Focus on your employees’ strengths for an easy business boost

by | 14.09.2016
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The long-held belief that enabling employees to do what they’re good at makes for better business has now been backed up by compelling figures from a recent report.


The study from Gallup found when companies positioned employees to do more of the work they do best everyday, and crucially, more of the work they enjoy, then there were significant gains for the business across key areas.


Recording the impact across a range of factors including sales, profit, customer engagement, and employee engagement the study found that when businesses introduced strengths-based management practices they saw:


  • A 10%-19% increase in sales
  • A 14%-29% increase in profit
  • A 3%-7% increase in customer engagement
  • A 9%-15% increase in engaged employees

These are compelling figures showing the impact of adopting an ‘enjoy work’ ethos. Alongside the business case are the benefits for the employees themselves. Further research from Gallup found the more hours a day adults believe they use their strengths, the more likely they are to feel energised, respected, valued and happy. They are also three times more likely to report to having an excellent quality of life than employees who don’t feel they are using their strengths at work.


It’s never going to be possible for an employee to do the jobs they 100% love, 100% of the time. We know reality is different and everyone, at some point, has to do a job they don’t necessarily enjoy. We all have weaknesses. However, working to develop your employees in line with their strengths and what comes naturally to them can garner high returns and positive results.


There are a number of easy ways to do this:


Nurture employee drive. When it comes to drive, your employees have to take a chunk of the responsibilities on themselves. They have to have the desire to grow personally and professionally while at the same time helping the business achieve its aims. This drive can then be nurtured by allowing the employee to develop by following their strengths. If an employee knows their efforts will be focussed on doing the work they love they will naturally work harder, perform better and be more engaged.


Empower your managers to lead it. Your managers should focus on growing their team’s strengths. Yes, there needs to be consideration of improving weaknesses, but the impact will be more profound with a strengths focus. Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Jim Asplund of Gallup says: “Manager alignment on a strengths initiative is crucial because managers are ultimately responsible for developing workers based on strengths. This best practice has a profound impact on performance.”


Build your culture around strengths and enjoyment. By building your company’s culture around employees enjoying their work you will create an environment that people want to be a part of. This means your employees will have an emotional investment in the success of the company; achieving matters to them and they care about performing. Having a team that embody this, is one of the most powerful assets a business can have.


We realise that great workforce management is more than just the automation of core business processes, even though this in itself can bring huge benefits. It’s about the relationship between your business and your employees where the performance and enjoyment are maximised for the benefit of everyone.

Tommy Tonkins

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