How to build a culture that caters to employees’ strengths

Merely knowing in what areas your workers excel is not enough. Consider these insights from Gallup on how to consistently edify, empower and educate your most precious resource.

Creating a strengths-based culture

What sort of company culture do employees find irresistible?

According to Gallup’s new book, “It’s the Manager,” creating a “strengths-based” culture that consistently sharpens, challenges and empowers your staffers is the key to long-term success, productivity and engagement.

The book offers five steps toward building a strengths-based culture:

1. Start with the CEO, or it doesn’t work. Beyond dictating the importance of staffers’ bettering themselves, your honchos should communicate—and demonstrate—how they maximize personal strengths. Execs must lead by example and walk the talk for employees to follow suit.

2. Require every employee to discover their strengths. According to the book: “Strengths measurement gives teams a common language to talk about how they can collaborate and perform effectively.” Communicators should push internal teams to take stock of what specific talents and skills each person brings to the table.

3. Build an internal network of “strengths coaches.” Every football team in the country has strength coaches on staff who strive to make players faster, better and more durable—so why don’t companies take a similar tack? The book conveys that internal strengths coaches should serve as helpful confidants to managers, providing tools, resources and feedback to help them track their team’s progress. These “coaches” can operate as “internal consultants” who are dedicated to improving the performance and productivity of each employee.

4. Integrate strengths into performance management. If your company still does performance reviews, consider adding some sort of “strengths assessment” metric into your formula or process. Employees should receive a consistent, tangible update on how they’re progressing (or regressing) in this regard.

5. Transform your learning programs. Everyone’s going to have tasks that aren’t in their wheelhouse. However, the idea is to “maximize the time employees spend using their strengths” toward meaningful business objectives.

For more tips on workplace issues that can enlighten and challenge communicators of all stripes, learn more about “It’s the Manager” here.

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