Communications and Employability
Attributes that employers are looking for
Health and Safety: Knowledge of this is hugely desirable among work places because some workplaces are forced to give a small health and safety presentation for new employees, if the employee already has basic knowledge of heath and safety regulations this training phase could have a decreased time which will mean that the other employees that have to train people will be able to go back to their regular work quicker which would minimise the lost work that a company could do if they didn't have to do the training for new employees. Also having basic health and safety knowledge would make you a better person to have around the workplace because you could help out if someone gets injured on the job.
Attitudes: This is probably the most important thing behind the fact that you actually need to know what you're doing for the job. Your attitude towards how you go about things while at work or even while being interviewed for the job is essential because the company will see what kind of person you are before even spending a lot of time with you. Companies in retail will be looking for bubbly personalities, people who can work well with other people and also people who are comfortable enough on specific subjects such as computer hardware or whatever the shop is selling that a consumer could walk up to you and you can help them with no problems and no barriers between you and them. Companies that will give you a desk job will probably be looking for a different kind of person, someone who comes across as hard working, confident in a group and a good attitude towards learning new things and getting work done quickly and to a good standard. Enthusiastic people come across as better people to work with because no one would want a boring type of person to work with. Your attitude says a lot about you and this is why people try to come across and confident because jobs can be a lot of hard work and you will most likely be under pressure every day at a job. This is why companies need confident people who are willing to put in the effort to push the company further. The last thing for attitude is that you need to make yourself easy to work with, if you are unwilling to work in a team, lazy and do not meet deadlines that effect more than just you, you will probably not be hired or if you had the job you would probably lose it.
Planning: Being able to plan and act accordingly is a great skill to have in the work place being it adds on to your organisation skills. If you can plan and act accordingly it shows bosses that you can handle being part of their work places and shows that you can organise jobs and tasks in order of importance to ensure that everything you do is to the best of your ability and on time. Being able to plan also shows your are punctual and that you are eager to work, this is a good thing because it shows them that you are really trying to do the best you can whilst working with them.
Time Management: This is one of the best skills to have because it shows that you can complete work on time and that is something that has to happen if you have deadlines to meet. Planning when to do work is hard to do and if you can do it fast and efficiently then they know you have the ability of trying to do the assigned work around you social life and any other things you have to do when not working.
Verbal Skills: Being able to speak clearly and with confidence will help you in your job because people like talking to confident people which allows you to take control of a group if necessary, straight talking people, confident people and people that can take control are exactly the thing that people want in their work forces because these people are usually easier to get along with. Tied in to the verbal skills you will additionally need listening skills so that you can take other ideas on board and work efficiently with others.
Team working: This quality is on almost every single persons CV because it is the most commonly looked for thing in the work industry, unless you are self employed or a lone person doing your own thing, you will be working will other people in the workplace. This isn't a bad thing but some people tend to not get along with others and those people are usually the last ones to get the job. Being good in a team and being a great speaker and listener will allow seamless communication between all people in the workplace making it an efficient place to get work done.
Mathematics: Having basic numeracy skills (A-C grade in Maths) will give you an opportunity over the competitors because a lot of job will have you working with numbers and if a person does not know basic maths and English they will struggle to do the work at hand. If working in a store having good maths skills will help you to work more efficiently because you could work out the total cost in your head before putting the items through the purchasing system. Basic calculations are usually just adding up the amount of money needed to buy a selection of items.
Creativity: Being creative in a workplace, no matter where you work is always a good thing because it allows you to show that you can solve complex problems in a whole new and faster way, this will set you aside from others in the workplace because you found a new and better way of doing a task. Showing imagination and creativity in the workplace will allow employers to see that you can change the company for the better with your new and innovative ideas which will make you a valued member of that small workplace community.
Tolerance: This is an essential skill too, whether working with children or just another adult that you do not like, Tolerance is a good skill to have, making sure that you can keep your cool even when things aren't going your way or someone is annoying you, you will be able to show your employers that you are a valued member of the team.
Independence: This shows that you can work well on your own which is a skill that employers are constantly looking for, they will probably not choose someone who wants to be lead by the hand for every single task that they need to do, they will want that one person that would get a job to do, go away, finish it in the allotted time and then repeat that process for every job that needs to be done.
Integrity: Someone with integrity in the work place is a great thing because they have string morals and are truthful, having this person around will make things better when you need a truthful opinion on something, for example: if a company need a new poster or flyer, you could get an honest opinion on the way it looks. Working with trustworthy people is essential in a company because you have to be able to trust them to do the right thing and get the work done on time.
Dependability: Being dependable is a must have skill, people need to be able to trust you to do whatever needs doing on a regular basis. If you are not dependable, you are not reliable and if you are not reliable, your work can suffer.
Problem Solving: Problem solving is the skill to be able to work independently and solving problems that you may run in to whilst trying to accomplish a task. Being able to solve problems independently and without help can save the company time and the effort or co-workers that would otherwise need to help you if you were stuck.
Leadership: Being a leader is important in the workplace and in everyday life, people who can lead are confident and people who are confident usually know who to do the task that they have been set. Being a leader allows you to take charge of a situation and bring a sense of direction to people who may not know what to do. Showing a leadership attitude allows the company to see that you would be eligible to a higher level management job which would most likely put you in control of a small group of people.
Confidence and Motivation: Being confident is imperative because it shows that you will be able to work with others quickly and efficiently which is a great skill to perfect. It is usually the most looked for thing when applying for jobs because companies need confident people (especially in retail) As for motivation, people need to be motivated to do their job otherwise they would be producing sub-par work which do not meet the standards of what the company would have come to expect.
Principles of Effective Communication
Cultural Differences: Although less common these days, cultural difference still happen in the workplace and being a good employee means putting differences aside and working with whoever you have to, to get the work done efficiently. Along with the racism part of cultural differences there can actually be more obvious things such as language, if two people in the same workplace speak a different language it can be hard to work because of lack on knowledge of what the other is saying. Also if there is a group of people from a different country that speaks a different language there can be a divide in the work place that will be English employees and other employees which would cause people to not mix outside of their groups which would make it so that when people had to work with each other it can become awkward and hard to work with them.
Terminology: Terminology is important, depending on who you are talking to you may have to change the words that you use to give out information. If explaining something to a child, take computing for example, they will most likely not understand what you mean by a hard drive but if you tell them that it is a way a computer remembers things they can and will have an easier time understanding what you are talking about.
Technology: Technology is a way in which we can present and do things without even saying a word, People would much rather listen to an instructional video than sit in a room filled with people listening to someone talk for an hour. This bring entire new ways to get information out to people in huge numbers and they will be more likely to take on board what is happening because you can make anything happen with technology so if it is a boring subject, you can make it in to a children's game or you can sum up exactly what you need to talk about in one page of notes that can go out to masses of people without making them all sit in a room and listen for a couple of hours.
Q&A: A question and answer can be done in many way but the most common form is online and it is a great way to ask a lot of people questions while also gathering a lot of data and responses from people.
Signing: Being able to do sign language gives you a huge advantage over someone who can't because it literally gives you the ability to communicate with people who cannot hear, having this skill will make you stand out and give you an advantage over everyone else.
Lip Reading: This allows you to do the same as signing but it allows you to also get information from someone when you cannot hear very well. In a crowded room with a high noise level you will still be able to get information from someone which could help you with something that you are doing.
Body Language: This is a great way to read people, different body languages mean different things so if someone looks bored whilst you are talking to them you can step it up a notch and be more enthusiastic to get your point across and also make them interested in what you are saying.
Positive and Negative Language: Being able to change the way you talk to someone quickly and effectively can let them know when they do something right or wrong. By using positive reinforcement you can make people work harder because they know they get a positive reward from doing good things whereas having negative reinforcement they will know to work harder next time otherwise they do not get praised for doing something right. If you cannot change your language you could come across as rude if you are negative to people who do not deserve it.
Active engagement: By actively engaging with people you can essentially build a trust bond with them which can make them like you more, if people like you then it is easier to communicate because they are interested in what you are saying. Being active with people is way more easy now because we have social network sites such as google+ which allows us to communicate, share work, post pictures and organise things. Having technology as powerful as this means that people can maintain lots of friendships while also being active with everyone that they need to be active with.
Communication in writing
Letters: A letter is the old school way of getting information out, it is a form of written communication that is currently on a rapid down slide because people are starting to use social media and websites more than writing hundreds of letters to one and other, they are still relevant in companies and important things but the internet is making it more and more obsolete. Writing a letter is more sophisticated than an Email but it is still becoming less popular.
Fax: The fax machine is also not very popular these days, it is a way in which you can send scanned documents to other people that also own a fax machine but this can be done online now too so that is the reason it isn't commonly used any more.
Email: Emails are a way in which you can get information out to other people in companies or just friends at a much faster pace than a letter would. These are used everyday and people are always getting them, however the downside to this is getting spam mail which can be used for malicious intent. It is easily customisable, you can inset pictures and it is free as long as you have internet.
Spelling and Grammar: Being able to spell correctly and being able to use the correct grammar in a sentence shows that you are not sloppy and will not cut corners when writing documents, people look uneducated when they use the wrong type or "your or you're and Their, there and they're" avoiding spelling mistakes and doing work to a high standard shows that you are willing to take pride in your work and produce the highest quality of content that you can.
Relevance: Relevance in written communication is of the utmost importance to ensure that the person reading isn't wasting their time with nonsensical rambling when they could be doing other things with their time if you had kept all of the relevant short and concise and cut out all of the unwanted things.
Proofreading: Proofreading is important because it allows you to spot things that you may have missed, or spot spelling or grammatical errors. Doing this allows you to show that you have pride in your work and show that you are willing to do the extra thing that would allow you to have the best work possible.
Note taking: Taking notes in a class or workplace presentation will help you to retain information that you may need to know for the future, even if you do not use it in the near future, you could use it in a years time when you have forgotten how to do something.
Barriers to Effective Communication
Distractions: Distractions happen all day everyday, people are always distracted, whether it is in a classroom, workplace or just out on the street when you're trying to talk. The most common kind of distraction is a phone going off in someone's pocket, this happens all of the time and can be avoided by putting your phone on silent or turning it off. Being distracted whilst in a conversation, even for a second, can put you in a position where you have missed vital information that has been said. By ignoring the distraction you can effectively converse with someone without the need to move anywhere quieter or with less distractions.
Physical Barriers: Physical barriers are a way in which people can misunderstand information given to them because there is something in the way of the two people who are talking. The biggest Physical barrier I can think of is empty space, if someone is across a room and trying to shout to you, you can misunderstand and get the wrong information. To fight this Barrier, you can move closer to the person or exclude the physical barrier all together and have the person text or write an email to you if there is not enough time to move closer.
Location Barriers: Location barriers are essentially anything that is within your location that can distract you, to make sure you are not distracted you can just move away from the distractions or if they are something like a TV then you can simply turn it off to ensure that everyone that is in the conversation can and will understand exactly what is going on.
Lack of Concentration: Lack of concentration happens when any distraction occurs, this is a thing that happens all of the time and can be avoided by moving yourself away from distractions. When you lose concentration it can show people that you are either uninterested in the conversation or you lack that maturity to listen for long periods of time. To have a successful conversation with people you have to be able to keep concentrating on what they are saying for long periods of time otherwise you may come across as ignorant.
Language Barriers: This can be very difficult to overcome, if a person speaks very little to no English then communicating with them can be a difficult task. A way to reduce this is by explain VERY clearly, using visual aids (such as pointing and explaining) and using basic English could help out here too. If you do this to a high enough standard then the person may know what you are talking about or at least they will have an idea of what is happening.