Essential Areas of Improvement for Employees (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 13 September 2021

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.

Continued professional improvement is important in any career path. To keep growing your skills and improving your work performance, you need to identify and address your areas of improvement. Knowing what you can improve is the first step towards overcoming your weaknesses for becoming a better employee. In this article, we outline the top 30 areas of improvement for employees and share some tips on how to improve your performance at work.

Related: Why Personal Development Is Crucial (With Examples and Tips)

Top 3 ways to improve your performance at work

Here are three ways to improve your performance at the workplace:

1. Be eager to learn

Maintain and fulfil your desire to know more about your profession. This is achievable by being present for all group meetings. Also, asking your senior employers questions and expressing your desire to collaborate with additional departments.

2. Build relationships

Whether it's your team member, team leader or department head, stay updated with everyone's contribution and actively indulge in discussions. This builds a respectable professional rapport and naturally upgrades your performance at work.

3. Have a positive attitude

You may be asked to overwork on the weekend or to divert your time from your core project to a high-priority project. Don't let your workflow get disrupted because of the change. Adapt to it and imbibe all the basics that propel you towards completing the new project.

20 effective areas of improvement

Here are 20 areas of improvement you can consider to become a better employee:

1. Be an active listener

Being a good listener is more important than being a good speaker. Stay vigilant and register key points when in conversation with high-level employees. The power of two-way communication is often unaccounted for by first-time employees. Make it a point to cross-question in the conversation and clarify your doubts.

2. Incorporate feedback

Don't just accept feedback, but make an evident attempt to incorporate it. This manner of managing feedback gives you a strong foothold on the elements your team leader wants you to involve. Additionally, this shows your willingness to embrace opportunities for improvement.

Related: Types of Motivation for Career Advancement (With Examples)

3. Improve interpersonal skills

Practice the art of using your interpersonal skills in an enterprising and enticing way. This gives a clear message to other employees at the workplace of your interaction capabilities. Moreover, you naturally get the advantage when it comes to getting more responsible work assigned by seniors. Most importantly, show empathy in conversations and be mindful of your body language.

4. Use critical thinking

Work towards breaking the norm. Get ahead of your duties and use a detail-oriented approach in all your tasks. This helps brainstorm on a broader scale, also considering all your clients, products and partnerships. Critical thinking also gives access to varying perspectives at your workplace. Factually, the more perspective, the higher probability of brilliant ideas.

Related: Critical Thinking: Definition, Development and Advantages

5. Adapt to situations

Never be taken aback by the onset of company changes, team alterations or new, tougher projects. Even if you have a stringent deadline to meet, shift your mindset towards adapting to reality rather than stressing. Remember, with adaptability, acceptance comes easily, but without adaptability, acceptance comes with resistance.

6. Practise endurance

If you're attempting to strengthen your impression at the workplace, be persistent in challenging situations. Sometimes, your manager may burden you with multiple difficult problem statements. It's your responsibility to sustain your morale and either get the work done swiftly or openly discuss your queries.

Related: Top Qualities of an Outstanding Leader

7. Build leadership skills

If your fellow employees are slacking and seem burnt out, seize the opportunity and take up the leadership role. It's the most appropriate time to voice your opinions, take initiative and find a solution that neutralises their lack of attention. For employees looking for an appraisal, this could be an exceptional area for improvement.

8. Delegate tasks

Delegating while you play the leader's role proves your critical thinking and decision-making skills. You gain a better understanding of distributing your resources in the workplace. Even better, you can dissect a project in parts and develop a more informative take on the entire project. Above all, delegation helps you gauge the usability of your interns and senior team members.

9. Choose optimism

Develop an optimistic mentality towards your hardships at the workplace. Stay focused on the present and make a statement with every task you undertake at the office. Choose to see challenges as an opportunity to develop your skill set.

10. Resolve conflicts

Conflicts may occur between you and your clients, managers or colleagues. Never let conflicts remain active. Put effort into resolving the issue. If not, you could disrupt smooth operations and create a negative atmosphere, harming the business or project. Whether you resolve a conflict face-to-face, by email or call or in a group e-meeting, make sure to end the conversation on mutually satisfactory terms.

11. Focus on customer service

Customers are the key ingredient for any successful business. Establishing a sense of connection with them helps you gain deeper insights into your target audience. Also, when customers are happy, they tend to be more open, and it becomes simple to identify their delicate points. All this knowledge becomes imperative when discussing marketing strategies and sales tactics with your team.

12. Gain a sense of teamwork

Teamwork has been known to be more productive as opposed to individual work. Involve your team in brainstorming your littlest of setbacks and you may see tremendous results. For example, suppose one employee thinks that increasing the marketing budget towards ads is better and the other thinks that upgrading the website is better. In that case, the team must have an analytical discussion and make the necessary compromises to succeed in their end goal.

13. Regulate stress

Stress is inevitable in modern-day, fast-paced office environments. But that doesn't make it completely unavoidable. Simply resort to personalised techniques to manage stress at your workplace. Provided you experience the relief, feel free to ask for a shift in projects or a discussion around mental health with your organisation's members.

14. Set personal KPIs

Key performance indicators (KPIs) accurately help you study where you stand with respect to your career progress. Choose a KPI based on what you wish to achieve in the near future. It could be a financial upliftment, an influential network, greater involvement at the workplace or even a promotion.

15. Be ever-confident

The moment you have low confidence, your performance metrics may be affected. Refrain from allowing intimidating responsibilities or conversations to be an obstacle. When you have a rightfully acquired confident personality, there's a natural catalyst within you that drives you towards perpetually strengthening your professional etiquettes.

Related: Traits of an Effective Team Leader

16. Manage your time

Productivity only comes with responsibility and wisely managing your time. Begin to create checklists, use a planner, prepare to-do lists, use a calendar and also choose time management software that can be accessed while on the move. This area of improvement for an employee breaks down the specifics regarding how you are approaching your goals and priorities.

17. Improve your writing

How you write your emails, briefs, proposals, notes and presentations says a lot about your standing as an employee. Improving your writing skills at your workplace isn't as hard as you think. The key is to keep writing and practising. Choose to write important, descriptive emails, re-drafting existing presentations and also ask permission to make you the point of contact between clients and team members.

18. Be honest

Face the truth and accept your errors. This keeps your conscience clean and also places you in working with a solution-oriented mindset. Develop reputed integrity and stay true to your promises. If you can't keep up, give your team a heads-up instead of bailing on the task.

19. Foster proactiveness

Avoid waiting for an obvious responsibility to be reminded to you by a senior. Showcase your readiness and relieve the upper management of worrying about your duties. Ideally, point out mistakes before they do and anticipate what they need in advance. Such proactiveness builds a reputable impression on your seniors and increases the chance of you being on the receiving end of an appraisal or promotion.

20. Learn company etiquettes

Generic professional etiquettes and company etiquettes have a significant difference. Your organisation's etiquettes must be tailored to their values, clientele and industry. With an intention to improve how you present yourself while being an employee of the company you work for, begin resonating with their values.

Related: Business Ethics: Definition, Principles and Importance

Additional areas of improvement

Here is an added list of areas of improvement for employees:

  • take initiative

  • empathise with your coworkers

  • eliminate dependability

  • attain a healthy work-life balance

  • skip gossip and do more valuable work

  • practise punctuality

  • learn to prioritise

  • question and regulate your efficiency

  • set limitations

  • keep networking

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