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By Emily Kassmeier

Benefits of Focusing on Strengths in the Workplace

Is it easier for you to name your strengths or your weaknesses?

Many of us are keenly aware of our weaknesses, but struggle to identify our natural strengths and talents.

Even more, when prompted to think of something we want to improve about ourselves, many of us likely think of a weakness. Not a strength.

But research shows that people who recognize and regularly use their strengths are more successful at work. When we focus on developing our strengths rather than trying to improve our weaknesses, we experience faster growth.

Teams who focus on strengths and allow their employees to use them find it benefits them in these ways:

Encourages clarity & confidence

Knowing your strengths helps increase your self-awareness. It can give you a new appreciation for traits you previously undervalued in yourself. People who understand their strengths have a better grasp of what makes them unique and how their personality impacts their team.

Because of this, they have more clarity about the role they play in helping their team reach their goals. This boosts their confidence. When you know your strengths and you use them every day, you feel capable, driven, and self-assured. You don’t compare yourself to others as much because you feel secure in your abilities.

Boosts productivity

When each person on a team has clarity about what they do well and they’re placed in a position to use their strengths, productivity soars. These people feel more energetic and excited about their work.

Having strengths that are in line with your goals means you’re much more likely to succeed. Your efficiency increases and you’re motivated to accomplish more. Receiving continual support for strengths development leads to increased sales, increased profits, and higher customer engagement. It’s good for everyone involved: the employee, their team, and the customer.

Increases engagement & retention

As employees’ strengths as discovered, team leaders can use them to create an engaging environment at work. Leaders can make sure they have the right people in the right seats based on strengths. They can also ensure their employees are assigned tasks that are in line with each person’s strengths, which sets everyone up for success. In addition, they can individualize their management style based on these strengths. This means managers give more meaningful feedback to their teams because they better understand what makes each person tick.

As a result, employees feel understood and supported in their roles, and they feel like they’re given responsibilities they enjoy and can excel in. They learn to rely upon their team members to better capitalize on each others’ strengths. They feel a sense of belonging, growth, and contribution. When these emotional needs are met, employees are more engaged in their work. Their loyalty to the team increases and they even get sick less often.

A strengths-based focus at work needs to be backed by leadership for it to be effective. An individual focusing on their strengths alone isn’t likely going to see as much benefit if company leaders don’t also endorse building strengths within their organization. When this support comes from the top-down, teams can see the true impact it has on their culture.

Before leveraging your team’s strengths, you first need to know what those strengths are. One assessment commonly used for this is CliftonStrengths. This assessment can help you and your team determine your unique strengths and how they rank for each individual. Having this information in hand can help you build better relationships among employees and thrive in your daily work.

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By Emily Kassmeier

Project & Marketing Manager

Emily can often be found reading, enjoying the outdoors with her dog, and trying to keep her houseplants alive.