment.
3. Stress Management
An excess of stress can be detrimental on the performance of an employee. If your employees don’t have the ability or opportunity to reduce their stress levels, they will tend to rush through their work in order to get to a more relaxed state as soon as possible. It is important that employees can manage their stress so that they work at a steady pace at peak performance. Schedule time during the work day for office-wide breaks and activities, including food, stretching, walks, yoga, parties, or just free time.
4. Admitting Mistakes
When you broke a window as a kid, you probably tried to hide it and or not tell your parents. Mom and Dad may have been a little upset with you, but they obviously would have preferred you tell them what happened so they could not only ensure your safety but also to be aware of the hazardous broken glass sooner. If an employee makes a mistake and doesn’t own up to it or bring attention to it, valuable time could be wasted trying to figure out what the problem is. Try to instill a strong sense of responsibility in your employees, as well as the notion that there won’t be repercussions for mistakes because everyone makes them, and that addressing these mistakes will benefit the entirety of the organization.
5. Being Proactive
Your employees need to know what needs to be done before they walk into the office. This creates a more streamlined work day for the employee since they don’t need to constantly asking managers what to do next. Allow time at the end of each day for conversation with your employees, allowing them to plan for what needs to be done the next day. This is especially essential in a project-based business where your employees are continuously handed new tasks that they may complete early, thus necessitating newly assigned work.
6. Learning From Each Other
Just like the old saying in elementary school “ask three before me”, your employees should ask questions and learn from their fellow employees, not only to save a manager’s time, but also to promote collaboration and diversified learning throughout the organization. Employees learning from other employees allows skills from different areas of the business to become more widely dispersed throughout your workforce, creating a more cohesive team made up of employees who have a clearer understanding of what their peers do, as well as how different areas of the business all tie into the big picture.