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The five people skills key to your success

By Jenna Alexander, Head of Internal Recruitment

When it comes to career success, your people skills are just as important as your technical ability. With that in mind, here are five of the most important assets you need to build a productive and harmonious workplace:

1. Being genuine

It’s easy to see through feigned praise (or gratitude) and either can be quickly interpreted as patronising. The most trusted colleagues in my circle are the ones who help me solve problems with advice and integrity. Try to be that person to as many of your peers as possible. Honest colleagues are valuable assets, so always be sincere.

2. Being a good listener

It’s pretty clear when someone is digesting what you’ve said rather than just ‘hearing’ it. Taking a point on board and responding with energy and appropriateness is absolutely key. Whether it’s 121, in wider meetings or even over emails, try not to get reputation for being disengaged or only focusing on your own agenda. As you give your colleagues your full attention, you will find that they become more receptive to you – creating a more open and respectful working relationship.

3. Being positive

It should go without saying, but a positive outlook is a huge asset to your team. Much like a smile, an upbeat attitude is infectious and will make you a pleasure to be around. You can help to spread this good feeling by taking the time to engage colleagues (at all levels) in constructive conversation. A dynamic office environment depends on positive team morale, so always be aware of your contribution to this. This is particularly useful when things go wrong. Dwelling on mistakes can encourage ill-feeling amongst your team, but talking about “how we make sure it doesn’t happen again” covers the same subject matter in a much healthier way. Strive to be the ‘progressive solutions’ person in your workplace and you’ll soon see the impact.

4. Being trustworthy

The strongest working relationships are built upon trust. Most people are drawn to teammates and peers that they know can be depended upon. As such, if you never shirk a challenge and always present confidence and keenness to confront them head on (read more about confronting your weaknesses here) you’ll be a highly valued team member.

5. Being polite

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever been given was “treat everyone with the same amount of respect”. From the reception staff to the CEO, nobody should be exempt from this. Respect and politeness are fundamental to how you carry yourself among the people you work with. We can all become overwhelmed by mounting workloads or tight deadlines, but keeping a cool head and making sure your frustrations don’t impact others is really important. Being seen to manage pressure while retaining respect for your team will gain you much acclaim amongst your peers.

A final thought

Good people skills in the workplace really matter. By nurturing these as part of your ongoing skillset, you will significantly add to how you are perceived by your colleagues. The resulting benefits to the efficiency, happiness and productiveness of your workplace will be only a matter of time.

To find out more, or to discuss your recruitment needs in this field, please contact your local consultant.

About this author

Jenna is responsible for recruiting people to work in Hays’ 100 offices across the UK & Ireland, leading a team of 24 internal recruiters.

Following a career in Insurance, Jenna Alexander joined Hays in 2006 as an associate recruitment consultant working on a start-up desk focused on contact centre recruitment. By 2008 Jenna managed the contact centre, banking and wealth management teams based in Brisbane, Australia.

In 2011 Jenna moved into internal recruitment, managing the internal recruitment and training function for the state of QLD in Australia. In January 2013, Jenna relocated to the UK to head up the national internal recruitment function for Hays UK & Ireland.

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