After surveying a random sample of over 1,000 employees, research company Gallup found that when workers feel supervisors are focusing on their strengths, they’re remarkably less likely to be actively disengaged at work.
Just one per cent of employees with strength-orientated managers admitted to being actively disengaged and 61 per cent said they were engaged.
In comparison, employees who felt their supervisor focused primarily on their weaknesses were far more likely to be unmotivated – 22 per cent admitted they were actively disengaged and 45 per cent said they were engaged.
However, it seems sitting on the fence is the worst management tactic to make – an alarming 40 per cent of employees who said their leader didn’t focus strengths or weaknesses revealed they were actively disengaged. Just 2 per cent said they were engaged.
Gallup management expert Susan Sorenson offered some advice for leaders trying to adopt a strength-centric management style:
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- Don’t assume that employees know their strengths – people often take their most powerful talents for granted or may be unaware of them.
- Find ways to apply strengths in a team setting to achieve common goals. Help co-workers learn and understand each other's strengths and how their talents complement those of others on the team.
- Use team meetings to help team members deepen their understanding of the strengths approach and assign team projects based on employees' strengths.
- Help employees align their greatest talents to the expectations and responsibilities of their roles.
- Incorporate strengths into performance conversations and reviews and help employees set goals based on their strengths.
- Create a community of strengths advocates and champions to act as internal experts who help everyone in the company use his or her strengths.
Employee engagement is the primary focus for many HR professionals and, according to one new survey, there’s a way to get every worker in the zone – well, almost – a measly one per cent might just slip through the net.