What if you could use your employees’ strengths to your advantage? It sounds like a recipe for success, doesn’t it? Here’s why and how your company should be leveraging your employees’ strongest skills.
The Benefits of Playing to Strengths
Recent Gallup research shows focusing on employee’s strongest skills increases engagement and performance as well as health and wellbeing. Some of the specific findings include:
- Only learning their strengths makes employees 7.8% more productive;
- Teams that focus on strengths every day have 12.5% greater productivity;
- People who use their powers for 4-6 hours per day (versus 0-3 hours) report lower levels of stress, anger, and sadness.
How to Leverage Your Employees’ Strongest Skills
Design a Program
Playing to an employee’s talents sounds fantastic. But where should your organization begin? The first step is to create a comprehensive program. This shouldn’t be a one-day workshop, but rather a company-wide, long-term initiative. In other words, strengths should become part of your everyday conversations and corporate culture.
Next, you’ll want to figure out where your employees excel. Sales expert Tom Searcy recommends using a rating system. Start by listing key competencies and then rank people on a scale such as 1 = High Performer, 2 = Good Performer, and 3 = Below Expectations. For example, an administrative assistant’s key competencies may be interpersonal relations, written communications, organizational skills, attention to detail, time management, strategic planning, and resourcefulness.
Share Your Insights
Managers often assume people know their top talents, but usually, this isn’t true. Observe your employees and commute your results. However, explain the process carefully. You don’t want people to think you are grading them. Instead, you are pinpointing individual talents to improve the performance of the entire team.
Reallocate as Needed
Now it’s time to put your newly discovered knowledge into action. Based on results, try to place people in positions where they can perform at their best. This may involve reassigning duties, reconfiguring teams, and even switching people into new jobs. To illustrate, let’s look back at our administrative assistant example. Pretend one of the assistants ranked 1 for interpersonal relations and 2 for written communications, while another ranked 2 of interpersonal ties and 1 for written communications. To best leverage their talents, you could have the first interaction with customers more frequently and put the second in charge of all email correspondence.
Build on Accomplishments
Finally, actively encourage your employees to develop their natural talents further. Regularly discuss their top skills, celebrate their successes, and ask them to set ongoing strength-related goals. After all, to achieve expert status, they must continue to grow.
Are You Looking to Hire Employees with a Strong Skill Set?
Halpin Staffing Services can help your business find the people you need to get the job done. We offer direct-hire, contact-to-hire, and temporary services. Learn more about partnering with us today!