Top 21 Areas of Improvement at Work

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 17 August 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.

Optimising your performance at work can provide significant benefits to both your company and your colleagues. By identifying areas for improvement, you can increase productivity. Learning to develop skills helps you to contribute to a better work environment for you and your colleagues. In this article, we list areas of improvement and provide tips on how to apply these changes or develop your skills in the workplace.

Areas of improvement in the workplace

Here are 21 areas where you can improve at work with tips on how to change:

1. Time management

Time management skills help you multitask, meet deadlines and become more productive. Learning how to better manage your time while at work can also reduce stress and provide you with more opportunities to make professional developments and advance your career.

You can develop better time management skills by:

  • Creating to-do lists of your tasks

  • Managing a daily or weekly schedule

  • Optimising your schedule to reflect your priorities and goals

2. Customer service

Excellent customer service significantly affects the company reputation and can help grow the customer base as well as encourage existing customers to repeat business. Even if you don't work directly with customers, customer service is a valuable skill to develop because it can help build relationships with colleagues. Customer service facilitates collaboration and can help create a pleasurable work environment.

To improve your customer service skills consider:

  • Asking a colleague or manager to practise customer interactions with you

  • Learning how to handle challenging situations

  • Completing customer service training courses online

3. Teamwork

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

You can learn to be a better team member by:

  • Developing communication and interpersonal skills

  • Celebrating accomplishments with your team

  • Scheduling lunches with your colleagues to spend time outside of work and bond

Related: Essential Qualities of Powerful Team Player

4. Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills are abilities you use to interact with others. These skills help you build relationships with colleagues and customers, which can lead to accomplishing goals such as collaborating on projects or making sales. These skills, such as communication, flexibility and motivation, also help make individuals better team members and improve their customer service.

You can further develop or improve your interpersonal skills by:

  • Observing other employees' interpersonal interactions

  • Being more aware of body language during meetings and conversations

  • Increasing your self-awareness

5. Communication

Communication skills refer to your ability to share ideas and understand others verbally, nonverbally and through written correspondence. Learning to communicate effectively can help you become more productive and organised. Conveying messages and interpreting messages from your colleagues increases understanding and improves teamwork in the workplace.

Consider improving your verbal and nonverbal communication skills by:

  • Talking to coworkers in person when applicable

  • Listening closely to colleagues when they speak

  • Noticing body language and adjusting your communication style accordingly

6. Writing

Written communication skills are important for professional development. You may use writing skills to create briefs, business proposals, presentations, speeches, research papers, analyses or when speaking with colleagues, clients and customers. Being able to express yourself effectively and professionally through written communication helps perform common job duties.

To improve your writing skills, consider these options:

  • Instal a spelling and grammar check on your computer

  • Request feedback from colleagues and managers about your writing

  • Take a writing workshop

Related: Email Etiquette: The Professional Business Email Format

7. Accepting constructive criticism

Requesting feedback from your peers and learning how to accept constructive criticisms can help quickly identify areas for which you might improve. Applying what colleagues suggest to your job performance may help you become more collaborative and productive.

Here's how you can learn to accept criticism and apply feedback to improve your performance:

  • Ask your manager how you can improve

  • Monitor your reactions and maintain a calm attitude

  • Thank the person who gives you the feedback

8. Organisation

Learning to be organised can help you focus on your tasks and become more efficient.

You can improve organisational skills by:

  • Creating a daily schedule

  • Cleaning your work environment

  • Using an electronic filing system for projects instead of paper

9. Flexibility

If you maintain more flexibility at work, your team members may find it easier to adapt to change and take on multiple responsibilities.

Here's how you can improve your flexibility:

  • Accept a variety of projects or assignments

  • Show interest in learning additional skills

  • Practise ways to remain calm when plans change suddenly

10. Problem-solving

Strong problem-solving skills help identify issues and find creative solutions. This can also help motivate you to overcome challenges.

To improve your problem-solving skills consider:

  • Observing how coworkers resolve issues

  • Reflecting on how you handle problems and considering how you could do better

  • Collaborating with others and relying on colleagues who have a different skill set than you

11. Leadership

Being a leader helps you and your colleagues reach goals. Leadership skills help create a standard for others to look up to and can contribute to a healthy work environment.

You can improve your leadership skills by:

  • Volunteering to lead nonprofit or fundraising efforts with organisations and practising being a leader

  • Finding a mentor

  • Giving positive feedback and recognising coworkers for their achievements

12. Setting goals

Goal setting is a valuable skill to ensure that you complete tasks and fulfil your job duties. Learning to set goals provides motivation and helps you to prioritise at work.

You can develop goal-setting skills by:

  • Creating deadlines or timelines for completing projects

  • Sharing your goals with colleagues

  • Setting SMART goals, ones that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based

Related: How to Write SMART Goals For Your Career (With Examples)

13. Conflict resolution

Managing conflicts between employees can help prevent negative work environments, stress and a lack of productivity.

Here's how to improve your conflict resolution skills:

  • Manage your emotions and behaviours

  • Establish clear communication between those the conflict involves

  • Listen to colleagues to understand the situation fully

14. Listening

Listening is an important skill to use for collaboration and it helps improve communication skills. If you develop active listening skills, you can share and receive messages more effectively.

You can improve your listening abilities by:

  • Limiting distractions when having a conversation

  • Maintaining eye contact and using positive body language

  • Repeating what others say to them to ensure you understand

15. Honesty

Honesty in the workplace is key to building a strong team that trusts each other. You can build an excellent reputation and relationships by being honest in the workplace.

Consider these strategies to practise honesty:

  • Keep your word when you say you are going to do something

  • Take responsibility for your actions

  • Respect confidential information, whether business-related or personal

16. Patience

Patience in the workplace helps maintain relationships and understand situations. Showing patience can help navigate challenges, make smart decisions, avoid mistakes and keep stress levels low for both you and your colleagues.

You can become more patient by:

  • Remaining calm when something disrupts your workflow

  • Meditating to feel relaxed

  • Taking brief breaks for work of challenges

17. Proving impact

Tracking progress can help show your contributions to the company and can make you feel valuable to the team. This may increase job satisfaction. As a leader, it's useful to recognise the impact your employees make to boost morale in the workplace.

You can identify the impact you make by:

  • Setting clear goals that align with key business objectives

  • Understanding business priorities and set your priorities to reflect these

  • Communicating your achievements during performance reviews and to your manager

18. Critical thinking

Critical thinking is the ability that helps interpret and understand information. Developing this skill can provide clarity to business objectives and goals, helping you to achieve them.

You can improve critical thinking skills by:

  • Developing observation skills

  • Discussing problems with colleagues to gain various perspectives

  • Ensuring that you remove bias from your decision-making process

Read more: Critical Thinking Skills: Definition and Examples

19. Initiative

Recognising where you can be useful and taking action is a valuable skill that enables you to provide support to your colleagues. Taking initiative is also a trait that shows leadership.

You can show initiative by:

  • Anticipating the needs of clients, co-workers or managers

  • Recognising patterns of work

  • Volunteering the help with new projects or accepting additional responsibilities

20. Advocacy

Advocating for yourself means communicating your needs in the workplace. This helps ensure that you have the resources to be successful.

Here are ways to improve advocacy:

  • Communicate with your manager about the challenges you experience

  • Request resources you require to complete a task

  • Ask for help when needed

21. Perseverance

Perseverance is the ability to maintain focus and determination in challenging situations. Perseverance is useful when resolving problems and helps maintain morale amongst the team.

You can improve perseverance by:

  • Ensuring you understand goals and expectations

  • Taking time to understand a situation and develop potential solutions

  • Maintaining an optimistic attitude when handling a challenge

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