As an owner or manager, you should always be looking for ways to improve the way you work. But that’s only half the equation for a successful business. You also need to focus on areas of improvement for employees.
Granted, 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 — and we mean everyone — can stand to improve.
In this article, the management experts at Sling show you 12 areas of improvement for employees and how you can leverage them to make your business more productive.
12 Areas Of Improvement For Employees
Unless you have the perfect employee on staff, we’re sure you’ll be able to find at least one area of improvement for each member on your team. Use these in conjunction with periodic performance reviews to make sure your employees are working to their full potential.
1) Time Management
Time management is crucial to your business’s success. Without it, few tasks would get done on time (if at all). That could be disastrous for everyone involved.
The best solution to this problem is to incorporate scheduling software like Sling into your daily routine. Sling not only helps you schedule when your employees are going to work, but it also provides a cloud-based to-do list with customizable deadlines and reminders that will keep everyone on task.
Organization can make time management much easier. When you and your employees are organized, you’ll know what needs to be done — and in what order — to get the task at hand accomplished.
Encourage your employees to create a daily schedule of the top three or four tasks (in order of priority) that they need to focus on. Then help them stick to that list until it’s finished.
3) Interpersonal Communication
It doesn’t matter if you manage a restaurant, a coffee shop, or a call center, you and everyone else who works there can all stand to improve interpersonal communication. Even if it’s just between team members, being clear and direct in what you say (without offending) will improve the way you work like few other suggestions on this list.
4) Customer Service
Good customer service is the cornerstone of every great business. Even if your business already has a reputation as a customer-friendly establishment, this is one area of improvement for employees that you can never spend too much time on.
One of the best ways to improve your employees’ customer service skills is to demonstrate it in all you say and do. Then encourage your employees to follow your lead.
Unless your employees work by themselves with absolutely no human interaction, they’re going to have to cooperate with others at some point. And for your employees to operate at their full potential and overcome the obstacles in their paths, they’re going to need the help and cooperation of those on their team.
6) Conflict Resolution
Conflict among employees is bound to happen even in the most well-adjusted teams. Sometimes, the stress just overwhelms and friction produces a flame.
It’s usually the manager’s job to put out the fire of conflict, but if you can train your employees to resolve their own disagreements, it will benefit your business 100-fold.
Effective listening — not just hearing — is essential for communication and the success of your business.
When you foster mature listening skills in all your employees, their productivity will increase, they’ll make fewer mistakes, and they (and your customers) will be much happier.
8) Written Communication
It’s true that technology has made communicating with others faster and easier. So much so that we tend to rely on it for everything. That technology, though, can’t make your employees’ writing better. Sure, it can help catch small spelling and grammar mistakes, but it can’t improve the quality and clarity of their words.
If your business relies on written communication, consider creating an internal style book for your employees to use when they’re composing. Make that style guide available to everyone (perhaps in the employee handbook), and then encourage your team members to refer to it whenever possible.
9) Learning New Skills
Unless you’ve got a perfect employee working with you (in which case, we’re going to poach him or her from you), everyone will benefit by learning new skills. Doing so not only stimulates thinking and creativity, but it also increases the employee’s value to your business.
With new skills, you can use team members in different capacities, and they won’t be a “one-trick pony” who is only good at one thing.
10) Goal Setting
To help your employees stretch and grow in the way they work, encourage them to set and strive to meet new goals.
A surefire way to help your team members reach their goals is to create an employee development plan they can follow. The development plan acts as a road map of sorts that shows team members the steps they need to take to succeed.
11) Accepting Feedback & Constructive Criticism
Feedback and constructive criticism are a critical component of improving the way your employees work. Without it, no one would know what they’re good at and what they’re not good at.
But accepting feedback and constructive criticism can be difficult sometimes. Especially when your employees are giving their best. Do your part to make feedback and criticism as painless as possible, but train your employees to accept the advice with an open mind.
12) Focus & Engagement
A big part of your job as a manager is to keep your team focused and engaged. But your employees can learn how to improve their productivity and work performance on their own. There are plenty of strategies they can employ (many of them the same as you would use) to keep themselves motivated and on track to succeed.
Love What You Do
Whether you’re an owner, a manager, a team member, or all three, it’s vital to love what you do. If you don’t, it’s going to be difficult to generate the drive to improve. So find the joy in your job.
Once you’ve got that joy, it’s easier to identify your strengths and weaknesses. From there, you can take steps — or help your employees take steps — to learn, grow, and improve.
For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit GetSling.com today.