Moving Towards an Employee Strength-Based Workplace
Not too long ago, workplaces were defined by rigid job roles with a specific set of expectations. Recently, many businesses have moved towards an employee strength-based culture, creating a positive shift in engagement, retention, and overall productivity.
The successful modern workplace is one of flexibility, employee agency, and open communication. It prioritizes a culture where employees come to work knowing they will have the opportunity to participate in tasks they value and enjoy. It makes a job feel more personally fulfilling, reducing burnout and attrition.
But what does a strength-based workplace look like, and how can you begin to tap into the power of people’s talents?
What is an Employee Strength-Based Workplace?
An employee strength-based workplace takes specific steps to define, identify, and support each person’s natural talents to assign work that aligns with those abilities.
It has significant qualitative and quantitative outcomes when people are encouraged to take on work that they genuinely enjoy and allow their talents to shine.
For example, an intensive study from Gallup found that employees who are encouraged to use their natural strengths are six times more likely to take an active role in their workplace.
Furthermore, 67% of employees with strength-focused managers report that they are engaged with their work. That’s staggering, particularly when you consider that only 2% feel engaged when their managers assign job roles and responsibilities without keeping strengths in mind.
Identify Employee Strengths, Values, and Interests
The first and most critical step to building an employee strength-based workplace is using various sources to create an employee strength inventory.
As business leaders, we spend a lot of time observing, listening to, and making assumptions about our teams but not enough time speaking openly with them about what they need to feel fulfilled.
Take the time to sit down with each team member and ask them what they excel at. Probe into the workplace environment that they thrive in. Welcome them to share what the perfect job role would look like.
Combine that data with your observations and those of the team. Consider the past projects you’ve seen people get excited about or personality traits you’ve seen shine through. Using multiple sources of information, you’ll develop a more comprehensive profile of what makes employees feel empowered.
Rethink Job Roles
Trying to put a square peg through a round hole doesn’t take the edges off; it just makes the effort feel frustrating and fruitless. The same goes for your employees.
Take, for example, someone who thrives on interacting with people. They are excellent communicators with a knack for smoothing over conflict and making others feel welcome to share the floor.
Unfortunately, they were hired as a data entry specialist and spend their days quietly typing away at a computer. It won’t take long before going to work feels like a dreaded chore rather than an opportunity for professional and personal growth.
Rather than pushing that employee to perform in a role that drains their energy, finding ways for their work to meet their talents would be far more beneficial. Perhaps they could lead a new initiative to make data entry a collaborative effort or move into a more customer-facing position.
Not only would this appeal to their abilities and be a more engaging way to spend their workday, but it also shows that you care about their needs, happiness, and preferences.
A Business Coach Can Help You Leverage Employee Strengths
Before properly evaluating and leveraging employee strengths, you need to understand your natural talents. A business coach can help you know what you need to thrive and how to tap into your abilities to create a more productive, fulfilling, and engaging workplace culture.
Lori Moen has 35 years of experience as a business owner and corporate manager, both of which contribute to her impressive repertoire of knowledge about what makes leaders tick. By investing in yourself with her coaching services, you can create an environment that welcomes and empowers top talent.
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