The Law of Attraction tells us that what we continue to focus on is what will continue to manifest. Why then would it make sense to continue to focus on employee’s weaknesses in an effort to strengthen employees’ skills and abilities? While areas that could use improvement should not be completely ignored, focusing more on employees’ strengths-especially as they relate to operational improvements-can help you to build a strong company.
Identifying employees’ strengths is the first step to focusing on and building those strengths. There are programs that can be used to make strength finding fun, fast, and simple. If your company decides to devise its own system for strength finding, make sure that strengths can be identified in three words or less and defined in simple terms.
After identifying employee strengths, blast the news from the rooftops. Let employees know about other employees’ strengths so that they know what they can depend on those employees for and what they have in common. Sharing strengths across the organization will make employees feel valued and understood on a more personal level.
When setting goals, using employee strengths that have been identified to personalize the goals can increase engagement and boost morale. This in turn can increase productivity, as employees are enthusiastic about completing tasks that they are “good at” and often feel that their efforts are more appreciated. Studies show that allowing employees to perform tasks that they believe they are good at can also lead to greater health and well being while reducing stress, which may help to decrease absences.
One mistake that companies often make is to identify employee strengths and then fail to ever acknowledge or use that information again. Bringing strengths into discussions about performance, new projects, and daily tasks can help to engage and motivate employees. Recognizing employees’ specific strengths as they are used to add value to projects and the organization as a whole encourages employees to continue with the behaviors.
When strengths are identified, it tells employers what employees are already good at and enjoy doing, which can be used in a few different ways to optimize training. If employees need to improve in other areas in order to round out performance, employers can use known strengths to help bridge the gap and make learning easier. If employers wish to keep “aces in their places” and build up existing strengths, training can be focused in that direction.
Identifying employee strengths can make assigning teams a lot easier. Instead of using arbitrary information to decide upon team members, employers can identify skills that will be required of teams based on project needs and then determine which employees have those skills. Placing employees with similar strengths in a team may be useful for certain applications, but employers should attempt to place employees with differing strengths together as often as possible to create well-rounded teams.
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