Blog post

Improve your competence in your workplace

5-steps

Whether you are an employer looking to ensure your organisation is in good health or an employee looking to improve their working practices, salary or job, competencies are a vital part of achieving these.

Being perceived as competent in what you do is one of the best ways to gain respect, achieve promotion and attract new customers and clients.

Here are some steps to work through that will help to improve competence:

1. Observation
Observing those around you is a key step to improving what you do. If you have started a new job or a new task, or are entering a new market as a company, observing what others do and how they do it will help you.

2. Help
Asking for help is always a difficult but important element to gaining competence. Whether you are starting a new role, embarking on a new task in your current job or exploring new avenues as an organisation; gaining expertise from others who are experienced is a good way to gain valuable insight. So, once you have observed, do not hesitate to ask questions to further your knowledge and build on your own competence.

3. Familiarity
Ensure you are familiar with what you are doing. If its a task you perform regularly, note down then memorise the steps – asking colleagues each time is not being competent. Be sure that you have understood exactly what you are trying to achieve to minimise the need to go back to others. Prepare your own notes and documentation and learn quickly.

4. Improvement
Once you are familiar with your work, you can go on to make improvements. This will make you better and more competent. Be honest with yourself – where are your weaknesses, how can you rectify them?

Soft skills are also a vital part of competency. What can you do to improve your attitude, personality and character? How can you communicate better with colleagues, clients and customers?

5. Flexible
Finally, make sure you are open minded and able to update your skills. Be optimistic about your role or task. Be flexible to take on new ideas, technology or tools that may improve your efficiency or standards. Be open to suggestions from others and keep an eye on new trends.

Following these steps will open new doors to you and present improved opportunities. When these do arise and you move on, remember to go back to step 1 in your new environment.