October 17, 2017
Training and Development 04 January 2017
Top 7 Behavioral Skills to Develop Within your Employees
Ryan Young
behavioral skills, stress, balance,

Employers can’t expect their hires to already be finished products when they walk through the door. Their growth is up to you and how you establish your workplace. 

By establishing a workplace that encourages communication and balance, you can draw out the productivity within your employees and help them achieve job satisfaction within your company. The workplace should stimulate the growth of skills to promote a stable and productive work setting.

When selecting the people that will comprise your workforce, bringing in employees with the right technical skills isn’t enough. The people you hire have to be able to use their skills in different settings while working in tandem with other individuals. 

Here are seven skills that you should zero in on when establishing the culture in your company.

Communication

Communication is a very broad topic that can cover different situations and participants. Of course, it’s vital with shared workplaces and responsibilities, like when your employees collaborate on projects. To properly function as a single unit instead of several individuals with different work patterns is a necessity. In addition, clear communication is vital in establishing work culture and patterns in an office space or similar environment. Employees must adapt to the culture set by their employer. In a study conducted by Pepperdine University, qualities like the level of ambiguity and autonomy have been observed to be directly related to the overall personality of the workplace, so everyone should be informed about the type of workplace they are situated in. For example, employers should continually encourage their workers to speak up about vague sections of their assignments and to ask about whatever they do not understand. Being receptive to questions this way ensures that employees do not hesitate in clearing up their misconceptions and take initiative in comprehending their contribution in the company.


Conflict Resolution

At points of imbalance and friction, your employees have to be able to confront the tension between themselves and resolve whatever disagreement arises. This can be seen as an offshoot of communication, though it is a distinct skill that can be hard to develop due to hesitation and the intimate nature of the workplace. The worst habit to breed is ignoring these conflicts to the point that they grow and spread like wildfires, damaging relationships and the productivity of both individuals and the team. Instead, employers should remain aware of potential conflicts and be active in entering and facilitating these more emotional interactions, and over time, help their workers see the bigger picture when they harbor misgivings. This example set by the employer will guide employees to constructively discuss their issues and remain focused on what’s best for their team and company.


Balancing

Although employers would like for their employees to devote as much time as they could to their work, pressuring them to work as much as possible is an old tale of disaster. Mental fatigue and physical frailty follow strenuous work schedules, and no worker will be nearly as capable or stable in that condition. Instead, you’d do better to cultivate an environment of balance, a self-awareness of one’s limits and health in order to work most effectively. Not only will your people work more efficiently, but they also can appreciate their position as something more than a financial necessity. There are many ways to encourage balance, from allowing flexibility in work hours to simply encouraging breaks on a consistent basis. By trusting your workers to find their individual balance, they can draw out their productivity by their own will instead of by external pressure.


Time Management

An often underrated attribute of employees, time management doesn’t refer to an employee’s ability to make a deadline, but the organization and execution of their work to complete a task on time. While this is more of the skill of the worker, you can help develop your people’s time management skills during their performances. Removing distractions such as cell phones and social media is one way to ensure employees stay on schedule, but in cases such as work at home or without a traditional office space, you will have to focus on promoting good practices through more subtle means. For example, staggering your assignments into multiple milestones or goals can help guide your worker as well as push them to see the proper pace to complete the project. Separating work into these segments convinces your workers to see your assignment as more immediate. You can also repeatedly give time management tips, such as focusing on the most difficult task first thing in the workday, in means such as announcements, emails, and notes.


Self-improvement

Life in the workplace should not enforce the status quo or stagnation: there should be a constant need or desire for improvement. Complacency leads to a perception of repetition, which is the staple of a job perceived as unchallenging or as a grind. Your staff should be improving to avoid both the frustration of inexperience and contentment with their work. People always have room to grow, and new skills are always welcomed. On the upper end, you can give your workers the tools and mindset to aim for improvement by observing their behavior, work habits, and production. From there, provide feedback and criticisms that they can use to benefit their next assignments, such as: sloppiness, tardiness, lack of focus or participation. An essential part of promoting improvement is to relay to your workers that failure should not be obsessed over but instead should be considered a bump in the road towards a better result, and a better them.


Stress Management/Resilience

While balancing the various forces and activities in your daily life is a valuable life skill, it is a subtly different matter learning to fight through the heavier stress from your job or other life factors, whether it be from piling workload or unexpected tragedies. The common advice may be to relax or to turn your attention to another activity, but the more constructive approach is to develop resilience to stress in general. Your employees have to learn how to confront the problems the stress is originating from and actively work to resolve it. The American Psychological Association has detailed several resilience strategies for those undergoing intense trauma or stress, but you as an employer can play a hand in developing resilience in their employees by encouraging the previous skills related to balance. In addition, your reminders for breaks can be supplemented by discussions about topics unrelated to work. From friendly chatter to meaningful talks about life, being involved and involving others builds substantial relationships in the workplace and strengthens everyone towards further adversity.


Patience

Perhaps one of the less conventional skills on this list in its passivity. However, with the faster-paced culture reinforced by technology, it is easy to forget amongst the new generation that achieving a satisfying position with full purpose takes time, as this interview with Simon Sinek reveals. While entry-level jobs can be inadequate to many job seekers, reaching the heights where they can use their full potential requires years of growth, experience on the job, and intimacy with their field. Employees need an angle to see that the years and busywork that they might not find appealing or useful will ultimately lead to an understanding of the field or the foundation of a skill set that they need in their future career.


By emphasizing these seven traits in your workers, you can lay the groundwork that encourages effective interaction and consistent work-life balance. In their search for a fulfilling field of work to call their own, employees will welcome your flexibility and initiative to help them grow and succeed.They’ll view your company as more than just a source of income: it’ll be a welcome part of their identity and an outlet for their effort and creativity.


Get started with hiring your amazing team with behavioral skills to boot! Sign up for a demo today!