The hardest part of hiring new staff is judging if they have the right skills for your business. They could be the smartest candidate in terms of qualifications but do they have any emotional intelligence? Can they use their own initiative to resolve problems?
In this article, we talk about the most important skills for employees to have, regardless of what industry you’re in.
It may seem obvious but communication is a must-have in the workplace. The best employee should already possess these skills, however not every employee naturally has such strong skills. Don’t panic though, good communication can be taught. When issues arise they can be resolved quickly with efficient communication which can stop issues from snowballing into something bigger and prevent them from happening again.
Employees respond to effective communication, it can be incredibly frustrating for all parties if things aren’t being communicated efficiently. It directly impacts productivity and morale in your employees, can you afford for this to happen? Conflict is reduced when the workplace as a whole communicates effectively. It doesn’t only affect just your staff, communication is essential to ensure that your customers feel valued and understood.
Staff with thick skin are so important in the workplace for both internal and external factors. Some of your employees will be able to handle what you or customers throw at them very differently from others, everyone handles stress in different ways. Occasionally, customers can take their frustrations out on the front of house staff and therefore these employees must have the capabilities to not let it affect their morale or performance. Saying that, resilience is something that improves with experience and guidance. Have procedures in place that help guide your staff in stressful situations, morale will improve as a result.
Flaky employees are a nightmare to deal with, not knowing whether they’ll turn up to work or if they’ll call in sick can drive you crazy. You can usually tell at the application stage whether a prospective candidate is going to be committed. Look at how long they were with previous employers, why they left and consider adding a question on the application form which asks them how many absences they’ve had within the last year. We recommend that you take all this information with a pinch of salt, individual circumstances are unique and there can be exceptions to this; an unfortunate illness or bereavement may be the reason behind a high absence rate.
A great employee is flexible, not only in the sense of their working hours but also in their attitude to their work. They take constructive criticism well and act on any suggestions which plays an essential part in the successful evolution of a business. Flexible employees understand that their job description is a guide and are more than willing to step outside the box and take on additional responsibilities in order to complete work to a high standard. It’s important not to take advantage of this and exploit your employees’ hard work or they will start to resent the idea and stick to the bare minimum.
Every one of your employees needs to be able to work as part of a team; without teamwork, day to day tasks will seem impossible. So it’s little wonder why it’s one of the most important skills to possess. Effective teams can self regulate, if one team member falls behind on a task that they all share autonomy for, the other team members can provide knowledge and experience without the need for management intervention. Teams also innovate faster, they bounce ideas off each other and multiple ideologies, experiences and skills come into play. This results in quicker and more effective innovation and problem-solving.
Following on from teamwork, leadership skills are a staple to have and not just for management! Leadership is vital when problems arise and the team are able to think and act clearly with guidance from someone within that group, even if they’re not a supervisor or manager. Employees with leadership skills will also possess initiative and will often complete tasks without having to be asked to, they will be forward-thinking and pushing for great results. Good leadership inspires employees and motivates them to perform well and love what they do.
We understand that the day to day running of a business is stressful enough at the best of times, that’s why we offer a wide variety of services to help your business succeed. See how we can help you today!