Attributes valued by employers.
By Zakk Cuthbert
Technical knowledge is valued by employers as most businesses are technology based these days, if anything goes wrong with a computer, it would be the technician who would fix it, having others in the business that fix the computers could end up saving the company time and money.
Health and safety:
Health and safety is important within a business, everyone must follow the health and safety rules otherwise they are risking injury to them selfs and others around them, if anything did happen to someone because of someone else not following the health and safety rules that are set, this could make the company look bad and could also cost them money as the company is technically accountable if anything happens to the employees, and the company could get sued for the injury of an employee and for not checking that health and safety are being carried out in the workplace correctly, this is why employers value health and safety.
Having a good attitude to work is valued by an employer as if you have a good attitude to work, you will usually be more focused on the work you have been set, which would make you more motivated to doing work, it could also contribute towards team working, this is because if you have a good attitude to work, it could have an impact on the people around you, which can also increase productivity.
Good planning skills are valued by employers as being able to plan ahead could avoid mistakes and save money,planning can also help meet deadlines, as you could use timelines to see when each part of the work needs to be done, it also gives people an idea of what the finished product will look like, they could make adjustments to your plan to show you what they want.
Organisational skills: Organisational skills are valued by employers as organised workers can get jobs done faster, this is because organised workers would keep everything neatly in folders, and would not need to worry about misplacing a file, this allows you to locate files easier and faster, which would mean they could get the job done faster.
Time management: Time management is valued by employers as time management is what will get work done before a deadline, without time management, work could be completed late which would end up costing the business more money and giving it less time. Time management can also mean being on time to work everyday, you wouldn't want to hire someone that is always late, as well as you wouldn't want to hire someone who can't stick to deadlines.
Good team working skills are valued by employers as working in a team successfully can speed up the work, saving a company time and money, this is because several people can communicate to find out which task each person should be working on, then they will all be working on separate tasks, which would get the work done faster.
Verbal skills are important and valued by employers because everyone needs to be able to understand each other, if an employee didn't have this skill a lot of work could be done incorrectly which would cost a company money.
Written communication skills:
Written communication skills are important and valued by employers because without good written communication skills, things might be miss understood, done incorrectly or confusing for the reader, good communication skills are needed so that everything is understood, straight forward and easy to understand.
Numeracy skills are valued by employers as if a project requires working out a sum, the answer will need to be correct, otherwise it can cause confusion, incorrect work and can also make the company look bad if its on software that has been released to the public.
Without creativity, everything would be the same and nothing new would be produced, creativity allows people to think outside of the box, which helps with the design and the idea of creating a product, creativity is valued because it can help a company grow.
determination is valued by employers because a determined worker will always get work done on time and to the best of their ability. Being a determined worker can be good for employers as once your mind is set on a task, that task will be done before it needs to be and to good quality.
independence is valued by employers as an independent worker can usually get work done by themselves without the need to ask for help, it shows that they can work and think for themselves.
Integrity is valued by employers as it lets them know that you are honest and trustworthy, if you are an honest worker, you will be valued more by your employer, if something goes wrong on a task, would you prefer to be lied to or told the truth? You would prefer to be told the truth, knowing that it is the truth as it comes from someone who is seen as honest and trustworthy is worth more than from someone who could be twisting the truth, this is why integrity is valued by employers.
Being tolerant is valued by employers because it shows them that you can get along with the other work colleagues, even if you don't like them or find them irritating, you can still be patient and polite to them, this is valued because you won't disturb others around you and cause arguments in the workplace, you can also try to calm other people down if anything happens because of other people not being able to tolerate the people around them.
Dependability is valued by employers because it shows that you can be trusted, being trustworthy is important as it allows your employer to know that you can be trusted to get a job done on time or to be in work on time everyday, this would also let your employer rely on you to get things done.
Problem-solving: Problem-solving is valued by employers as it can show your employer that you are willing to find the best solution to a problem that may occur, even if it is a difficult task. Problems can occur in any day to day task at work, employers like to know that these problems can be overcome quickly and effectively.
Leadership is valued by employers because it shows that you can take control of a situation, this could be working in a team and assigning everyone the correct tasks that they need to be working on and ensuring that everyone is contributing to the team. To have good leadership you also need to have good communication skills, this is so everyone can understand the tasks that they have been given.
Confidence is valued by employers in several ways, I will explain 2, the first way is that they want people that are able to believe in the decisions that they make, a confident worker is one that is willing to take risks and know that it may cause the best possible outcome. The second is that they wouldn't want a member of staff to talk to a customer and not be confident in what they are saying, wether it is over the phone or face to face, you wouldn't want someone who looks shy as it will make them look like they don't know what they are talking about.
Motivation is valued by employers as it shows them that you can get on with work and stick to it without the need of someone else telling you when to do it, being motivated can also allow you to get tasks done to the best of your ability, they like employees to be motivated as they will get more work done and not be lazy and keep putting off tasks.
General communication skills:
Different cultures have different ways to communicate and different greetings, in Japan, people greet each other by bowing, whereas in the U.K we shake hands, just little things like greetings can make you seem ignorant to the other person as they may take it that you are being disrespectful to them if you do not greet them back in the same way that they greeted you, which could cause a bad effect on you or reflect badly on the business that you work for, this is why it is important to understand cultural differences. Another thing which may be harder to understand is different accents, different places have different accents, which could make it harder for someone to understand what you are talking about, to ensure that the other people understand you, you may need to talk slower or fully pronounce words.
Adapting your voice and terminology:
People from different places have different accents, if someone doesn't understand you, you may need to change the tone of your voice or talk slower, this will help people understand what you are talking about or what you are saying, for example if someone is from China, and they know English as their 2nd language, you may need to talk at a slower pace to help them understand, this may also include using different words as they may not know the whole language, this would help them to understand more of what you are saying.
Use of technology to engage an audience:
Using technology can allow you to involve or attract the audience, this can be using things such as images or music within a presentation, things like that can also make the audience understand what you are talking about in better detail as they can see what you mean while your talking about it, it can also make people more interested in what you are doing or presenting.
Question and answering:
Asking questions is good sign of effective communication as it lets the other person know that you were paying attention to what was going on, it is also good as you can ask if you misheard or misunderstood something, or you could find out things that you were interested in but the other person did not go into detail about, though questions need to be asked at appropriate times, otherwise the other person might get confused about your questions. Asking questions allows you to gain further information on something that was previously mentioned, as long as the answers are reliable, otherwise misinformation could cause confusion and have negative effects on the situation.
Asking questions can also allow you to gain further information on a topic which was previously talked about, you could ask questions to gain further information or ask the person to repeat what they said to make sure you understood correctly.
Answering questions is also a sign of effective communication as it allows you to give others further information on the topic which you were talking about, as long as the answers that you are giving are from a reliable source and are relevant to the question that has been asked, otherwise it can cause a negative effect on the situation, answering incorrectly can also cause confusion and make you look unprofessional.
Verbal exchanges is effective communication as it is 2 ways, meaning both people in the conversation are both giving and receiving information, though there are barriers to verbal communication such as speaking different languages and being partially deff, both of these things can be over come, one through a translator and the other can use things like hearing aids. Verbal exchange can be more effective if you are polite to each other, kind, showing respect to the other person and paying attention to what the other person is saying, this can also help you to respond appropriately to what the other person is saying.
Sign language is used to communicate to someone that has a hearing impairment or if someone is completely deff, sign language is a way to communicate through hand gestures, facial expressions and movement, this is used instead of words so that the other person can understand what you are saying. There are barriers to this such as not knowing sign language, this can be overcome by getting someone to translate for you and for them. This is effective as it allows the other person to understand you fully.
Lip reading is usually done by people that have bad hearing, the other person will watch your lips when you are talking and sound it out in their heads, allowing them to understand what you are saying. You may need to talk slightly slower if the other person is lip reading, this is to give them more time to understand what you are saying. It is an effective type of communication as it allows the other person to understand what you are saying, someone might not be able to learn sign language as they may find it to difficult or due to other reasons, they can read your lips instead so that they still understand what you are saying.
Body language can be used in effective communication as your body language can show someone if you are relaxed, panicking or interested, all by the way that you are standing, having a positive body language is important to show the other person that you are interested. Body language can be a sign of effective communication as you can tell if the other person is interested in what you are saying, this would allow you to change the topic if you know that the other person is not interested in the conversation and you would be able to figure that out simply using his body language.
Use of intonation:
Intonation is the tone at which something is said to a person or an audience, this can be used as effective communication as if you are informing someone of good news you can say it quickly and exited, which would have your tone of voice slightly higher pitch, this could make the other person more interested in what you are saying, whereas if something was bad news you would tell them slowly and a slightly quieter and deeper pitch, this would also make them interested as they will be expecting something to have happened. It can be used effectively when presenting, for example if a company is trying to sell a product so they are doing a presentation on it to show people about that product, they could say everything as if they are exited, this would make people more interested in that product.
Positive and negative language:
Having a positive language is important as it can encourage people to try harder, this can be used effectively if you are working in a team, complimenting the work or ideas of another person could make that person try harder as he/she will see himself/herself as a valuable part of the group, positive language can also make people feel better about themselves. Using positive language can make people feel like you are more welcoming to the, which can make people feel like you are a good person to be around, it can also make people more motivated to doing work.
Negative language should be try to be avoided in communication unless you are informing someone that they are not doing enough contributing to a team or are not following orders, this is because negative language are things like showing anger and aggression, you wouldn't want to be having a conversation with someone when they are using negative language as it could make you angry or irritated so you may not get as much work done, unless you are trying to calm the other person down.
Active engagement can be used as effective communication as it can show the other person that you are paying attention to what they are saying, this can be things like hand movements or nodding your head to show them that you agree with what they are talking about and that you are paying attention to what they are saying, if you are talking, it can be things like hand gestures and movement, this can be used to show someone details of the things you are talking about.
In a wider content, it can also be to show understanding and to be engaged in the activities of a business, it can be things like challenging an employee to learn and produce something, it is also to engage in discussions on things like performance of a product and providing or receiving feedback.
Communicate in writing:
Before, emotions were shown through the way in which something was written, you could use correct grammar to show if you are shouting something or exited about something, these days, emotions can be shown through things known as 'smileys', 'emojis', 'emotions' or 'emoticons', which will show a smiley face or the emotion of your choice, this can be used on things like Facebook or iMessenger on an iPhone, this can be used as an effective way of communication as it can show someone which mood or context you were meant to write something in, or it can show a person that you are pleased with the work that they have done.
Writing a letter is effective written communication as it can informative to someone, it can be used for business purposes such as informing someone about something work related at another part of the world, it is effective as it can be available in almost every country, and if someone can talk online or find information out online as they don't have an internet connection, the work can be sent out to them. The problems with letters are that they can take a while to arrive. Another problem is that they must be written with good spelling and grammar as otherwise they will be hard to understand, as well as you will need to have good handwriting to make sure the other person can read it.
Fax can be used for effective written communication as it allows documents to be sent from one place to another, this happens as one fax machine will scan a document, then send the code for it to another fax machine, allowing it to be printed at the other side, this can be used for long distance communication and can be used for work purposes, as if someone is in a different country, sending a letter would take too much time, sending a fax only takes about 5 minutes.
Fax can be used if there is no internet connection, and it is fast and reliable, it can be used to send things to another person or another branch of a company which is in another part of the world.
Emails can be used for effective written communication as it allows people to talk from all over the world, as long as they have an internet access and an email account they can use it. You can use emails to send images, documents, presentations and for general conversation, the messages once sent, arrive almost immediately, and will be in the other persons inbox until it is deleted, this is effective as it is fast, easy to use and can be used for multiple purposes. It can also be used to send things for advertising a product or it can be used to contact a work colleague, though not everyone checks their emails, it is good for business purposes.
Spelling and grammar:
Spelling and grammar are important in any way of written communication, if something is spelt incorrectly or has bad grammar, it could make the other person confused as he/she may think that you mean something else, or they may not understand what you are talking about. Having bad spelling and grammar can also make you look unprofessional, without the correct grammar, the sentences that you have written would not make sense and nothing would be broke up, everything would be one big paragraph with no commas or fullstops, it could make the reader think less of you, and for a company or business, it could make people not want to use their products as they may not trust them, and that could be all because of bad spelling and grammar.
Relevance is an important method of written communication as if something is not relevant, it should not be mentioned, when something is asked, you would need to give the correct answer on the right lines of what that person was talking about, you wouldn't want to ask a question like "what colour is the sky?" and someone else to reply with "Yeah i liked that movie, oh and the sky is blue", it would make them look unprofessional, and like you don't know what you are talking about. Being relevant is vital, as it can make you look more professional and make you look like you understand what the other person is asking or trying to say, you don't need to reply with something off topic.
Proofreading is important when it comes to written communication as if you are writing something off the top of your head, you may write about something more than once, this could make you look unprofessional. Something may also not make sense when it is written down, but made sense in your head, if you don't proofread it, you may confuse the reader as it might not make sense. Another reason to proofread is to make sure that you have used all of the correct spelling and grammar, as simple mistakes can make you look completely unprofessional.
Note taking is important as you may need to remember something months later, if you don't have the notes you won't be able to look over anything or everything to make sure it is all correct. Another reason note taking is important is because you may want to check something out in more detail at a later date, taking notes could remind you of this. If you take notes, it is also more likely for you to remember something as you are not just hearing about it, you are also writing it down.
Task 3A & 3B:
Barriers to effective communication and the mechanisms to reduce the impact:
Background noise can be a barrier to communication as it can make it harder to hear someone and it can also make you loose concentration, this can cause problems as if you are talking to someone and it the other person is giving you vital information on a specific thing and you can't hear them, you may not be able to carry out the task that you need to do, as well as if you can hear them but the background noise is loud, you may not be able to keep concentration on the topic.
Overcoming or reducing the impact of background noise:
Background noise can be overcome or the impact can be reduced by simply going to a quieter place or room were you can't hear the noises, this overcomes the issue as you will then be able to have a conversation in peace, without the need to shout at each other to be able to hear. You will then be able to concentrate more on what the other person is saying.
Distractions can be a barrier to communication as you may not be able to stay focused on a task or what someone else is saying to you, if you can't stay focused due to distractions then you may not get as much work done as you could have, or you may not be able to stay focused in a conversation due to distractions, you may look ignorant.
Overcoming or reducing the impact of distractions:
Distractions can be overcome the same way as background noise, you can just simply go to a quieter place or room, this can reduce the chances of you getting distracted and you will be able to get on with your work so you don't fall behind, or continue the conversation you were having without looking ignorant.
A physical barrier can be something like poor lighting when doing a presentation or something could be in the way of you when you are doing a presentation so not everyone can see you. If a room has poor lighting, not everyone would be able to see the presentation, this means not everyone would be gaining all of the knowledge that you are trying to give them.
If not everyone can see you when your doing a presentation, they won't feel like you are talking to them so they may not pay attention or listen to the information that you are giving them.
Overcoming or reducing the impact of physical barriers:
A way to the first physical barrier (poor lighting) could be to turn on or turn off more lights, this would allow everyone to see the presentation more clearly, so they would all be able to concentrate on the information that you are trying to give them. A way to overcome people not being able to see you during a presentation could be avoided by moving the item that is blocking the line of sight, or for you to stand at a different place, where everyone can see you, this would allow everyone to be able to concentrate on what you are saying at the same time that they can look at the presentation.
Your location could be a barrier to effective communication in two ways, firstly if you are in a different country and you are supposed to be meeting someone at your office, you wouldn't be able to do so, secondly, if you are presenting something to an audience and not everyone can see you, they wouldn't feel like you are trying to talking to them, so they may not pay attention or listen to the information that you are trying to giving them.
Overcoming or reducing the impact of location:
To overcome the first barrier which I mentioned (being in a different country), you wouldn't be able to meet that person at your office, but you could use VOIP such as Skype or FaceTime, this would allow you to communicate with that person and you will still be able to see each other, you just won't be there in person.
To overcome the second barrier that I mentioned (not everyone being able to see you due to the place that you are standing during a presentation), you could simply stand at a different place where the whole audience can see you, this would allow other people to see you so they will be able to concentrate on what you are saying and pay better attention.
Lack of concentration:
Lack of concentration can be a barrier of communication as if you are presenting a presentation and you loose concentration, you may forget what you were talking about, this would make you look unprofessional and may cause the audience to think that you don't know what you are talking about.
Lack of concentration can also be a barrier if you are presenting a presentation and the audience isn't paying attention, this may make you feel like you have wasted your time and that you shouldn't have bothered.
Lack of concentration can also be a barrier whilst you are working, this can cause you to get less work done, this can be a problem as it can make you fall behind in the work that you need to get finished.
Overcoming or reducing the impact of lack of concentration:
Lack of concentration can be avoided when you are presenting a presentation as you can take notes with you, you can concentrate on what you are going to say next, and if you need help you can look at your notes, this can also be avoided by practicing your presentation before hand and trying to stay focused, this would allow you to look more professional as you wouldn't need notes to look like you know what your talking about as you won't need them.
To avoid the audience giving a lack of concentration you could add little videos or images into the presentation to keep them entertained, or ask questions to the audience regularly to make sure that everyone is paying attention and to keep them interested.
Lack of concentration whilst working can be avoided by taking breaks when you need to, this can allow you to get a clear mind and will help you when it comes back to doing your work again.
Speaking a different language:
Speaking a different language than the person you are trying to communicate with can be a big barrier in communication as neither one of you would know what each other are trying to say, this can be a big problem during a meeting, as if you are trying to put an idea across to everyone else, not everyone will understand you.
Overcoming or reducing the impact of speaking a different language:
If you speak a different language than someone else you can avoid the hassle of trying to make the other person understand you and get someone else to translate for you and for them, this would allow you to talk to each other using someone else to pass on what each of you are saying, though you will need to make sure you trust the translator as they may misunderstand what you are saying and pass on false information.
If someone is deaf, they would not be able to hear what you are saying to them, this can be a problem if you are trying to pass on vital information.
Overcoming or reducing the impact of speaking to someone that is deaf:
You can overcome this if the other person can read lips by talking slower and giving them chance to read your lips so they understand what you are saying. If the other person knows sign language you can get someone else to translate for both of you.