To be successful, you need to play to your strengths, and the people in your organization need to play to their strengths as well. All this as opposed to boosting your weaknesses because of the traditional “weaknesses are your biggest area of growth and opportunity” drivel that shows up in old-style employee evaluations.
Your biggest area of growth and opportunity is really to focus and maximize your strengths.
It’s about creating a strengths-based workplace, creating a strengths-based culture. When you do that, you create a winning culture because when you have that strengths-based workplace, it’s transformational. That type of culture focuses on continual growth and improvement among everyone in the company.
When an organization values the individuals’ strengths, when it helps them develop their strengths, when it positively focuses on those strengths, there is a measurable positive impact:
- 8% greater productivity in individuals
- 5% greater productivity among the team
- 9% greater profitability
- 9% lower employee turnover
You have greater production, which translates to saving money. You have greater profitability, which translates into increasing revenues, and you have lower turnover, which decreases expenses.
Creating that strengths-based culture and workplace is key to your company’s performance indicators, namely revenues and expenses.
Strengths may be the key to making all that happen.
Here are six different ways to think about that culture that you are creating, especially with regard to a strengths-based culture.
- Purpose versus paycheck. People want work that is meaningful to them, where they feel like they’re making an impact. When they understand their strengths, and where they are strongest; that allows them to do their best work that’s meaningful, that has an impact, and connects with the company’s Deeper Why.
- Development versus satisfaction. People do not really care about frivolous perks at work. They want to be developed in a way that taps their natural talents so that they can succeed. When companies provide a way for employees to develop their strengths, there is 70% likelihood they will stay in that organization.
- Coach versus boss or manager. People want managers who can coach them, help them apply their strengths, and who value them as people and employees. What is interesting is only 30% of employees say they believe their managers know their strengths. That means 70% do not believe that their managers know what their strengths are.
- Conversations versus reviews. People want ongoing feedback and genuine conversations about how they are doing. For one of our clients, we redesigned their employee evaluation system. We interviewed each employee, and across the board we heard from the employees that they didn’t want just that one conversation they had every summer with no follow up. They were craving those opportunities for more conversations around their goals and what they hoped to accomplish..
- Strengths versus weaknesses. People want the chance to do what they naturally do best every day. Weaknesses never turn into strengths, but you can develop your strengths on an exponential basis. That’s when we just feel like we’re in our Zone of Genius, and it’s usually because we’re using our strengths.
- Life versus job. Some people, depending on their personality, want an authentic relationship with managers. That includes talk about both work and life. They want to work somewhere that values their strengths and invests in their ongoing development as a human, as a person.
Most of these statistics come from Gallup,the primary organization that focuses on employee engagement. Through their 30+ years of research and study, they’ve branched out to other things like leadership, and what makes a good leader at an organization with either high engagement or low engagement.
One of the research studies that they did is they interviewed and surveyed CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and leaders around the world to find out what strengths successful leaders had in common
They found it didn’t matter what strengths the leaders had or didn’t have. Leaders had all different strengths across the board. What was the same for all? They deliberately and consciously surrounded themselves with people who had different strengths from their own.
So, when you’re thinking about your staff and your teams, focus on their strengths. When you value everybody’s strengths individually as well as how they complement one another within a team, you’ve created a recipe for amazing forward motion.
To prepare your organization for the future, doesn’t it make sense to focus on the people in your organization, what their strengths are, and really helping them to be the best version of themselves? If they’re the best version of themselves, they’re going to be more engaged at work, they’re going to be more productive, and they’re going to be more in alignment with the company’s goals and missions and values.
Being able to structure your team in ways that empower your employees to do what they do best is key to a successful, sustainable organization. You are building your organization to sustain itself, no matter what the changing future and the changing workplace is going to bring.
Photo credit: Image by Elias Sch.