Build On The Strengths Of Your Employees: 4 Tips to Grow Smarter

by Mike O'Neill

You picked them - your employees. You picked the best of the best. This is now your team of dedicated employees, and it is stronger than ever. But, have you been thinking about what you can do to make them even better?

It is possible to take the strength of your employees and help them to grow smarter. You definitely want your employees to use their strengths as those who do are more engaged and perform better, which boosts your bottom line. 

Sadly, only 13% of employees are engaged at work, and this number hasn’t changed much in recent years. The low percentage indicates that the majority of managers have failed to engage their employees.  It’s estimated that at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement is made up of management.

It’s estimated that about 10% of those in management possess the talent to manage. About 80% of the time, businesses name the wrong person as manager.

What does this mean for your company? It means that managers are not creating an environment where employees feel engaged. Meaning, the company is not building on their strengths. They’re idle, and that’s not a good thing.

According to a Gallup study employers who used a strength-based approach in their workplace had the following results:

  • 10-19% increase in sales
  • 14-29% increase in profits
  • 3-7% higher customer engagement
  • 6-16% lower turnover in businesses with low-turnover to begin with
  • 26-72% lower turnover in companies with high-turnover to start with
  • 9-15% increase in employee engagement
  • 22-59% decrease in safety incidents

With numbers like these, management can see why employee engagement that builds on their strengths helps them and your business grow smarter. 

Now we’re going to share four tips to help you build on your employees’ strength to help your company grow smarter.

Understand How Employee Strengths Make Your Company Stronger

One of the best ways for employees to grow and develop is for managers to identify how they think, feel, and behave - naturally. Managers should identify their talents and build on those to create strengths. From this will come the ability to provide near-perfect work performance consistently. 

So, how do you get from point A to point B? By maximizing your employee strengths.

4 Tips to Grow Smarter by Maximizing Employee Strengths

Tip #1.
Define Your Employee Strengths

Strength in the workplace is defined as “anything that produces ‘near-perfect’ performance consistently and effortlessly in a given activity.”

Any activity that is draining, despite doing well, is not a strength. 

Strength-based management will focus on and grow the strength of a business's staff. This management style shows that a company should spend the time and money investing in and developing its employees’ strengths rather than spending that time and energy elsewhere - their weaknesses. 

A good dose of reality is that each employee has their own set of strengths, weaknesses, and talents that have been strongly wired into their neutral brain network. In the workplace, this means that managers who focus and develop upon the employees’ strengths can be more important and effective than trying to fix their weaknesses.

Tip #2.
Empower Employees to Utilize Their Strengths

Managers create an environment where their employees can discover, explore, and then grow their strengths or build an environment where they take away their sense of capability and value. The number of employees who feel they’re adequately using their workplace strengths is low as most feel their strengths are neglected. They’re forced into areas where there’s an apparent weakness.

One way you can build your employees’ strengths is to encourage your staff to continue their education. By furthering one’s education, an employee will gain knowledge and insight into the workplace. This builds confidence. Experience and knowledge build capability and strength.

Managers do not have to stick to universities only. Think about community colleges, trade schools, seminars, in-house workshops, or online certification programs to help your employees gain strength through knowledge.

Tip #3.
Turn Weaknesses into Strengths

You can call them weaknesses, strength-building opportunities, areas for improvement, or developmental needs. But, whatever you call them - all employees have them. Even your star employees have their own unique set of challenges and weaknesses. 

While we’ve discussed focusing on the strengths is more beneficial than trying to fix the weaknesses, we want to point out that you should not ignore the weaknesses to pretend they don’t exist. As a manager, you do need to take the time to improve on those employee weaknesses. 

Once you get a clear view of your employees and their weaknesses, you can learn how to transform those into strengths to positively impact the company.

Tip #4.
Work with a Business Coach That Specializes in Teams

As a manager with multiple teams of employees depending on you for guidance, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed when thinking about how to grow the company through the strength of your employees and building up those strengths while battling the weaknesses. 

By using a business coach specializing in teams, you can hire someone to be your right-hand person to increase your accountability, give you better clarity of your visions and goals, and offer you coaching by an experienced individual.

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