One of the greatest gifts a leader can give their people is to believe in their potential.
Provide them with tools such as the strengths assessment, offer guidance and invite them to contribute the best of themselves to the greater whole. Your people feel valued and want to become engaged in an interdependent culture where everyone is appreciated for the unique contribution they bring to the team.
This is part 3 of the 3-part series on Building a Culture on Strengths by Diana Gabriel, Certified Strengths Strategy Coach.Applying a collective focus on strengths can fashion a culture that will boost engagement, innovation, and retention. Click To Tweet
Are you leveraging your people’s strengths?
Gallup and other surveys have shown that one of the most valued aspects of people’s jobs the most is the opportunity to learn and grow, specifically through ongoing education and training.
In my work as a coach, I see that people want to get better at what they do, to be stronger contributors, and to build their capacity to advance to greater responsibilities. When you, the leader, provide your people with these opportunities you’ll see them advance their current strengths and learn to manage and leverage their secondary strengths. You have no greater ability to succeed than when your people are continuously enriching their capabilities and have the desire to contribute them to the great whole.
Another significant way your people can grow is to share what they know and take on the role of trainer or instructor. Establishing in-house training/mentoring programs is a great way to build up strengths in everyone. It also raises the candidacy of people for potential advancement or involvement in more complex projects or positions.
Developing the strengths of your people is beneficial through the reputation they develop, both within and outside your organization. Internal expertise is obviously beneficial for organizations and also pays dividends when other employees seek out your team experts to learn and grow additional strengths. Forget the politics of keeping your people’s strengths to yourself or your team. Everyone wins when you enhance your entire organization by sharing what you have.
The Culture of Strength-Based Philosophy
The most productive and effective organizations, those that have the most engaged and creative people, are the organizations that have a culture that is focused on the strengths of their employees. The emphasis is on what people can do, not on what they can’t do. None of this happens by itself, however. It takes the living example and specific direction of you, their leader. You need to have the philosophy that strengths are the primary focus of the how within the strategic plans.
Such a culture invests heavily in its people, encouraging and rewarding the application of everyone’s strengths. Create programs to deepen and integrate the strengths of your employees. Offer training and teaching experiences continuously. Establishing a team structure grounded in strengths allows people to maximize and contribute the best of themselves. Trusting your people to apply themselves and be stretched beyond their comfort zones allows them to meet challenges and find new solutions.
Leaders in strength-based cultures assess their people’s performance not just on quantifiable results, but also on their personal development through improving on leveraging their strengths. How well do they apply their strengths? How do they maximize and manage them? When you focus on strengths you can coach your people directly, cultivating more talents, greater contribution, and engagement. Setting up a system of internal coaching is also a powerful way to enhance and develop strengths, build networks, and increase collaboration.
Your strength-based culture must teach communication skills, where strengths are enhanced and used to connect people and forge a spirit of interdependence. Instilling a mindset of helping one another results in the greatest benefits.
When people contribute their strengths they feel fulfilled and valued. Applying a collective focus on strengths can fashion a culture that will boost engagement, innovation, and retention.