8 Basic Skills Every Employee Should Have

8 Basic Skills Every Employee Should Have
Last Updated: August 3, 2023

Workplace skills help employees maintain a high degree of professionalism while increasing efficiency. Employers value these abilities and are constantly on the lookout for applicants who possess them. If youre seeking work, its a good idea to include these talents in your resume to show companies that you have them. Employees can also develop and strengthen these talents to improve their work performance.


1. Communication skills

Communication is the basis for all human interactions and engagements; without it, cooperation amongst our species is impossible. It is vital for every employee, from the corner office to the shop floor, to communicate effectively.


The importance of communication in the workplace cannot be overstated. When a new employee joins the company, the first and most important skill they are expected to have is communication. Its critical to have strong verbal communication skills. Just a few counted jobs do not require you to engage with your coworkers.


Effective communication skills, both verbally and in writing, are necessary and rare. Communication skills are in high demand regardless of employment or industry. In person, online, in writing, and over the phone, you must be able to communicate effectively with employees, supervisors, and customers.


Across all industries, more than two-thirds of recruiters say communication is the most important quality they seek for. Although good verbal and written communication skills are frequently assumed to be a given, not everyone can effectively communicate in one or both modes. Make sure the people youre considering have a track record of good communication.


In most careers, it is critical to engage with coworkers. It will help if you interact with your coworkers, vendors, and consumers. You must be able to communicate effectively and convincingly.


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The truth is that you'll need to use your communication abilities to market your concept, strategy, or items to people at some point in your career. Many scenarios require communication abilities, such as giving team presentations, making significant contributions during interactions, or creating business proposals. To provide accurate information to clients via whatever channel, you must also have excellent communication abilities.


Its not only about talking and writing in verbal and written communication; the most crucial component is that others understand what youre trying to say. To be productive and efficient in todays ever-changing and dynamic workforce, which involves advanced communication and language skills, youll need to improve your persuasion, teamwork, and adaptation skills.


Even though this is the most sought ability for every firm, according to some surveys, only 30% of companies have been working on improving communication in this area.


2. Teamwork and ability to cooperate


In his book Sapiens, Professor Yuval Noah Harari credited our supremacy as a species to our ability to cooperate effectively and in large numbers. He explained how we create myths like nations, companies, associations, etc., that allow us to collaborate effectively. Organisations cannot succeed without effective teamwork; hence, employees must work well with others.


Teamwork is a workplace talent that contributes to an organizations overall success. Working as a team improves the execution of plans and objectives. Paying attention to your team members contributions, accepting other employees suggestions, and sharing responsibility are all examples of teamwork skills.


The capacity to operate as part of a team and cultivate professional relationships to reach a common goal is valuable to any firm.


Most businesses nowadays require employees to operate in groups or teams. You may have observed that teamwork was emphasized during the interview and while checking references. Employers prefer to hire team players who cooperate and collaborate well with others. Employees who are tough to work with are not desired. When youre interviewing, make sure to give examples of how youve performed well in a group setting. Your level of teamwork reflects your capacity to work well with a diverse group of people.


According to a Queens University survey, over three-quarters of employers regarded teamwork and collaboration as \"extremely important.\" Every employee you hire should work in a group with confidence and effectiveness. Even though they may not have to work on a team all of the time, the ability to cooperate with others is a vital trait to look for when evaluating prospects.


Employees must collaborate to succeed in their initiatives - they must share responsibilities and bring up their suggestions where they believe change is required. These suggestions should be aggressively promoted for the benefit of the corporation and the advancement of the individuals.


3. Time management skills

One of the most critical skills for any employee is time management. In any business, time management is critical. When youre given an assignment, youre given a deadline.


In todays modern corporations, an employees performance is also influenced by their ability to manage time.


To maintain workplace efficiency and organization, you must be aware of the time allotted for projects and tasks to meet deadlines. When you properly manage your time, you provide high-quality work on schedule, increase your productivity, and free up even more time for leisure and fun.


The above-mentioned employment skills or characteristics are prospective employee skills. You may feel comfortable that you will obtain the finest results if you hire personnel based on these characteristics. The company will progress, and the employees performance will increase. For both the employee and the firm, this is a win-win situation.


Time management skills will become increasingly important as the economy becomes more remote and employees want more flexible work arrangements. As the workforce becomes more agile in the future, employees, particularly managers, will need to pivot between activities and responsibilities quickly.


When hiring, look for applicants who can effectively manage their time, prioritise projects, and adhere to deadlines.


Candidates that possess the majority—if not all—of these abilities should be hired to help your organisation achieve its goals and objectives.


4. Agility, adaptability, and flexibility

While some careers provide a lot of variation, others are more predictable. However, even personnel in normal professions need to react when things do not go as planned rapidly.


Every business or workplace evolves with time. This is necessary to keep up with the competition. Employees are the ones who are most affected when a company changes; therefore, one should mentally prepare to accept the changes.


Keep in mind that all changes are for the better, and theres a strong chance youll be able to perform better in the current situation than in the previous one. The good and skilled staff will adjust to the changing environment quickly.


Skilled personnel is those that can accept difficulties and changes in a short amount of time, as well as adjust to changing priorities and workload.


To succeed in any workplace, you must be adaptable. To adapt to new ideas, approaches, and responsibilities, you must drive self-development and growth as an employee. You can readily adjust to changes in the workplace if you have flexibility as a skill. You should also be able to work well with various teams and adapt to varied workplace cultures.


5. Problem-Solving Skills

Employees must be capable of independent critical thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving.


Every company is on the lookout for problem-solving abilities in new hires. Demonstrating these abilities reassures them that you can handle circumstances on your own. To develop appropriate solutions, you must assess difficulties and identify the fundamental source of any problem. These abilities also enable you to find long-term solutions in a short amount of time, which is critical in todays business.


Critical thinking – the kind that allows employees to spot issues or opportunities and then seek creative solutions – goes hand in hand with enthusiasm to learn. Employees should be able to solve small problems independently and know how to do online or offline research to find viable answers. They should, ideally, have a \"wide picture\" perspective that analyses issues not only inside their department but also as they pertain to group projects or broader company goals.


6. Digital and technical skills

Every workplaces everyday operations rely heavily on technical skills. These abilities vary greatly depending on the profession and industry, although they can be transferred in some situations. Understanding data analytics, for example, is a technical talent that may be used in a variety of occupations.


Technical skills are abilities that can be measured and are particular to a job or industry. For example, a surgical procedure on a patient is a specialised skill that well-trained medical specialists can successfully perform. Roles in the scientific, mechanical, medical, creative, and IT fields frequently necessitate a high level of technical expertise.


Practically, having at least some computer abilities is a requirement in every career. Most employment now demands computer literacy, whether in Word, Excel, or more specialised applications. If a corporation uses specific software, such as content management systems (CMSs) or specific data input tools, youll undoubtedly be taught how to use it. If you do not have expertise with all of the software packages mentioned in the job ad, it would be beneficial to show that you can rapidly learn new software.


If you work in a job that requires communication, youll almost certainly need to improve your social media skills. But its not only about learning how to use the platforms. Employers may require you to demonstrate that you are a \"superuser\" of a specific social media outlet. Therefore you should know how to utilise them efficiently. Learning how to communicate your message on social media might help you stand out as a candidate.


7. Self-motivated individuals

Working at a corporation is a difficult job. To get things done in the corporate world, you must be self-motivated. Rather than waiting for your employers to instruct you to do something, you must take the initiative and get things done.


Companies require individuals who can take the initiative and follow through to complete tasks. They should be highly motivated and have a clear understanding of their obligations. According to studies, only a tiny percentage of persons lack these abilities.


When you first start working for a company, you are expected to complete your assigned tasks daily. Managers cannot spend all of their time behind you, checking whether you are working or not.


They want you to be self-motivated and use all of your knowledge and talents to prioritise the assignments. Youll also need to develop better approaches to execute the projects.


Taking up responsibilities on your own and completing the allotted work on time is the best method to become self-motivated.


8. Emotional Intelligence and Interpersonal skills

 The talents you use to interact and engage with others are interpersonal skills, or \"people skills.\" Many people get employed rapidly just based on their ability to interact with others. Interpersonal skills can sometimes outweigh the other skills employers need, so be sure you have them.


During job interviews, your interpersonal skills will be assessed, so make sure you are prepared. You can improve your emotional intelligence and self-awareness, which will help you connect with a hiring team.


According to a poll conducted by Career Builder, 71% of employers place a higher value on candidates emotional intelligence (EI) qualities than their IQ. Employers are significantly more inclined to hire and promote people with established EI abilities in the future.

This is because emotionally intelligent individuals create better workplace communication, understand how to manage stress and avoid heated conflicts, and build stronger relationships with coworkers and customers, among other things.


Self-awareness entails more than just being aware of your learning method. Recognizing personality types and working with them helps people form stronger bonds. Employees should be mindful of their personal and professional strengths and weaknesses. They should be able to work in ways that highlight their abilities while also improving their weaknesses. Employees who are emotionally intelligent embrace feedback as information rather than criticism.


Employees with these fundamental talents provide value to their role, regardless of what it entails. They add value to their company by combining technical knowledge and expertise with critical soft skills.


This article was written by Nicholas T Mushayi a consultant at the Industrial Psychology Consultants.

Nicholas Mushayi

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