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Do You Know Your Employees Strengths?

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October 18, 2014

blog3Although this seems like an obvious question, recent studies suggest that most managers are not aware of their employees strengths, or are otherwise incapable of leveraging their abilities. Management reviews of employees tend to focus upon improving weaknesses instead of capitalizing on employees strengths for which they were initially hired.

The analysis model of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) demands that organizations step away from constantly focusing on problems and, instead, create an environment where imagination and constructiveness are valued to provide solutions. In open environments, employees would feel comfortable approaching an employer and expressing their personal strengths. Oftentimes, employees strengths are highlighted in interviews, but once they are working as full-time employees, those strengths fade into the background of daily tasks and responsibilities when they could be utilized to maximize those tasks. If an entire group functioned in the manner of seeking to enhance the best qualities of every member in the group, the company would achieve higher levels of performance.

Unfortunately, 80 percent of employees believe that their managers do not capitalize on their personal strengths. David Cooperide, one of the researchers who first developed the concept of AI, refers to this kind of management as “deficit-based.” The term is used because it forces a constant focus on where a company is currently stuck, instead of where it could be in the future.

It is a mystery why most modern companies are run on a deficit-based system. In a way, AI is old-fashioned in the best possible sense. Many of the greatest business strategists and thinkers of the past would claim that the best way to manage people is to combine employees strengths as a collective whole until weaknesses are either minimized or obliterated.

The AI business model encourages a glass half-full approach, helping each individual within an organization develop their potential while seeing the group flourish simultaneously. Employees are happier because they’re doing more of the tasks for which they have a natural skill and talent for; and employers are pleased because they’ve increased productivity and cut down on their margin for error.

The ability to adequately measure employees strengths requires an organization to have a system and infrastructure in place to pinpoint each person’s successes. This infrastructure needs to include processes, training for managers to understand how to measure an employees strengths, and the right Employee Performance Management software tools to support these processes. Jakoba Software can help you turn your employee assessment process into a powerful tool that will help your company achieve measurable, sustainable results. Contact us today to find out we can help you get the most from your employees strengths.

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