A Simple way to find your employees’ strengths 🐜 💪

Companies who home in on employees’ talents see more success. Here's a simple way to find employee strengths.
A Simple way to find your employees’ strengths 🐜 💪
By
Gary Willmott

Focusing on strengths is a strength in and of itself. Companies experience more success when they concentrate on developing an employee’s best skills, instead of just trying to fix his or her weaknesses.

Always start with Why

“Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?” — Benjamin Franklin

A July 2016 survey from Gallup found that strengths-based companies realised better sales, profit and customer engagement.

This idea of strengths-based employee development originates from the concept that some people are more effective at some things than others. Employers are becoming aware that employees tend to be happier and more productive when they are performing a task or project that is more aligned with their strengths.

In fact, Ray Dalio (one of the richest and most influential men in the world and founder & chairman of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund) believes in playing to employees’ strengths so much, that he developed his own strengths finder program based on Baseball cards. 🃏

Problem

Most of these strengths-based programs are great, however they tend to be expensive 💰 and fairly time consuming ⏰ for most companies, especially startups.

How

Step 1: Recognise

Ask each team member to recognise at least 1 person every day. Explain to the organisation that they must be specific on why they gave the recognition, how it made them feel and the benefit it added to the company and team.

Eg. of Poor Recognition

“Thanks for helping with the end-year function.”

Eg. of Good Recognition
“Tim went out of his away to assist us with setting up the company end year function. He is a great team player and a joy to work with.”

There are many methods you can use for recognition in the workplace, from dropping a piece of paper in a box 🗳️, to asking everyone to fill in an online form 🖱️.

Try using Hi5 for this, it will help you automate the process.

Step 2: Filter

Gather and filter the data according to each person that has received recognition. If one person received once a day, they should have received ±20 pieces of recognition that month.

Step 3: Decide on Benchmarks

Decide which strengths you would like to benchmark the person on. I suggest measuring them against the company values as a start.

Note: If you don’t have a set of values, use our free tool called Values Creator to inspire and vote up as a team.

Step 4: Score

Look for keywords that highlight the strengths of the employee and against your decided benchmark.

Example

“Tim went out of his away to assist us with setting up the company end year function. He is a great team player and a joy to work with.”

Every time you see a strength in the conversation, highlight it and assign a point per strength,

Eg.
Term: “team player” = Value: Collaborative +1
Term: “out of his away” = Value: Results Orientated +1
Term: “joy to work with” = Value: Collaborative +1

You can use 👃 Scenty to help you score each of these, just copy+paste the recognition copy in the text field.

Step 5: Total Up

Total up their scores matched against their strengths and insert them into a table. We use Google Sheets for this.

Your table will look something like the below, showing the different strengths of each co-worker in the company:

If you would like a copy of this template, mail us at help@get5.io 💌

Conclusion

Measuring strengths is the easy part. It might look pretty and organised 🎀, but now the most important task is to ensure that you assign people to teams, projects or tasks that match their strengths more appropriately.

Look at the example above again: Sue scored very high in Results-Orientated and Adaptability, but very low in Detail Orientation. This means she will probably flourish on short projects in Sales or Marketing, but will most likely end up frustrated and ineffective in a Customer Support or QA role.

Good luck! If you have any other methods that are simple and effective, please let me know. Remember to mail us if you’d like a copy of our template.