How to Improve Yourself at Work in 10 Steps
We’re always looking for new ways to grow and develop as people. Staying in the same place isn’t in our nature, and that’s certainly the case in the workplace.
Finding new ways to improve yourself, grow, and develop at work can be difficult. Often, you feel as though you’ve tried everything. That’s why we’ve put together our tips in improving yourself at work:
Limit distractions to improve performance
Create achievable goals
Take short breaks and give yourself time to reflect
Invest in a coach
Network & communicate effectively
Ask for feedback
Break down large tasks and delegate where possible
Let’s take a deeper look into the best ways to improve yourself in the workplace.
1. Limit distractions to improve performance
Improving yourself at work isn’t always just about improving performance. But one sure way to see improvements at work is learning to limit distractions to increase productivity and performance.
24% of workers admit that they spend at least an hour a day on personal calls, texts, and emails, and 21% admit to searching the internet for an hour or more for topics not related to work during office hours.
The biggest killers of productivity are cell phones and texting, and office gossip! It’s tempting to get involved in that juicy gossip across the desk, but if you’re looking to see improvements at work, try not to.
Instead, make time at the end of your day for personal chats, calls, and texts. You’ll see a huge improvement in productivity and performance, and it separates work and your personal life, making it more enjoyable when you clock off for the day.
Limiting distractions can be made easier by putting your phone away, listening to podcasts and music, and making a list to tick off by the end of the day.
2. Create achievable goals
Setting SMART goals at work creates the best opportunities for you both as an employee and as a person to grow and develop; professionally and personally.
SMART goals are focused, measurable, achievable goals that are set within a time-frame to ensure the best results. You’ll write these down, and have regular check-ins to see how you’re doing, what you need to do to get those goals done, and if anything needs to be changed to become attainable.
Top Tip: get your manager to keep you accountable and check your goals in 1:1s!
You’re not trying to change your life in one go – but small, achievable objectives amount to huge improvements and growth.
3. Take short breaks and give yourself time to reflect
As we mentioned, improving yourself at work isn’t all about productivity and performance. Improving yourself can be improving your mental health, improving your work-life balance, and so much more.
So, give yourself some time off. Take short breaks, get a coffee, reflect. It’s true – taking short breaks throughout your day can drastically improve productivity – it helps your brain to understand and retain information as well as increasing creativity. But it also gives you some time for you; time to reset before you go back into work and has been proven to boost employee morale.
If you feel happier and healthier, that’s an improvement.
4. Get organized
It might sound simple but getting organized is an easy way to improve yourself at work. Being organized allows you to keep on top of tasks, track your goals, and avoid the dreaded panics!
Begin with simply clearing your desk. Then think about writing lists or written plans of action. Research shows that this is a simple hack in improving your productivity at work, but it also allows you to feel in control of tasks, avoiding any unfinished work and any uncomfortable conversations with colleagues or clients.
5. Continue learning
Growing yourself as a person comes through learning, investing time in new skills, and working towards something you are inspired by. Whether that be work-related or personal, developing yourself as a person is a sure way of seeing improvements both professionally and personally.
So, whether you attend training sessions at work, read a book on an industry specific tool, resource, or concept, or you learn a new skill outside of work, find a new hobby, or even ask your colleagues questions about things that you’re unsure on - you’re continuing to learn and develop as a person.
Not only is this fulfilling for you, but you’ll develop new skills and confidence that will translate to your work performance, morale, and more.
6. Invest in a coach
Getting a workplace coach is one of the most effective ways of improving yourself at work and achieving your goals.
Research has shown that coaching improves employee self-confidence by 80%, and performance, communication, and workplace-relationships by 70%.
At EZRA, we have seen a huge 95% of coaching participants say their performance has increased following their coaching experience.
See it for yourself and hear from people who have been involved with coaching.
7. Network & communicate effectively
Firstly, networking boosts your communication skills and grows the network of people you can learn from. This allows you to meet prospective clients and partners, keep on top of industry trends, and gain access to resources that will help you in your career development.
Secondly, learning effective communication can improve client relationships, boost your confidence and merit within a company, and promotes great teamwork, which can improve collective performance.
8. Ask for feedback
We’ve set out three benefits of asking for feedback (but there’s plenty more than that!):
Feedback is a key driver in, firstly, understanding your strengths and areas of improvement, and secondly, growing from these strengths and weaknesses to improve your performance at work.
Feedback is not only a performance driver, but a source of motivation. Feeling appreciated and understanding where you need to progress in your work life is vital in feeling motivated.
Finally, feedback is a learning source. As we’ve already mentioned, continue to learn as a person is vital in improving oneself. Feedback is just another resource that you can learn and develop from.
9. Break down large tasks and delegate where possible
You might be wondering how to better yourself when you’re constantly drowning in an overwhelming amount of work. It’s true; this can be a huge performance inhibitor as well as inflicting unnecessary stress, so it’s often hard to think of anything else other than tying up loose ends at work.
To avoid this, when you’ve been set large projects or workflows, sit down and divide them into smaller tasks to tackle. This will feel far more achievable, and your productivity will flourish.
Another tip we suggest is to delegate whenever possible.
We all like to get things done by ourselves sometimes, but often it’s far more productive and time-sensible to bring in team members and collaborate. This will involve delegating. Not only is this great for productivity on a particular task, but it also improves you as a person in the workplace by developing key leadership skills and establishing yourself as an authoritative individual, no matter your role!
10. Challenge yourself
Finally… challenge yourself!
Keeping at the same things isn’t going to get you anywhere. Challenging yourself is your best bet at developing, growing, and improving as an individual both personally and professionally.
So, get involved with new tasks and learn from them, speak up in meetings, establish new ways of working, and bring new ideas to the forefront of your company.