Ten areas of improvement at work to help your team evolve

Aiva Strelca 14.12.2023

When thinking about growing your business, employee growth is one of the areas of improvement at work you should pay attention to. Excellent products and solutions are one thing, but without a dedicated team managing it all, your business cannot climb the improvement ladder. Thus, investing resources into evolving your team’s skills and qualities is essential for organizational success.

In this article, we’ll dive into ten areas of improvement for employees, enhanced with a few practical examples, and briefly discuss how you can identify areas of improvement in your workplace. Let’s get started!

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The importance of employee growth at work

team members high-fiving one another

Before we explore the areas of improvement for your workers, let’s look at some data on why offering your employees an option to enhance their skills is so valuable. 

First, it’s the employees themselves who want and need the training. According to SurveyMonkey, 6 out of 10 employees agree that training makes them better at their jobs, and more than half have felt a confidence boost after improving their work skills. 

Then, it’s also about employee engagement. According to data by Axonicus, 92% of employees say that work training increases their job engagement and satisfaction.  

Improving work skills and learning something new is crucial to employee retention as well. LinkedIn’s 2023 Workplace Learning Report discovered that 94% (!) of employees are unlikely to quit their jobs if they have development opportunities in the workplace.

Now that we know a few stats confirming the importance of employee growth at work, let’s move to a more actionable part of this article – areas of improvement.

Employee-focused areas of improvement at work

Here are ten areas of improvement for employees that you should consider when providing growth opportunities at your company.

1. Communication skills

Improving communication skills within your organization can take your team’s performance to a whole new level. The better your employees can express themselves, communicate their needs, and get across even the trickiest of topics, the better the work environment becomes. 

Here are a few examples of how to improve employee communication skills:

  • Provide practical communication training 
  • Discuss written communication’s dos and dont’s
  • Organize communication role-plays (e.g., sale, marketing, or customer support-themed)
  • Provide one-on-one sessions where employees can openly discuss their pain points with management
  • Organize a training session on listening skills

2. Collaboration

After communication comes collaboration – the very essence of teamwork. People who are natural collaborators make fantastic team players and help their companies reach new heights. Thus, it’s in your best interest to provide access to collaboration training for your team members.

Here are a few examples of how to improve employee collaboration:

  • Invest in collaboration tools – they can play a crucial role in teamwork
  • Hire a team-building coach and provide a training session for your team
  • Provide training or lectures on conflict resolution

3. Time management

Time management is one of the most crucial areas of improvement at work that you and your team could pay attention to. A well-managed schedule can reduce stress, help the work process go smoothly, and make working more pleasant overall. The good thing about time management is that it’s a skill that your employees can learn, and plenty of tools can assist with managing their work hours. 

Examples of improving time management at work:

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4. Productivity

Productivity goes hand in hand with time management. However, when viewing it as one of the areas of improvement at work, boosting team productivity differs from learning new time management skills, which is why we’ve separated the two. 

Employees can become unproductive for several reasons, including work overload, stress, or even burnout. Thus, as an employer, don’t just assume that unproductive workers are slacking as they may struggle with well-being. But the good news is that there are  p l e n t y  of productivity hacks that you and your team can learn to have that craved boost.

Examples of improving employee productivity at work:

  • Implementing productivity tracking software
  • Encouraging trying the 52-17 rule (52 minutes of dedicated work time mixed with a 17-minute break)
  • Keep an eye on overtime workers, as long hours can harm productivity
  • Make sure the team is resting properly and using benefits such as paid vacation days or mental health days, and don’t work on weekends

5. Conflict resolution

Conflict resolution is one of the common areas of improvement for employees in any company. Conflicts occur everywhere, and there’s nothing wrong with them as long as they’re resolved and managed wisely. Thus, it’s a good idea to learn the basics of conflict resolution in the workplace.

Here are a few examples of how to improve employee conflict-resolution skills:

  • Encourage honest and open communication (and lead by example)
  • Organize 1:1 sessions with your workers where they can share everything openly
  • Host a conflict-resolution seminar, exploring various techniques
a heated meeting at the office

6. Creative thinking

You may argue that creative thinking cannot be acquired or taught. In reality, there are quite a few techniques that help your employees brainstorm and think outside the box. Plus, creative thinking in the workplace can benefit business development and help develop new solutions and products.

Here are a few examples of how to encourage and improve creative thinking in your team:

  • Organize funky and judgment-free brainstorms (they don’t always have to bework-related to encourage creativity)
  • Promote healthy work-life balance so your team is better-rested, which boosts creativity for many people
  • Provide an anonymous idea box and check it regularly
  • Start team-wide book, movie, or music clubs to bring more inspiration into the workplace
  • Provide access to inspirational events and lectures

7. Diversity and inclusion

Ensuring that your team is diverse and inclusive is not only crucial but also the new normal. Thus, it’s essential to pay attention to the team culture both as an employer and team leader and to ensure that team members feel welcomed and are welcoming toward others, no matter their differences. 

Here’s how you can improve diversity and inclusion both from the management and employee education perspective:

  • Make sure your company or team policy supports diversity and inclusion – voicing values is important
  • Ensure that the hiring process is bias-free
  • Analyze your workplace to see if it’s diverse enough
  • Use and promote inclusive language
  • Provide a gender-neutral bathroom in the office

8. Customer service

Customer service is often among common areas of improvement for employees. Your customer service is your company’s face and voice; thus, its quality determines the success of your business to a great extent. 

Examples of improving customer service at work:

  • Provide training by a customer service expert to your employees
  • Offer classes or lectures on customer habits
  • Implement a system that effectively resolves customer complaints and enables your employees to discuss particular situations with management openly
  • Ask for and accept customer feedback and talk it through with your employees 

9. Goal-setting

Wisely set goals make up a large part of operational success within a company. Not overpromising is a prerequisite for not underdelivering, whether related to customer service, project management, or inner company processes. Thus, intentionally setting goals is an area of improvement at work you and your team could look into.

Here are a few examples of improving goal-setting among your team:

  • Introduce your employees to goal-setting methods – for example, the SMART method
  • Organize goal-setting workshops (not necessarily for work purposes)
  • Track progress on completing the set goals

10. Stress management

Last but not least, in this list of employee-focused areas of improvement at work is stress management. Stress brings no good to anybody, workers included. And yet, a workplace without stress sounds like an imaginary place, which is why it’s important to learn stress management. 

Here are a few examples of how to become better at workplace stress management:

  • Include mental healthcare benefits in company health insurance
  • Promote the importance of a healthy work-life balance
  • Organize sports classes in the workplace – think yoga, pilates, runners’ club
  • Invite a stress management expert to host a lecture or a workshop

How to identify areas of improvement in the workplace?

Identifying areas of improvement in the workplace is crucial for the growth and success of the organization. Here are some practical ways to identify areas that need enhancement:

  • Ask for employee feedback – conduct surveys and encourage open communication within your team
  • Conduct performance reviews (use a workforce HR system to make the process more efficient)
  • Audit organizational processes to identify areas that need improvement

What’s most important is to remember that the journey towards improvement is ongoing. Regularly assess the effectiveness of your strategies, encourage open communication, and adapt to the evolving needs of your team and organization. Embrace a culture of learning and development where each member is empowered to contribute their best, and you’ll see your team becoming better and your company growing as a result.

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