Productivity

Why You Should Play To The Strengths Of Your Staff

Smarter Staff
Smarter Writer

This article has been written by the Smarter Business™ Staff Writers

Smarter Staff
Smarter Writer

This article has been written by the Smarter Business™ Staff Writers

This burgeoning area of psychology research shows what is more productive for business leaders to focus on than trying to improve weaknesses.

karate kids
You get a lot more engagement when people are working with their strengths, because they are doing something that energises them. When we’re energisd by something we add discretionary effort, we want to do more work, we want to contribute and all of these factors lead to an organisation flourishing.

- THERESE TOOHEY, TTCO

Are You Making this Deadly Mistake with Your Staff?

Therese Toohey, founder of facilitation and coaching agency TTCo, coaches executives and teams to build strengths, leadership skills and emotional intelligence. She says our strengths are defined as not only those tasks we are good at but, importantly, as the tasks that give us energy.

“When people are working with their strengths and talents, they’re-energised,” says Toohey. "Ensuring that employees are working with their strengths is a vital skill for a successful business leader," she adds

Toohey says it is important for leaders to take notice of people’s strengths and to shift jobs across teams to maximise them.

“So often we try to shoehorn people into particular job descriptions as they are written, rather than changing a job to work with a person’s strengths so people can bring energy to what they do,” reasons Toohey.

A Crash Course In Psychology - How to Know Your Staff are Happy

Research has found that people display a range of behaviours when working with their strengths, including having more animated facial expressions, rising voice, strong posture, expressive gestures and use of metaphors.

Toohey says it’s important to pay close attention to staff to gauge their strengths and weaknesses.

“Listen to someone talk about what they do. If you see them light up, get animated, talk more quickly, they are talking about something they enjoy doing,” she says.

“If they seem flat, their shoulders drop, then generally it’s because they are talking about something they don’t enjoy. It just depletes their energy.”

How to Approach Both Strengths and Weaknesses In Your Staff

One of the advantages of improving strengths rather than weaknesses is that it is easier and more fun because people are engaged and energised.

“If you spend 60 hours improving your weakness you’ll get a bit of growth, but if you spend 60 hours improving a strength, you’ll achieve exponential improvements,” says Toohey.

However, this does not mean weaknesses should be completely ignored, and Toohey imparts it’s important to identify if any of your own weaknesses or a staff member’s weakness may put the business at risk.

“If a weakness could cause a risk, then you need to find a way of diminishing that risk, perhaps by developing a new skill or delegating someone to that task who is energised by it.”

Biswas-Diener describes it by metaphor: “Managing weaknesses will keep your ‘boat’ from sinking, and it is therefore important to address weaknesses before the metaphorical leak gets out of control. Strengths, by contrast, act more like the sails of a sailboat and are more responsible for pushing a person toward their goals.”

Man filming a video
Trends
3 businesses that are winning with video

Video technology has helped a lot of businesses deliver their services – and remain operational – throughout COVID-19. And for many, adopting this technology is not a Band-Aid ...

Man viewing furniture using augmented reality technology
Tech
Tech
Tech evolution: 3 ways to elevate your business

The pace at which technology is developing has made staying up-to-date more accessible, affordable and easier than ever. Adopting digital tools for your business could help str...

Man delivering packages
Trends
Conscious consumption: Even online, consumers choose local

Consumer behaviours and attitudes shifted in many ways as COVID-19 enveloped our reality. But one sentiment has become clear: consumers want to support local businesses, even w...

Woman practices yoga at home
Productivity
Productivity
Working from home: Habits for a healthy mind, body and business

Health and productivity are inextricably linked. So how can you ensure you’re setting yourself and your staff up for success while working from home?