No matter what your business does, it is useful to have employees with a variety of specializations. Even if you do not immediately see a use for a particular skill, you might be surprised by a function that presents itself in the future. It can even be beneficial to send your employees to short classes or workshops designed to teach new, advantageous business skills, but it can be difficult to know which skills will be the most helpful. Here are eight skills that you should consider having your employees learn that could become useful at some point.
In the world of business, negotiation is one of the most important skills you can have regardless of what your company does. Contracts and agreements appear everywhere and knowing how to get the deal that best suits the interests of your company can help save you money and headaches in the future. Negotiation training classes are available both in-person and over the internet, and thousands of people, both professional and not, enroll in these classes every year. If you want to improve the way your company handles partnerships both formally and informally, having your employees learn about negotiating could be the right move.
While those in positions of power within a company must have leadership skills to do their jobs properly, it can be beneficial to teach leadership skills to low-level employees as well. Leadership does not happen only in top positions; everyone can use leadership skills. Learning to lead can increase initiative and lead to more efficient work in employees. Natural or taught leaders will naturally emerge to head smaller projects, and they may eventually rise to a higher position within the company. While a company needs followers who will do what they are told, leaders have more to offer.
When you hold a position of power, it often naturally follows that you develop some feelings of superiority. This is fine to an extent, but sometimes it means that you give yourself too much work because you believe that others are not capable of producing the quality of work you desire. This is where delegation comes in. Find employees that you can trust and do good work and delegate some of your work to them. One person cannot do all the work expected of a boss, so the boss occasionally needs to ask help from employees, and there is no shame in that.
4. Critical Thinking
Nothing is as black and white as you would like it to be. Problems often arise that do not have a simple solution or seem impossible to get around. This is when problem-solving and critical thinking skills come into play. Critical thinkers know how to synthesize information that they have gathered from the past with what they know about a new situation and come up with creative ways to either fix or eliminate the issue at hand. Not everyone is capable of intensive critical thinking, so make sure you have a few people who can problem solve at your disposal.
The business world is all about connections. You want to be on the good side of as many of your allies, and even competitors, as possible. Friendly, socially-aware people are often the best at forming personal and professional relationships with both businesses and individuals. One of the points mentioned above, negotiation, can be directly linked to networking, so a person who can do both will be highly coveted. Networking makes partnerships possible and beneficial for all parties involved. A personable employee or boss is an asset that no successful company can be without.
Rightfully regarded as the single most important skill any business can have, communication infiltrates every facet of both business and the entire world. A person or group of people who can communicate well will likely have most or all of the other skills mentioned here. Articulating yourself clearly will ensure that everything gets done quickly and completely. If everyone is explicitly informed about what he or she needs to accomplish and receives effective help when needed, there is significantly less room for error. Proper communication reduces frustration, increases efficiency, and relieves tension between the employees and the administration because both sides can perform their jobs effectively.
7. Time Management
Complete work means nothing if it is not completed with the allotted time. Every employee should know how to manage his or her time wisely. Occasionally, you will be so swamped with work that it will be impossible to finish all of it. In that case, you need to quickly decide which tasks are the highest priority. Whichever task is the most relevant at that moment is the task that you need to finish first. This might seem like common sense to some, but you would be surprised by the number of people who cannot comprehend this basic concept.
Companies frequently evaluate excessive amounts of data and hiring employees who know how to interpret that data can put you miles ahead of the competition. The more eyes you have on a data set, the better. More competent people means you are more likely to see patterns, outliers, and other important data points than you would be alone. However, data analysis is not an easy skill to teach. There are infinite ways to gather and represent data, and many people do not possess the critical thinking skills required to see patterns in all types of data.
It is nearly impossible for one person to be proficient at all of these skills, but those who can master several are in high demand and will likely rise high in the companies they work for. As a boss, it is your job to either hire people who already have these skills or attempt to teach these skills to your current employees. Either way, your company needs multiple people with these skills to prosper. Whether you decide to use classes or instill these talents yourself, make sure to treat your employees with the respect they deserve.