After completing the StregthsQuest survey, I learned that my five greatest strengths are Harmony, Competition, Achiever, Includer, and Communication. Some of these strengths I had previously recognized as a strength, but a few were a surprise to me. Growing up, I was always a competitive person. I enjoyed the thrill of winning, whether it be in a team effort or individual effort. Also, I have always wanted to achieve great things in both my personal and professional life. I believe that I have always been great at communicating with others and love to include others in everything that I do to achieve a goal. The biggest strength of mine that surprised me most was Harmony. However, after reading about each strength, I know how I have utilized these strengths in my life.
In my professional career, I have used both competition and achiever to help me become the number 1 supervisor in my call center and department. According to StrengthsQuest, “Competition is rooted in comparison” (StrengthsQuest, 2000). I was always looking at my competition’s statistics and metrics at my job and comparing my stats to theirs. By tying in competition with the thrill to achieve my goals, I was able to end the entire year of 2013 and 2014 as the number 1 supervisor in my department and call center.
I believe that my strengths in communication and includer go hand in hand based on past experiences. As a manager, it is my job to communicate effectively to my peers, my employees, and my manager. Also, I must get my team of employees to hit their goals in order to be successful and to hit my goals. I want everyone on my team to feel included and as if each one of them make a difference and contribution to the team goals (as they do). As a leader, I group everyone together at one time and lead a healthy discussion. Each month, I use this healthy discussion to include each one of my employees in an open forum where we, as a team, decide what our team goals will be and what actions we are going to take to achieve these goals.
The strength the surprised me the most was Harmony. StrengthsQuest says, “In your view there is little to be gained from conflict and friction, so you seek to hold them to a minimum”
(StengthsQuest, 2000). After reading a more in depth definition of Harmony, I know how I can utilize this strength. In my career, there are many peers and employees who thrive on conflict. By using this strength, I can sit down with both individuals who have a conflict and guide them towards resolution by breaking down what goal we need to work towards and what it takes for us to get there.
In my opinion, I believe there are many steps an organization can take to better develop their employees strengths. I believe that the first thing an organization should do, is to determine what their employees strengths are. I feel that in order to learn what an employee’s strengths are, the employer should do a similar survey as the one I completed on StrengthsQuest. If an organization doesn’t have the finances to have each employee to complete this survey, then they need to sit down and have open dialogue with the employee. By sitting down with the employee one on one, you can ask questions and probe to learn about that individual and their strengths.
Once an employer as learned about their employee’s strength, I believe that the manager should create/develop an action plan for the employee so that they can utilize or better develop their strengths. If someone is great at communicating, give that individual to prepare and deliver a team meeting in front of their peers. By doing this, the employee gets the opportunity to execute and develop on their strength.
Also, I believe that as an organization, we should celebrate and recognize employees for using their strengths. By recognizing and celebrating employees around their strengths and success, it gives them the motivation to continue to use those strengths. By continuing to use their strengths, they are developing themselves and their strengths are being use more and more each day. By celebrating employees, they become happier as the enjoy the recognition from their success. Ultimately, having happier employees creates improvement with performance in their job and company goals.
I believe that there are many potential benefits of having a “strength-based” organization. The biggest result that I have seen from having a strength-based organization is having happier employees and with happier employees leads to better results for the company. I have seen two different types of organizations: one that only focuses on opportunities and weaknesses and one that focuses on strengths and goals. By focusing on opportunities and weaknesses, the managers are constantly breathing down their employees necks and it creates dissatisfaction amongst the employees.
Dissatisfaction in employees leads to poor results within an organization. These employees that are dissatisfied feel as though what they do doesn’t make a difference so, why does what they do matter. By focusing on strengths and goals, the employees are satisfied and happier. They feel as though what they do makes a difference so, they work harder for their company. I am a firm believer that happier employees drive performance and the company produces better results.
By focusing on an employee’s strengths, they know that they are positively contributing to the company and that their results matter. I believe that the frontline employees are what drive a companies success and in order for their to be success the employees must be satisfied with their company/job. By having a strength-based organization, you know what each employee’s strengths are and then you can pair them with other people of different strengths to achieve a greater goal. Ultimately, building on someone’s strengths leads to positive people and positive people leads to happier employees.