As global business challenges continue to occur, businesses in Singapore need to remain competitive, relevant, and fierce to be always challenging the status quo and not merely accepting it. To thrive in the ever-changing business landscape, business leaders will have to look at not just only at expanding their reach, but also at investing in learning and continuous improvement. The journey starts with re-shaping their workforce and equipping them with the required skills and tools to tackle workplace issues with greater ease, know-how and speed. Without this strong foundation in place, employees become bogged down, feeling trapped, and defenseless to challenges at hand and ahead.

So what are the essential skills that make up the workforce which is built for the future? These are efficiency, effectiveness and team impact.

Efficiency means completing things with minimal time duration. It is about the speed of getting things done. More and more businesses are now leveraging and optimizing technology and they’re utilizing it to be agile in their operations while reducing the resources and expenses to be incurred. Question is do they know how to use technology to their advantage?

The consumer market trends are fast developing and ever-advancing. As this evolution transpires, businesses need to be prompt in their actions and swiftly implement new and up-to-date game plans that fit the business model and is strong enough to clinch and seize future opportunities. Those that are not taking actions will be left behind and will be at a disadvantage.

Poor organization and communication can be very costly. In some cases, it could lead to income losses, unnecessary expenses and wastage of resources. For example, they say that money is time and time is money.

So when employees experience a communication breakdown and are disorganized, more time will be spent just to pick up the pieces and making it right. You’ll be surprised at the number of hours you waste just by doing that when you can actually spend the hours doing more productive things.

Effectiveness is about “doing the right things” which includes the concept of “things that add value” that contribute to the achievement of your end results and key objectives. The focus here is getting the desired results out of it because that is what matters at the end of the day. You can be busy running around however if you are not achieving what you want to achieve, then it is pointless.

When businesses are unable to seize opportunities because they are unaware of the ways to improve their level of effectiveness, and establish other strategies, and apply them effectively right away, this may cause huge side effects, affecting their profitability and their position in the marketplace.

Plan and prioritize: planning and prioritizing are the skills required in gaining control of one’s time. To work effectively, business leaders need to develop a game plan months or even years ahead to ensure that the work is done each day in helping you achieve your goals in the long run. Managers are required to have the ability differentiate which matters are urgent and important, urgent but not important, in the business point of view. Be sure not to leave any great ideas unexplored. Take action and act on them immediately!

Lastly, it is team impact which entails working effectively together to bring about results. Team members need to understand each other’s working style. This is because research has shown that conflicts in the workplace arise not from personality differences but through different working styles. It is also highly encouraged that they consider each other’s strengths and weaknesses. When teams can work cohesively and cooperatively with one another, productivity and efficiency will increase and a rise in staff morale is achieved thus, leading to overall team performance. Good communication plays a critical role in building a strong team. To have good communication among team members, we need to consider how communication influence teamwork.

There is a need to be strong communication and cohesion in order for the business to be successful. Employees have a critical roles in molding the culture at the workplace, working together as one, with respect and the company’s values and beliefs in place and having a common goal. Managers must inculcate a culture of team building and diversity at the workplace, taking notice and honoring those who display these positive attitudes.

Hence, the more efficient and competitive an organization is, the more competitive and sustainable it will be. Moving forward, businesses should start investing and place their focus on developing their people. Without the three critical foundations – efficiency, effectiveness and team impact, businesses will not be able to produce results and increase their profitability.

Angeline V Teo is the Managing Director of d’Oz International Pte Ltd and President of PEPWorldwide (Asia) Pte Ltd, a learning and development solutions partner. As a certified Master Consultant and Coach of PEP (Personal Efficiency Program), Angeline has helped multinational organizations and the employees to improve on their work performance and to excel in their roles.  To engage Angeline, please e-mail consultancy@d-oz.com or visit www.d-oz.com for more information.