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Soft Skills & Hard Skills

Focus on cross-functional skills: the sense of organisation

eye 1597 Published on 19 May. 2022
tag ##SkillDevelopment

Cross-functional skills are now the reference in terms of assessment. All sectors of career management are rendering importance to cross-functional skills as it forms a competitive advantage in the context of recruitment, acts as a vector of visibility for educational and professional orientation, provides a new base for planning of employment and skills, and contributes to a powerful development path in coaching.

In this article, we highlight a skill that is sought by most companies: organisation skills. 

A powerful guarantee of performance and efficiency, this skill is required in all types of positions. Natural for some, Achilles heel for others, organisation skills can, like all cross-functional skills, be developed significantly, provided that we identify the areas of progress in the right manner.

Let's see what this skill means, its composition and how to develop it.

Organisation: the productivity skill

Scientists agree to define the meaning of organisation as: “planning each action of a project by breaking it down so as to follow a systematic approach ”.

If we generally tend to attribute organisation skills to administrative or management positions, it is in our interest to generalise it to all the roles in the company. In the current and future world of work, where project mode management is becoming popular and hybrid work is becoming the norm, organisation skills are more than ever proving to be an essential skill. An organised individual is productive; they manage their schedule independently and carry out tasks with acumen and efficiency, in compliance with the requirements laid out. They are not distressed by changes since they know how to anticipate needs, review priorities and readjust the guidelines in order to pursue the tasks.

The components of organisational skills

Several elements constitute a cross-functional skill. It impacts the way the skill will be mobilised, its mastery and its development potential. The five key elements are:

  • Personality: These are the natural character traits of an individual. The more an individual possesses the traits involved in a skill, the easier it is for them to mobilise the skill and use it effectively. That said, since personality traits are stable in nature, developing a skill from personality requires more effort and work.

    Regarding organisation skills, the traits involved in this skill are meticulousness and punctuality alongside a rational and procedural character. An organised individual seeks to be efficient, and make the most of their time. They know how to think about priorities and anticipate the unexpected.

    An organised individual shows meticulousness by being conscientious, sequential and methodical. They have a natural concern for accuracy and demonstrate a certain sense of duty. They know how to deploy productive working methods and are cautious to conclude their assignments by checking whether the work carried out complies with the initial expectations and is error-free.
  • Interest and motivation: This relates to what an individual likes to do, and what motivates and excites them. It is linked to the pleasure and satisfaction provided by an activity. They impact the development of skills since a motivated individual is driven to take the effort to improve.

    The interests and sources of motivation required for organisation skills come from the realm of convention. The individual shows a clear preference for structured activities where the tasks are clearly defined. They will be motivated by the idea of ​​being able to precisely define and follow a plan and/or directives, and be interested in demonstrating their effectiveness on these tasks.
  • Abilities: These are an individual’s life skills and know-how that are acquired. They bring together professional skills and soft skills, which are built over the years through their evolutionary potential and have a positive impact on the development of skills.

    If organisation skills denote a rigorous personality, this rigour does not imply rigidity. Adaptability skills are necessary to provide flexibility in the event of a change or the unexpected, so that they are not distraught but rather stimulated and open to taking into account new information to correct course.

    Another non-negligible skill that facilitates the development of organisation skills is self-motivation. To be organised is to know how to take appropriate means to carry out one's tasks within the given deadlines, without the need for external encouragement, and without letting obstacles hinder one's performance. An individual with a developed sense of organisation also demonstrates good ethical sense; as they can be reliable and counted on to respect the framework of the tasks and the deadlines.
  • Cognitive: This is related to an individual’s ability to think. It allows one to understand their environment, grasp its complexity and provide appropriate responses. The development of cognitive abilities is consequent to the efforts of the individual on the tasks to be performed.

    The cognitive abilities at play for organisation skills involve logic, critical analysis and global vision. Having an overview of the task to be accomplished allows one to identify the key steps to define a work sequence. It also allows them to estimate the time required for each step, anticipate the resources and means needed and determine the most suitable method to complete the task. Open to their environment, the individual is able to grasp the essence and the stakes involved in a task to structure themselves quickly.
  • The environment: any skill can be exercised effectively if the environment in which it is required allows it. An unfavourable environment can limit a skill's potential for deployment. The more an individual is in tune with the environment they are in, the better they are able to give their best.

    Therefore, with regard to organisation skills, the most favourable environment will be one that is oriented toward the process. The values ​​of reliability and efficiency that are deployed in a work environment will pave the way to ​​punctuality, compliance with standards and clarity of roles and tasks. This in turn becomes conducive to the development of organisational skills.

Development paths

To develop a sense of organisation, it can be useful to reflect on one's usual way of carrying out tasks to identify the difficulties in setting up an effective structure. This can be done by asking specific questions like, is the difficulty arising from not being able to prioritise tasks, define the time required to complete the task, respect the framework, follow the steps, focus, or because of the tendency to give up easily, lack punctuality, revise the tasks to avoid errors, etc. . Depending on the problem(s), targeted actions may be considered.

Additionally, there are training courses on organisation and productivity skills that allow one to learn techniques and discover different strategies that, if used regularly, can become automatic over time.

To conclude, as with any skill, if the motivation to develop is missing then, it is a challenge to drive an individual to develop their organisation skills. We can, however, help them understand the advantages of this skill, in terms of productivity and efficiency. to stimulate in them an interest to develop it.

Helen Simard

Consultant psychologist

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