13 Areas of Improvement for You and Your Team

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated August 18, 2022

Published July 26, 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.

Whether you're offering feedback to your team members or looking to grow in your career, it's helpful to understand areas where you can improve. These developments can make you a highly effective contributor to the workplace, and as a result, help you have a successful career. In this article, we discuss why understanding areas of improvement matters and list 13 areas of improvement you can develop to help you in your own work performance or help your employees improve.

Related: Setting Goals To Improve Your Career

Why is an area of improvement important?

An area of improvement is important because professionals who feel challenged to excel may have an increase in their engagement and satisfaction with their jobs. When people feel supported by their leadership with both positive feedback and constructive criticism, they are more likely to grow in their careers and be valuable members of any team. Many managers perform regular, one-on-one performance reviews with direct reports to evaluate their employees' work and provide them with useful feedback. Every individual can work to improve specific skills in order to:

  • Perform better in their current jobs

  • Advance in their careers

  • Adapt to change or take on new job duties

  • Reach certain goals

Improved performance can benefit everyone in the workplace by saving time and money, producing higher-quality work, and increasing employee morale and retention.

13 areas of improvement for employees

While you should consider providing individuals with feedback based on their specific work, skill set, and role, there are some common areas of improvement you might consider when evaluating performance. Here are 13 common areas of improvement for employees with ways to improve them:

1. Time management

The better people can multitask, meet deadlines and manage their time, the more productive they're likely to be at work. Good time management skills can also make their job less stressful, providing them with more time to work on projects and career development opportunities they're passionate about.

Ways to improve time management: Create to-do lists, use scheduling software or applications, set digital reminders, and manage a daily or weekly schedule closely. Keep track of how you spend your time and evaluate whether you've optimized your schedule for your priorities and goals.

2. Customer service

Excellent customer service can significantly affect a company's reputation and ability to get repeat customers. Customer service is a useful skill for nearly all jobs, including those that don't work directly with external customers. For example, customer service skills are also applicable when working with colleagues in other departments.

Ways to improve customer service: Shadow and mimic a coworker known for their excellent customer service. Ask a colleague or manager to practice customer interactions or explain how to handle challenging situations. Consider taking online service training courses or work with a customer service coach.

3. Teamwork

Teams who collaborate well can reach objectives and solve problems faster, easier, and often better as a group rather than separately. Working in a group effectively can also diversify decisions and workflows, making processes smoother and improving the product or service outcomes.

Ways to improve teamwork: Develop communication and interpersonal skills. Speak with coworkers in person rather than digitally, if possible. Compliment others at your company for a job well done, and take time to celebrate individual or team achievements. Schedule regular team lunches or outings to encourage discussion and social interactions outside the office.

Related: What Are the Qualities of a Good Team Player?

4. Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills, the ability to communicate and interact with people effectively, can help people connect with colleagues and customers alike. These skills can help make individuals better team members and improve customer service.

Ways to improve interpersonal skills: Take courses on or practice traits such as active listening and empathy. Observe other employees' interpersonal interactions or work with a mentor on these skills. Maintain eye contact and be aware of body language during meetings and conversations.

5. Integrity

Integrity refers to an employee's ability to uphold ethical values, communicate honestly, and acknowledge their mistakes. When an employee has integrity, you trust they can perform their job and serve customers while remaining loyal to your company and upholding moral principles.

Ways to improve integrity: Understand what a commitment involves before agreeing to it and then follow through with your promise. Help ensure that confidential business information, such as customer data, stays secure and within the confines of your company. Do your best to adhere to ethical values at all times, especially when working with coworkers, authority figures, and customers.

6. Leadership

No matter the position they have in the company, employees of all different levels can benefit from leadership skills. Leadership abilities can help professionals positively influence others, mediate conflicts, create compelling arguments, and manage groups of people.

Ways to improve leadership: Ask or apply for more leadership responsibilities at work, such as running a team meeting, directing a project, or delegating tasks to others. Show initiative by volunteering to take on duties or assignments in addition to your normal responsibilities. Listen actively to your coworkers, provide constructive feedback, and acknowledge the efforts or accomplishments of others.

Related: Leadership Skills: Definitions and Examples

7. Communication

Communication skills include conveying information clearly and concisely, listening actively, and using a variety of channels to communicate, such as emails and in-person conversations. Nearly all employees must communicate regularly with others, so it's important to know how to do so effectively.

Ways to improve communication skills: Understand how nonverbal cues, such as situational context and body language, affect communication. Consider taking classes on professional communication. Practice reducing the information you discuss to what's essential for others to know while maintaining a positive tone.

8. Goal setting and achievement

Goal-setting skills include separating larger responsibilities into smaller ones, prioritizing duties, and remaining motivated to complete bigger projects or assignments. Employees who understand how to create and achieve their goals are often more productive and motivated to accomplish their responsibilities.

Ways to improve goal-setting skills: Learn how to create smaller tasks that work toward accomplishing a larger assignment or goal. Devise SMART goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.

Related: How to Create Efficiency in the Workplace

9. Adaptability

Many companies appreciate employees who can adapt to a variety of situations and responsibilities. When professionals are capable of being flexible in their roles and duties, they can help their employer respond more readily to challenges or unexpected situations.

Ways to improve adaptability: Continue learning skills and how to complete various responsibilities or use new technology. Foster a positive attitude and willingness to accept new challenges. You might also find it useful to teach yourself techniques for managing stressful situations in the workplace, such as visualization or deep-breathing exercises.

Related: Nine Skills That Support Adaptability in the Workplace

10. Empathy

An employee's coworkers, customers, vendors, and others often have different needs, concerns and personal issues. Offering empathy to the professionals helps create more friendly and trusting working relationships.

Ways to improve empathy: Try to understand someone else's point of view regardless of whether you agree with them. Think about any biases you might have, even subconsciously, and how those could affect your opinions or thoughts. Try to focus more on asking other people questions about their own viewpoints and ideas.

11. Problem-solving skills

Problem-solving skills help professionals observe and analyze a situation. An employee can use problem-solving skills to determine how to approach various circumstances or solve unique challenges.

Ways to improve problem-solving skills: Before you react to a situation, think about the various ways you could proceed first to develop the best course of action. Pay attention to minor details about the situation, including how your coworkers or supervisors respond to the circumstances or challenge.

Related: Problem-Solving Skills: Definitions and Examples

12. Creativity

Creativity allows professionals to approach familiar situations in new ways. Most businesses need to continually evolve, so they often appreciate having employees with unique and innovative approaches to problems or processes.

Ways to improve creativity: Creative people are often curious, so explore new activities and teach yourself new information or skills. Keep a creativity journal to write down your ideas or use helpful diagrams, such as flowcharts.

13. Conflict resolution

While it's natural for coworkers to have disputes sometimes, it's important to know how to resolve these disagreements. Conflict resolution skills can help coworkers mediate and fix disputes between themselves or other employees.

Ways to improve conflict resolution: Listen actively to the other person's perspective. When mediating, be sure you consider each participant's perspective. Use critical thinking and problem-solving skills to identify the best way to resolve the issue and make your suggestion. Explain your own opinion as objectively and concisely as possible.

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