It is becoming increasingly important for employees in all professional sectors to possess commercial awareness skills in order to contribute to the success of the wider business.

With the landscape of so many industries subject to change on a regular basis, it can be difficult for individuals to maintain a strong sense of commercial awareness related to the business and the broader industry in which they work. In this case, it is up to leaders to ensure that their employees have everything they need to develop their skills and positively influence the company.

When it comes to displaying commercial awareness in the workplace, the most talented individuals will be able to demonstrate three key elements. These are:

  1. Commercial awareness of how the business is run
  2. Knowledge of developing market trends
  3. Competitor analysis

We’ve outlined below why each of these elements are important for employees.

Commercial awareness of how the business is run

First and foremost, employees should always have an understanding of how the business is run, along with why certain things are done in certain ways in order to maximise success. Without this, individuals run the risk of becoming disillusioned with how their company operates, which in turn could lead to a reduction in productivity and morale.

To combat this, business leaders should be providing their employees with all of the information they need, either through relevant training programmes or focused learning tests, to ensure that everyone is up-to-date with any developments the company is facing. This will also work to boost satisfaction and promote an inclusive environment.

Without honest and transparent communication from leaders, employees will be unable to understand and develop their commercial awareness in the workplace, as they will lack the vital knowledge of the various success or failures the business goes through.
Ultimately, the best employees will display a strong interest in how the business is performing, as well as making regular suggestions on how processes can be altered for the benefit of the company long term.

Knowledge of developing market trends

With so many asymmetrical disruptions occurring in professional markets around the world, business leaders are under constant pressure to keep up-to-date with any significant market trends and developments in order to remain competitive.

To filter information down to other employees within the business about how the company is navigating through any market developments, leaders should be utilising their workplace training programmes to provide their workforce with an opportunity to make decisions related to the market, and later reflect on their performance.

The most talented individuals will be able to demonstrate in training programmes and beyond how the market affects the business and how the business can influence the wider market by recalling relevant information given to them by leaders as well as putting forward ideas based on any noteworthy trends.

Competitor analysis

Business leaders will typically spend an extended period of time conducting a thorough competitor analysis in order to improve their processes. While the same attention to detail won’t be required of all employees, it is still possible for those further down the hierarchy to contribute to gaining an edge over other businesses.

Similar to developing an awareness of any market trends, workplace training can be structured to focus on how competitors run their businesses, enabling employees to make suggestions and decisions to improve within their roles. As the typical workforce is widely diverse, there is a greater opportunity for different opinions to arise using this method, allowing for new ideas to come to fruition to propel the business forward.

Opening up these communication networks where employees can actively demonstrate their ability to analyse competitor activity will also serve to boost personal confidence as well as general workplace performance.

In summary, a workforce that is allowed to develop their commercial awareness skills in the workplace will inherently perform better than a workforce that isn’t. Taking the time to provide a platform for each employee to voice their opinions will boost morale and allow leaders to ascertain just how commercially aware their team is, along with identifying the most talented individuals at every level.