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Creating Strength Based Cultures

Creating Strength Based Cultures

Member News Industry News/Information Dena Cordova-Jack

Dena Cordova-Jack

In the workplace, conventional management wisdom follows a similar path. Weaknesses are brought into laser focus and must be “fixed” before focusing on strengths. Kevin O’Leary is right when he says, “The hard truth is, you aren’t going to be great at everything. No one is; it just isn’t feasible.” Humans are not built that way, and trying to be so creates frustration. Happiness, in both our personal lives and professional careers, requires finding the juncture of our passions and our strengths.

Moving towards a strength-based culture, where your team is intentionally built by aligning employee strengths with your company’s performance management philosophy and your company goals, should be considered to both attract and retain employees. A strength-based culture is based upon a simple premise: humans are better at certain things than others, and we, as humans, are happier, engaged at work, and far more productive when we’re using those skills and strengths regularly. As new generations enter the workforce, this type of culture is high on their list of wants in their career.

Studies are beginning to show the wisdom of transitioning to this type of culture and the benefits can bring. Research data by Gallup has found that people who use their strengths every day are:

  • 6x more likely to be engaged at work
  • 3x more likely to enjoy an excellent quality of life
  • 15% less likely to leave their job
  • 8% more productive.

Strength-based cultures do not ignore weaknesses but focus on developing strengths first and managing gaps. It doesn’t mean people do not need to complete the tasks that come with the job that they aren’t necessarily great at, and they shouldn’t give up on achieving a certain level of competency in those gaps. The bottom line is that you can exercise more flexibility in looking at your employees and their positions. It requires thinking outside the job description.

An easy way to assess an employee’s natural strengths is through assessments. The first step is to examine your company goals and performance management strategy. Evaluate your employees’ strengths against those goals. Where do they stack up?

From a performance management aspect, assessments are an excellent tool for both employer and employee, as they can help identify areas of strengths and talents not previously utilized. Could that employee be directed differently to capitalize on their strengths, both to the advantage of the employee and to the company?

Graphing your employees from a strengths competency as you build your teams simplifies the evaluation. You may be surprised that as you continue to develop your team, you may want to diversify your team further to support your company goals.

The resistance that I often hear in moving toward a different kind of culture is a herculean task, and there aren’t enough resources to accomplish that. It is a typical thought process, but the reality is that you can begin with just one employee and then move to the next. Change doesn’t have to be drastic, complicated, or overwhelming. Start small, and watch your team exceed performance expectations.

Dena Cordova-Jack is vice president of organizational development for Misura Group. To learn more about Dena or to learn how she can help your business, visit Misura Group online at

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Source : Dena Cordova-Jack

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