Key Development Needs for Employee Improvement

It’s good that you’re constantly being commended for your hard work and competency at work — you’re on the right track. However, there’s always room for improvement.

You need to make sure that you’re continuously refining and improving your skills, tactics, and technique to stay ahead of the pack. There are key development needs for performance review that you should always strive to improve on. Having these in check will help you be a more successful employee – in the long run helping you to achieve your career goals. 

Development is a constant thing in life – especially at work. It keeps things fresh, new, and up-to-date and helps everyone perform at their best. If you’re not sure what aspects of your job you should be improving on, there are certain things you should keep an eye on.

This guide will help you with that! We discuss critical areas of employee development that can help you put your best forth forward and improve your productivity in the workplace.

What are Key Development Needs for Employees?

A development area is a skill or quality that is helpful to your professional life. Focusing on development in these areas as an employee can make you a more efficient, productive, and cooperative team player

The worst thing we can do at the workplace is to be complacent – not longing to improve at what we do. Developing yourself will benefit your current organization and make you valuable to the professional team you’re working with. It could also get you more positive feedback and promotions. Most importantly, it’s a great stepping stone for your career.

Take time to conduct self-assessment and note areas you feel you can improve.

Key Development Needs for Performance Review

man using MacBook
Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash

As you strive to be a better employee and team player, consider these key development areas. 

1. Communication 

Effective communication is critical for success in any organization. You must communicate effectively with your colleagues, supervisors, and clients. Effective communication is needed to collaborate effectively and achieve shared goals. 

Reflect on your communication skills and identify any areas that may need improvement. This may include verbal communication, such as articulating ideas clearly and concisely. 

Tips on improving communication skills:

  • Be an active listener.
  • Seek out opportunities to speak in public or lead meetings.
  • Participate in public speaking or presentation skills training.
  • Use clear language when communicating.
  • Ask for feedback on your communication style
  • Practice effective written communication, such as email and report writing.
  • Use nonverbal communication effectively, such as eye contact and body language.

2. Leadership 

Leadership skills are fundamental if you’re looking to advance your career and take on additional organizational responsibilities. Assess your leadership skills and identify areas you can work on. It could be your ability to motivate and mentor team members, delegate tasks effectively, and make decisions under pressure.

Tips for improving leadership skills:

  • Seek out leadership opportunities within your organization.
  • Take up additional responsibilities or projects that allow you to lead others.
  • Attend leadership development training or workshops.
  • Get a mentor or coach who can provide guidance and support.
  • Practice effective communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Develop your problem-solving and decision-making abilities.
  • Learn to delegate tasks and responsibilities effectively.

3. Time management

Time management is vital in every organization. It is a skill you must possess to excel at your job. Without proper time management, prioritizing your workload and meeting deadlines becomes nearly impossible. Reflect on your time management skills and consider the following for improvement.

  • Create a daily or weekly schedule and stick to it.
  • Focus on the most important task first.
  • Set achievable goals and deadlines.
  • Remove distractions and time-wasting activities.
  • Use time-tracking tools to understand how you are spending your time.
  • Learn to say no to additional commitments. 
  • Delegate tasks to others when appropriate.

4. Problem-solving

Identifying and solving problems is a critical skill in any role. Assess your problem-solving skills and ability to identify a problem’s root cause, brainstorm solutions to problems, and implement the most practical solutions. With that in mind, try these techniques: 

  • Practice problem-solving regularly.
  • Seek out challenges and opportunities to learn from mistakes.
  • Use a systematic approach to problem-solving, such as breaking the problem down into smaller parts.
  • Collaborate with your colleagues and seek out diverse perspectives and ideas.
  • Gather and analyze data and information to inform your problem-solving efforts.
  • Practice creative thinking and brainstorming techniques.

5. Interpersonal skills

Skills you must possess as an exceptional employee are empathy, active listening, and conflict resolution. These are keys to building and maintaining positive relationships in an organization. Improve these skills by practicing the following:

  • Be an active listener. 
  • Interact with others and build relationships.
  • Practice empathy and understanding when interacting with others.
  • Learn to manage conflict and resolve disputes effectively.
  • Practice teamwork and collaboration with your colleagues

6. Technical skills

In many roles, technical skills are a vital component of job performance. Analyze your software or hardware skills, industry-specific knowledge, or other specialized skills relevant to your role. No matter how much you think you excel at this, you can always improve—so here are a few things you should do.

  • Seek out related training or educational opportunities. 
  • Take on additional responsibilities or projects that require new technical skills.
  • Attend workshops or seminars to learn about new technologies or techniques.
  • Work with mentors or more experienced colleagues to learn from their expertise.
  • Practice and apply new skills on the job.
  • Use online resources and tutorials to learn new technical skills.
  • Get certifications or other formal recognition of your technical skills.

7. Adaptability

The ability to adapt to change is an important skill in this modern times. Reflect on your ability to adapt to new situations and embrace new ways of doing things. Here are some tips to help you.

  • Practice being open to change and new ideas.
  • Seek out new experiences and challenges.
  • Learn from past successes and failures and apply those lessons to future situations.
  • Stay current with developments in your field and seek new learning opportunities.
  • Practice flexibility and openness to different perspectives.
  • Be open to constructive criticism.

8. Creativity

Creativity is an essential skill for many roles. Creativity is needed in design, advertising, marketing, and inventing new solutions to complex problems. Your job role likely requires you to come up with new and innovative ideas and solutions now and then.

Assess your ability to think outside the box, generate new ideas, and develop creative solutions to problems. Once you’ve done this, strive to improve your creativity skills by doing the following.

  • Take breaks and engage in activities that allow the mind to wander and relax.
  • Try out new experiences and try new things.
  • Collaborate with others.
  • Get feedback and input from others.
  • Set aside time for creative thinking and problem-solving.
  • Practice brainstorming and other idea-generation techniques.
  • Experiment with different creative mediums.
  • Be open to and embrace change.


You’re great at your job – you’ve been recognized by your supervisor and even got that raise! Great news! Now it’s essential to improve upon the performance review you’ve just received. You should have a list of key development needs for performance reviewand focus on improving on them.

The best way to do that is to start internalizing and imbibing the tips in this article. The more you consistently develop the qualities discussed here, the more successful you will be in your professional career. 

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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