Best Practices of Strengths-Based Companies
Focusing on employee strengths can improve your business management and business administration.
What if your company could attain:
A 10% to 19% increase in sales?
A 14% to 29% increase in profit?
3% to 7% higher customer engagement?
6% to 16% lower turnover?
9% to 15% increase in engaged employees?
22% to 59% fewer safety incidents?
According to research by Gallup, these improvements are possible when a company becomes a strengths-based company.*
What is a strengths-based company?
A strengths-based company is any company that centers its business management on developing employee strengths and putting employees in positions where they can best utilize those strengths. This approach is the opposite of a weakness-improvement-based approach that tries to “fix” employee weaknesses and mold employees to fit specific, predetermined roles. You wouldn’t put your team’s best pitcher in the outfield, so why would you put someone who excels at engineering in the sales department? Strengths-based companies adhere to the logic that matching employees with positions where they can naturally excel is better than trying to shove employees into positions that don’t fit them well.
How can your company become a strengths-based company?
Becoming a successful strengths-based company takes more than simply saying you’ll develop and utilize employee strengths. You must follow best practices and institute changes at multiple levels of your organization.
- Show employees how a strengths-based approach can benefit the employees as much as the company. This is supported by research that shows individuals who use their strengths at work enjoy a greater sense of well-being.†
- Promote the value of individual strengths. When employees focus on their personal strengths, it creates innate company strengths that leadership can leverage to gain competitive advantages.
- Focus on strengths for all aspects of running the company. Company meetings, awards, and even company parties should be based on or focused around promoting and affirming the strengths-based approach.
- Know its own strengths. Each manager should understand their core strengths and the management team as a whole should organize responsibilities so managers can make the best use of their own, personal strengths.
- Encourage employees to use their strengths. Even when employees understand what their strengths are, they often need a manager with strong coaching skills to help them make the most use of those strengths. As a manager, you should make sure employees are focused on the tasks that best suit them and are not wasting time—and emotional energy—fixating on weaknesses.
- Build teams with complementary strengths. When you make sure each member of the team has strengths that will work with—rather than work against—the strengths of other team members, you can help ensure the team performs at its highest possible level.
- Focus feedback on strengths. In a strengths-based company, one of the key jobs of every manager is to make sure employees are growing their strengths and applying them fully. Performance reviews and coaching sessions are your opportunity to make sure you and an employee agree on the employee’s strengths and the best applications for those strengths.
Internal Communications Should:
- Be tailored to the message. In some cases, a company-wide e-mail may be appropriate, but in many other cases, if you want to improve the development or application of strengths, you’ll want to use forms of communication that address employees as individuals with individual needs and strengths.
- Be planned out. A strengths-based management approach requires buy-in at every level of the organization. If you’re planning to roll out a new program/initiative, your first step should be to get support from prominent managers, influential teams, and even high-profile employees. During the rollout, they can help rally the support of everyone else.
- Focus on the how. It’s not enough to tell employees what and why. To make the strengths-based approach work, communications must also explain the how. For example, after explaining what the initiative is and why the company is pursuing it, make sure employees understand how they can use their strengths to make sure the initiative succeeds.
Employee Training Should
- Hire coaches. If you want your employees to recognize and properly use their strengths, you should bring in strength coaches. With good coaching, employees can learn to fully harness their own natural talents to create meaningful results for the company.
How can you learn more about business management and business administration?
Building a strengths-based company takes time and knowledge. If you want to gain the deep understanding of business necessary to make a strengths-based approach successful, you should consider earning an advanced business degree or management degree. While an MBA degree is a popular choice among some, a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA degree)—the terminal business administration degree—can help you gain next-level decision-making and leadership skills, along with an in-depth knowledge of both theory and applied research.
If you’re wondering how you can fit earning a doctorate in business into your busy life, take a look at the online learning options offered by some of the top DBA programs. When you enroll in an online graduate degree program, you don’t have to worry about driving to a campus and attending classes at times that interfere with your other responsibilities. Instead, an online DBA program lets you complete the majority of your coursework from home. Plus, when you choose to enroll in an online DBA degree program, you can take advantage of a flexible learning schedule designed to fit the needs of working adults.
Through an online doctoral program, you can gain the knowledge and skills you need to make your company a strengths-based company.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering an online Doctor of Business Administration degree program. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
*B. Rigoni, et. al., Global Study: ROI for Strengths-Based Companies, Gallup, on the internet at www.gallup.com/businessjournal/195725/global-study-roi-strengths-based-development.aspx.
†S. Sorenson, How Employees Strengths Make Your Company Stronger, Gallup, on the internet at www.gallup.com/businessjournal/167462/employees-strengths-company-stronger.aspx.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.