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“People who use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged on the job,” according to the Gallup Business Journal.

Do you know your strengths? What about your employees’? Do they know their own strengths?

If you can’t answer these questions with certainty, you may be missing an opportunity for higher quality work and better efficiency.

Studies show that engagement increases when managers focus on employees strengths. The problem is that most employers are unable to correctly identify their employees strengths, in large part because employees themselves struggle to identify their own strengths.

Many times, individuals can identify their personality traits, but don’t accurately interpret them as strengths. “The best way for people to grow and develop is to identify how they most naturally think, feel and behave — their talents — then build on those talents to create strengths, or the ability to consistently provide near-perfect performance” (Gallup Business Journals, 2014).

To create a strengths-centered workplace, our principles here at Burst Marketing and Smith & Jones have come up with a way to increase focus on each of our employee’s individual strengths.

Each employee has a name plate by his or her desk that lists their strengths according to the Clifton Strengthsfinder 2.0 by Tom Rath. Strengthsfinder is a book that corresponds with an online assessment that interprets your instinctive answers into five top strengths. 

Each employee has taken the assessment so we’re aware of our own strengths, and have a book that lists all 34 themes and ideas for action, so we can accurately interpret the strengths of our co-workers. Working in our collaborative environment, having everyone’s strengths displayed helps us understand each other on a better level and learn how our qualities work with those of our coworkers.

Knowing and displaying our strengths also allows principles and managers to give us each projects and tasks that play on our strengths. Gallup has found that “building employees’ strengths is a far more effective approach to improving performance than trying to improve weaknesses” (Gallup Business Journals, 2014). This is because when employees are able to use their strengths, they are more engaged, resulting in a better and more efficient performance.

If you’re working in a collaborative environment like ours, uncovering your employees strengths can improve the overall performance of your company. Give it a try. Have your employees take a strengths assessment, then give them tasks according to what you learn—you’ll most likely be pleasantly surprised by the results. You can purchase the book here.

- Ashley (Communication | Woo | Restorative | Arranger | Futuristic)

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