Increasing your skills as an employee


If you work or are going to work somewhere, it is important that you have a number of skills. These skills contribute to your self-confidence and ensure that you are able to do your job properly.


What are employee skills?

By employee skills, we mean the following skills: motivation, communication, independence, assertiveness, stress resistance, cooperation and flexibility.

It is important to be aware of which employee skills you already possess and which you can improve on.



Being motivated means that you work on a task with enthusiasm, do your best to perform a task well and do extra work if necessary. Self-confidence and autonomy lead to increased motivation to take on tasks. Do you struggle with motivation to work or to learn? Consider these two factors. Perhaps you feel insecure about yourself or experience too little independence at work. If you do your job well, but feel unappreciated, your motivation can plummet. It can be useful to ask for feedback from your colleagues, too: what am I doing well?



Communication takes place in many different forms: verbally (written/talking) or non-verbally (facial expression/posture). Good communication is about receiving, processing and returning information in the correct manner. Good communication is necessary for good cooperation. It ensures that you can clearly communicate ideas, assignments or plans. Therefore, think carefully before you communicate anything and be specific. While communicating with another person you may not always agree. That’s not a bad thing, bring that into the discussion, too.



If you are independent, you feel responsible and complete your work. You are brave enough to make choices and there is progress in your work. Do you find yourself dependent on the approval of others? Or, for example, do you prefer to consult with your manager before making choices? If so, it can help to practice being independent. Try taking on tasks independently and solving problems by yourself before asking for confirmation.



Assertive behaviour focuses on standing up for yourself, with respect for your own goals and those of others. If you often tend to say ‘yes’ to requests that you are not actually required to carry out, ask yourself ‘what makes me inclined to say yes?’ If you want to say ‘no’, do so early in the conversation with a co-worker. The longer someone explains their request, the more difficult it is to reject a request. If you find it difficult to say ‘no’ right away, you can tell them that you are going to think about the request and get back to them.


Stress resistance

Being resistant to stress means that you can continue to perform under time pressure, the pressure of multiple or difficult tasks, social pressure or in the event of setbacks and/or disappointment. For example, if you are stress resistant, you will be able to carry out your work even if you are in a rush. You can increase your resistance to stress by taking good care of yourself. You can do this by getting enough sleep, relaxing, exercising and eating well. In addition, it is important to have the strength to say ‘no’, to learn to focus on your tasks, to have your tasks in order and to take stress signals seriously.


Working together

When collaborating on a task with someone else, you want to complete a task, but you need someone else’s help in order to do so. In general, when someone provides assistance, they would also like something in return for their help. You can achieve more when you work with someone than when you work on a task independently. When working in collaboration, it is important that you indicate your needs and wants, and, also, give something in return for their assistance. When working as a team, meet up and get to know each other; this will help to ensure that you enjoy working together. Take a look at your previous collaborations. Who did you enjoy working with and who did you not? How come and what were you missing in this collaboration?



You are flexible if you can adapt well to changing (working) circumstances, and if you are prepared to take on tasks caused by unexpected circumstances. It is important that both employer and employee adopt a flexible attitude to a certain extent. You can also be flexible by, for example, coming up with a solution or a different approach.

You can write about your employee skills in the NiceDay diary. By doing this, your therapist will get a good understanding of the skills you have, so that you can make improvements where necessary together.



Keijsers, G. P. J., Van Minnen, A., Verbraak, M., Hoogduin, C. A. L. & Emmelkamp, P., (2017). Protocollaire behandelingen voor volwassenen met psychische klachten.….pdf


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