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What is a Strengths-Based Culture and How Can You Create One in Your Company?

Tuesday May 8th 2018

According to a 2018 Gallup Poll, employees who say they use their strengths every day are 15% less likely to quit their job and search for a new opportunity. Therefore, it’s not unreasonable to assume that in order to decrease your employee turnover rate, you’ll need to understand and implement a company culture that encourages your employees to play to their strengths.

A strengths-based culture is one where the tables are turned on traditional assessment values. Where most companies used to highlight the weaknesses of each employee during the evaluation process in order to seek out opportunities for improvement, many are instead choosing to focus on rooting out the strengths of each employee.

By identifying the natural talents and abilities of each member of your team, it will allow you to delegate work more effectively so that each member of your team is able to function at their highest level. A strengths-based culture allows every employee to shine, which eliminates stress and the need for a power struggle as everyone is valued for their unique contributions to the team.

So how do you cultivate a strengths-based culture within your company? The answer lies in your assessment metrics.

Self-Evaluation

The easiest way to establish your employee’s greatest strengths is simply to ask them. Give them the opportunity to evaluate their own performance and tell you what their strengths are. They know how they work best and in what environment, and they know where their talents lie better than anyone.

By encouraging self-evaluation within your team, you are creating an opportunity for your employees to be active participants in the development of the team and the company culture. It shows them that they are respected for their unique abilities and valued members of the workplace.

Having authentic conversations with your employees about their unique abilities will give you better insight into what their role is on the team. You may realize that some of your employees have been placed in the wrong department or given tasks that don’t play to their strengths. It gives you a great opportunity to switch things up and try new methods to help the team function at its optimum level.

Peer Evaluation

The next person who is likely to have a clear understanding of the strengths of any employee is his or her coworker. Coworkers interact daily on both a personal and professional level. They work together on projects and witness each employee’s interaction with the rest of the team. Their insight on the strengths of those they work with is unique in that they can tell you more than you could observe as a manager.

Many employees may feel uncomfortable talking about their fellow coworkers, so it is important to stress that their evaluations are completely anonymous and confidential. This will allow them to speak freely. Most importantly, when asking for peer evaluations, it’s important to establish that they are intended for positive feedback, and not to attack another employee, unless there is a legitimate concern that must be addressed. Encourage your team not only to share their anonymous evaluations with you, but to speak freely with each other about the strengths they recognize in their coworkers. Celebrate the achievements of each employee and encourage them to congratulate jobs well done.

This not only gives you a great snapshot of the strengths of your team but also contributes to a more positive environment where each employee is satisfied in their work and feels respected and appreciated.

Management Observation

If you’re looking to develop a strengths-based culture within your company, there is no place for assessments that only target weakness. It can generate a lot of tension and nervousness amongst your employees, as they anticipate negative feedback.

So, the first and most important step in changing how your evaluations are not only administered but perceived by your team is to establish whether they are providing more negative than positive feedback. Positivity is powerful and will encourage your employees to do their best work when they see that it does not go unnoticed. Spend time observing your employees as they work with the team, evaluate their individual contributions to the overall goals of any project they are assigned to and include all peer and self-evaluations in your assessments. This will give you a more well-rounded view of each employee that will help you tap into their strengths and make the most of their unique abilities.

Your employees are unique individuals with their own set of talents and strengths. Don’t squander those strengths by focusing solely on how to compensate for weaknesses. Develop a strengths-based culture within your company, and you are certain to reap the benefits immediately.

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