All too often, companies are focused on training employees across all areas with the aim of filling gaps and fixing their weaknesses. This does little but make it difficult to form strong and diverse teams.
Instead, as Gallup has found, companies should focus on fulfilling employees potential through focusing on their strengths. Employees in a strengths-based culture, where they used their strengths every day, are 8% more productive and 15% less likely to quit.
Gallup has performed extensive research on the relationship between strengths-based development and business performance, studying more than 1 million individuals in a meta-analysis. They state that investing in employee talent with the Clifton StrengthsFinder can not only help get the most from employees, but can also improve an organisations success.
A strengths-based culture is imperative to the future of success for companies worldwide. So, how can you create a strengths-based culture?
Align strengths with projects
Much of the time, projects are completed by whoever is available, with the deadline being the main concern. While this can work and is successful for certain companies, you have to consider if, by doing this, you are effectively using your human capital. Gallup explains that unlocking human potential through a focus on individuals’ innate strengths requires commitment by both employers and individuals.
Companies that embrace a strengths-based culture, and align strengths and passions with the appropriate teams and projects can receive huge boosts in productivity.
Provide development opportunities
To fully take advantage of a strengths-based culture, companies must harbour and nurture the strengths of their employees. Steve Crabtree explains that “Employees need continual learning and development opportunities in order to stay up to date. Understanding their strengths gives them a basis for choosing the developmental paths that are most likely to help them sustain a long, successful career.”
Today, there’s huge amounts of opportunities to provide such development. Upskilled, for example, provides a range of flexible courses that your employees can complete at their own pace. Not only does this help promote a strengths-based culture, but it’s proven to improve employee retention and engagement.
Trust is crucial within a successful organisation. For one, the more transparency there is within an organisation, the more effective communication can be. This improves the overall workflow within the company, making it easier to mitigate issues and also execute projects of a high quality.
When team-members trust their managers and superiors, they are more likely to divulge what they’re passionate about, what they want to work on. In other words, if you can understand their dreams, motivations and goals, you can better align your team with fitting projects.
Realising your team’s goals and ambitions is critical in creating a strengths-based culture.
Empowerment over management
The way teams are made and managed within companies is in a state of change. Rather than the traditional hierarchical structure of business, organisations are moving towards arrangements with flexible teams focused on specific goals. As goals change and needs evolve, teams will disband and new, better suited teams will reform. There’s no doubting that when applied in the right manner, this approach can be much more effective. Businesses must be able to quickly reorganise their team-members with speed and agility to keep pace in this quickly evolving business landscape.
Forming diverse and complete teams, designed for specific projects is just half of the battle. As a leader, you then must promote bold and curious thinking. Encourage opinions, perspectives and enthusiasm, but guide your team, avoiding conflicts.
Allowing employees to build teams based around their individual strengths and interests will help fulfil and overall strengths-based culture.
It is clear that companies can benefit from finding the strengths of their employees by embracing StrengthsFinder. However, companies must go beyond a single StrengthsFinder test and employ a strengths-based culture and mentality. By doing so, organisations can better utilise their human capital, form more appropriate teams, and empower those who work for them by encouraging them to follow their passions and harbour their strengths.