Have you ever experienced a time when you were so absorbed in an activity – either at work or home – that you completely lost track of time? A time when you were totally engaged and motivated to complete a task – and the outcome turned out great? If so, there’s a good possibility you were using some of your dominant strengths to help achieve your results.
This is according to Jim Clifton, chairman and CEO of Gallup, and co-author of StrengthsFinder. Clifton has been studying strengths for the past 50 years and has categorized talents into 34 themes. He has proven that when people use their natural strengths on a daily basis, they become more engaged, satisfied and productive. Clifton’s work has been monumental; today 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies are engaged in some form of strengths-based culture.
In the past, talent development focused on identifying and managing an employee’s top weaknesses to help mold that person into a better-rounded employee. Clifton turned all that around by suggesting that when people develop and build upon their natural-born strengths, they become superstars with superpowers.
The concept is to spend time on what you are good at to become great, rather than focus on something you are not so good at, simply to become good. An added kicker: Having a development discussion that focuses on your strengths builds higher confidence levels within you and your manager.
It’s also important that you not ignore your weaknesses altogether. Instead, focus just enough that your “lesser talents” don’t become all-out stumbling blocks. Then immediately turn your time and attention toward building on your strengths and transforming them into superpowers.
In the past, talent development focused on identifying and managing an employee’s top weaknesses… Clifton turned all that around by suggesting that when people develop and build upon their natural-born strengths, they become superstars with superpowers.
3 benefits of a strength-based culture:
- Employee engagement improves. A powerful thing happens when employees learn about their natural-born talents and what makes them stand out among others. There is a 1 in 33 million chance that two individuals possess the same top five strengths! Spending time developing an employee’s top strengths is motivating, satisfying, and leads to higher engagement. The development discussion becomes a positive bridge that builds greater employee confidence and contribution.
- Collaboration flourishes. As employees discover their own strengths – and those of their colleagues – they develop higher levels of understanding and respect for one another. Co-workers appreciate the gifts their teammates bring to the table, and reach out more to others whose skills may be different yet complimentary to their own. Higher levels of acceptance emerge as individuals come to understand that people’s actions flow from their individual strengths.
- Teams work more effectively. In a strengths-based organization, team leaders are able to inventory and leverage various individuals’ strengths to form solid project teams. This ensures that teams contain the right mix of strengths to deliver targeted results. It also delivers a great ROI from a human capital perspective!
In summary, building your organization around a strengths-based culture will deliver a bigger bang for your training buck as you develop more productive, satisfied and engaged company ambassadors. I highly recommend taking the journey to unleash the superpowers across your organization by visiting CliftonStrengths today!
How has your company benefited from developing a strengths-based culture?