Using a strengths-based method in management can help your organization succeed.

A length of chain with a red link has other lengtha of chain attached to the red link. Symbolizing strength.What are you naturally good at? Math? Writing? Data analysis? We all have talents that help us stand out and succeed. Wouldn’t it make sense for organizations to recognize and utilize our talents rather than trying to force us into predetermined roles? The answer, as it turns out, is a resounding yes.

Research by Gallup has found that organizations that engage in strengths-based development of employees realize significant advantages.*

What is strengths-based development?

Simply put, strengths-based development is the practice of identifying each employee’s key strengths, developing those strengths, and putting employees in positions where they can best utilize their strengths. It 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 someone who is 7 feet 1 inch tall at point guard for a basketball team, so why would you put someone who excels at engineering in the sales department? Matching employees with positions where they can naturally excel is better than trying to shove them into positions that don’t fit them well.

What are the advantages of strengths-based development?

According to Gallup’s research, organizations that practice strengths-based development improve their business outcomes in a number of measurable ways. Compared with businesses following other methods of employee development, strengths-based companies experience increases in sales, profits, and customer and employee engagement. Similarly, strengths-based companies can decrease turnover and the number of safety incidents they experience.*

What are some keys to strengths-based development?

Given the strong results of strengths-based development, why doesn’t every company follow the model? While some companies are set in their ways, many others simply don’t know how to identify and develop employee strengths. Here are some places to begin.

Give Your Employees a Strengths-Assessment Test
There are many tests that can help your employees identify their strengths. Gallup recommends the CliftonStrengths assessment, which is the culmination of more than 50 years of research.

Fit Projects to Skills
Don’t just assign projects blindly. Consider the skill sets of team members and work to give employees projects that align with their abilities and passions. One way to do this is to allow employees more say in which projects they work on.

Embrace Diversity
When hiring, bring in people with a wide variety of backgrounds. This will help ensure you have employees with diverse understandings and interests, which will provide your organization with a wide breadth of insights and skills. The more variety you have in your workforce, the more opportunity you’ll have to align employees with their strengths.

Empower Everyone
Allow your employees to explore new ideas and make mistakes along the way. Also, listen to employee feedback and adjust accordingly. If employees feel as if they have a stake in the organization, they will be more likely to focus their core talents and give you their best work.

How can you become a leader in employee development?

The suggestions above represent just a tiny fraction of the many ways to develop successful employees. For a better understanding of employee development, consider earning a management degree. With the right degree, you can position yourself to become a leader in management theory and practice.

What is the right degree? Three top picks are a PhD in Management, a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA degree), and a Doctor of Information Technology (DIT). These doctoral degrees can help you gain the in-depth understanding you’ll need to lead future improvements in employee development, including strengths-based development. And the best part is, thanks to online education, you don’t even have to give up your current job to enter a doctoral or PhD program.

When you enroll in an online DBA program, a Doctor of Information Technology program, or an online PhD in Management program, you can complete the majority of your coursework from home using a flexible, convenient learning platform that’s accessible at any time, from anywhere with an internet connection—which is ideal for those working full time. If you’re like the many who want to advance your career without taking significant time off work, an online PhD program or doctoral program can be the perfect solution.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering online Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), PhD in Management, and Doctor of Information Technology (DIT) degree programs. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.


*Gallup, “Why Aren’t All Organizations Strengths-Based?” on the internet at www.gallup.com/opinion/gallup/196595/why-aren-organizations-strengths-based.aspx?g_source=CATEGORY_LEADERSHIP&g_medium=topic&g_campaign=tiles.

†Gallup, CliftonStrengths, on the internet at www.gallup.com/products/170957/clifton-strengthsfinder.aspx.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

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