Developing Employees’ Strengths Improves Business Operations

Just how important is each individual’s happiness in the workplace? Gallup recently studied the correlation between improvement of business operations and leaders who focus on developing strengths of employees instead of fixing weaknesses. Overall, the study found that the happiness of each individual leads to boosts in engagement, which leads to boosts in the success of the company.

When individuals believe they are using their strengths, they are more likely to report positive feedback and improved quality of life. In the workplace, these individuals are six times more likely to be motivated and engaged within office operations. Furthermore, employees who feel valued are more motivated to go beyond the status quo, leading to improvement in business operations.

Harvard Business Review compiled a list of the seven best practices for optimizing employees’ strengths: 


1. Start with leadership. As the backbone of any company, leaders must implement strategies to make focusing on individuals’ strengths a top priority. Leaders set the culture by example, and the results will trickle down to each department of the company. 

2. Get managers on board. According to the study, around seven in ten employees who believe their managers focus on their strengths are engaged within the workplace.

3. Generate awareness and enthusiasm company-wide. Leaders should communicate the strengths of the organization to the entire company, while praising employees as they maximize their individual strengths. 

4. Be mindful of strengths when creating project teams. Leaders should look at each team member’s strengths when assigning responsibilities. Responsibilities should closely reflect members’ individual strengths. This strategy will help the team to successfully accomplish the overall goal. 

5. Focus performance reviews on the recognition and development of employees’ strengths. When managers provide their employees with positive feedback based on their strengths, employees are more satisfied with their work environment, which leads to better performance.

6. Build a network of strengths experts and advocates. Encourage personnel to support the strengths of peers in the workplace. Create a network of individuals within the company who focus on assisting employees in applying their strengths in different areas.

7. Tie the organization’s strengths-based culture to its larger brand. The culture of this brand will be more appealing to both future job-seekers and clients.

This post was adapted from Harvard Business Review.