Strength is a word that indicates power in many ways, whether it’s physical, like bench pressing 200 lbs, mental, or material strength — tough as steel, or using the talents we all were born with.
When you’re operating in your strengths zone doing what you feel great about doing, life flows, and you feel awesome. Engaged in life, contributing to others, and open to possibilities, you’re feeling connected to a bigger “purpose” or mission and confident in what you bring to the table.
You’re having fun with your team, ideas are flowing, communication is open, and the business is growing. You and your team have created a work environment where you feel great; everyone gets acknowledged weekly, if not daily, for your contributions, not just for the dollars sold.
Is this your current reality?
In the most recent update of the Global State of the Global Workplace by Gallup®, 85% of the workforce are performing below their potential, with only 15% actively engaged! That number alone illustrates to me that the current systems are not working, and that’s a high price to pay for any company.
Having spent most of the last 30 years in fast-growing entrepreneurial companies, I’ve worked in workplaces with a higher engagement percentage. Having co-workers that you actually like working with, that are passionate about the company, growing it as a team, and where they know that their individual contributions matter.
I’ve also experienced what happens when you take engaged people for granted and allow the unengaged, or complainers, to influence the workplace and create toxic environments or promote people that aren’t equipped to manage people. With that, ideas stifle engagement decline, and unnecessary drama results in performers, rather than non-performers, leaving the company.
Acknowledge the People That Perform
Everyone on the team matter; acknowledge them for their contributions to building a strong team. When you see someone do something great, let them know. It’s very possible that they don’t know as it might be in their blind spot and unique to them, just as how you approach anything is unique to you. Strengths are all the things that come easily for us that we may not know have value.
Nurture the people that consistently perform and create incentives; it’s not always about promotions. Ask your team how they define success, and you’ll get an idea of how to reward them.
Pay Attention to Non-Performers
Identify and talk to the unengaged and see what’s missing for them, what tools they need to be engaged, and perform if it’s doable and if not, consider terminating. The impact of toxic people in a work environment is costly.
Shifting into a strengths-based culture doesn’t mean that you don’t need to look at weaknesses, especially if these are part of your role. When you focus on what you have a natural talent for and invest your time there, engagement tends to happen automatically, and with that confidence and increased performance.
Once you really get what you bring everywhere (life & business), it becomes really easy to delegate what you suck at and appreciate the people that are great at it more than ever.
So, where do you start?
If you own the company or are in management, it starts with you. I recommend reading the newly released book called “It’s the Manager” from Gallup® (May 2019).
Take the CliftonStrengths® Assessment (how you’re hardwired to approach anything), add the BP10™ (what type of entrepreneurial talents you have, aka where your business building talents lay), and hire a coach that you click with to walk you through what it all means. To date, I have not met anyone who has resisted the results; rather, they all say, “yep, that’s me.” So, why not start with your talents, see how you’re using them, and then roll them out to your team?
As with anything, it’s not a one-time fix, as life is constantly in motion with new possibilities being presented. What would it look like to have a team that not only has fun together but one that performs consistently and is engaged? What value would that create for your business?
Here are THREE actions that you can take this week without even taking the assessment:
1. Send out a brief survey
2. Read this article
3. Carve out time for a weekly performance pow-wow
Try it, and let me know how it goes!
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