It makes sense. Companies that focus on team and individual strengths will have more engaged, productive, and loyal employees. But sometimes that can be easier said than done. Here are 4 ways to build strong teams and empower your employees.
Your employees have strengths. That’s why you hired them. And you’ve probably since discovered they have skills that weren't apparent in the interview process -- or that they may have gained while on the job. Don't let those abilities go to waste. Here are ways you can encourage your employees to take advantage of all of their strengths.
1. Identify the strengths of your employees as part of your performance management process
In whatever manner you do performance reviews, talk about the employee’s talents and proficiencies. Don’t limit yourself to work-related strengths. Find out exactly what your people can do well, even if they’re not currently doing it as part of their job. Once you identify what your people are great at and where they'd like to improve, look at ways you can incorporate them into their roles.
2. Focus your performance management procedures on building strengths instead of fixing weaknesses
Yes, you should still attend to performance deficiencies, but these should not be the core of professional development efforts. Why settle for satisfactory employees when you can help them pursue excellence? Encourage your team members to come to you with suggestions on areas they'd like to develop and grow, then start building a plan with them to make it happen. Allowing your team members to learn new skills and incorporate interests they're passionate about will make them more engaged in their everyday projects.
3. Look at what ways you can tailor roles and responsibilities to the strengths of your employees
If strengths are not being maximized, consider reassigning job duties and perhaps moving people into different positions. When forming teams and committees, bring in people based on their strengths. Employees who attend to their own projects in an organized fashion may be good candidates to coordinate larger group projects.
4. Recognize your employees for their achievements
Finally, let them know exactly how their strengths contribute to the company’s success. A formal employee recognition program, more spontaneous awards like gift cards, and even simple thank yous for a job well done can go a long way to letting employees know they're making a difference -- and keeping them committed and engaged.