Strengths-based organisations, strengths-based leadership – you have probably heard the terms before but what do they mean and how can you build a strengths-based culture in your business?
Imagine what it would be like to work in a team or organisation where everyone understood what they are good at and had the opportunity to use those talents.
Imagine what it would be like to be part of a team that celebrates and enhances your strengths rather than defining you by your weaknesses.
That’s how strengths-based organisations work.
They concentrate on bringing out the best in every person, giving them the opportunity to develop their strengths and to use them as their superpower.
Why do that?
Because it’s much easier to raise strengths to a higher level than it is to improve areas of weakness, and it delivers results more quickly.
Strengths or competencies?
We can achieve a certain level of competence in our roles but that doesn’t always equate to job satisfaction or alignment with our value systems.
Strengths are those things we do well, often coming naturally to us, and which make us feel satisfied and even successful. We have an emotional response when we practice our strengths, and that’s not often experienced just by displaying a competency. When people are emotionally engaged in what they are doing, it boosts engagement and performance. People who know their strengths and can work with them experience a higher level of job satisfaction and a willingness to develop those strengths even further.
Strengths-based leadership shows excellent results both for people and business. Research by Gallup shows people who use their strengths have 7.8% greater productivity. In terms of business results, they report findings of:
- 10% to 19% increased sales
- 14% to 29% increased profit
- 3% to 7% higher customer engagement
- 6% to 16% lower turnover (low-turnover organizations)
- 26% to 72% lower turnover (high-turnover organizations)
- 9% to 15% increase in engaged employees
- 22% to 59% fewer safety incidents
How do you start building a strengths-based organisation?
Help people discover their strengths.
Don’t assume people always know what they are good at and don’t assume you know, either.
Strengths only show themselves when they are given the opportunity to shine. Most of us only discover a few of our skills until we do a formal skills assessment. Work with an experienced partner to lead your people in the CliftonStrengths Assessment and help them understand more about themselves.
Help your team appreciate the range of strengths within.
To improve the way your team works, it’s important that people understand and trust each other. Team members can then be involved in planning how best to meet team goals.
Discovering each other’s talents and learning how best to use them not only strengthens performance but builds inclusivity. It becomes a team bonding experience, too.
Align strengths with roles.
Each role comes with responsibilities and expectations and works best when strengths are aligned with them. It doesn’t always happen, so look for ways to help people use their core strengths to build their confidence before working on weaknesses.
Plan development opportunities for your people around their strengths.
It’s important to build confidence by giving people the chance to be successful. There’s nothing more powerful than success to shift the thinking away from “I can’t do that” toward a positive outlook. Take advantage of external development programs to meet individual needs quickly.
Lead as a coach.
Empower your people rather than manage them. Strengths-based leadership is very personal, concentrating on empowering everyone, so your ability to build and sustain a good relationship with your people is vital.
Leading as a personal coach involves empathy, listening skills, open conversation, and a focus on continuous development. This lets you recognise what each person has done well and keep them motivated in their work.
It makes good sense for strengths to power your people and your business. It’s a key factor in achieving sustainable high performance.
Do you know the strengths of your team? Does your team also know what they are?
Would you like to learn more about the strengths of your team and how to better communicate and delegate tasks? Our High Performing Team workshop explores individual behavioural styles and provides tips on how to effectively manage a team. Contact us today to find out more about coordinating this workshop in your organisation!