Want to know the secret to increasing your own engagement, productivity and performance for 2019? Want to apply this same secret to your team and organization? Of course! Who wouldn’t?
It’s simple. This key is learning and leveraging strengths.
Each of us has unique strengths — the combinations of talents, knowledge, skills, and practice that help us do what we do best every day. These strengths provide us with our greatest opportunities for meaningful work and success.
According to Gallup, simply understanding your strengths can make you 8% more productive, and teams that focus on strengths every day have an average of 12% greater productivity than those who do not, are six times more likely to be engaged in their jobs, and 15% less likely to quit their jobs. From this research, I think it’s logical to conclude that highly engaged employees create highly engaged customers, resulting in increased company productivity, retention, performance and profitability. This research has established compelling reasons for why we should make learning and leveraging our strengths a priority as we plan our goals for 2019.
In the past, we were taught that focusing on improving weaknesses was the path to getting better performance. Research has proven that this is not an effective method. Weaknesses never develop into strengths, therefore building upon strengths while minimizing weaknesses, is a far more effective approach to improving performance.
The role that managers play in maximizing employees’ opportunities to use their strengths every day is crucial. They are able to encourage employees to discover and develop their strengths and empower them to take on roles and projects where employees can perform at their best.
Managers who truly understand the power of leveraging strengths have teams that are exponentially more engaged, more productive, have higher quality of work, and are far less likely to experience turnover.
As you plan for 2019, consider these steps to moving yourself and your organization toward a strengths-based culture:
- Take time to discover your strengths and be intentional about focusing on opportunities to use your strengths every day. Gallup’s CliftonStrengths assessment has helped more than 9 million people worldwide discover their greatest talents, and you can easily use this tool as a starting point. Gallup Strengths Coaches are valuable resources to help people interpret assessment reports and build develop plans, team profiles and action plans for building a strengths-based culture.
- Realize that every day is an opportunity to leverage your strengths no matter what role you play. Strengths are people-based, they’re not role-based. Align your top strengths to maximize the expectations and responsibilities of your role. Help your teammates to do the same.
- Find ways to apply strengths in a team setting to achieve common objectives. Learn and understand each other’s strengths and how yours complement the strengths of others on the team. Consider assigning team roles and projects based on each other’s strengths.
- Incorporate strengths into performance conversations and development planning reviews, and help employees set meaningful goals based on their strengths.
If you would like to know more about incorporating the Gallup CliftonStrengths assessment in your 2019 strategic planning, please reach out to Angie Woods.
Guest Post by Angie Woods
Angie has served as an HR leader, professional development coach, and facilitator throughout her 25-year career. She is committed to helping individuals and teams understand and leverage their strengths to create the best versions of themselves.
Angie is co-founder of HRtisan Solutions consulting firm. She has a B.S degree in Business and Human Resources Management, with additional studies in Psychology. In addition to serving as a certified Gallup Strengths Coach, she is a certified Life Coach, has a certification in DDI Targeted Selection® behavioral interviewing skills, and serves as a member of Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. She serves on the advisory board for Indiana Diversity Council, and is a facilitator for Dress For Success’ career development workshops.
Check out her website at https://hrtisansolutions.com/