Focus on Your Strengths ?
One of the things that make the business world so exciting and challenging is its inherent potential for personal growth. As a business owner, you will grow through your experience as you plan, organize, manage your company and your employees.
Managing your human capital is equally important as how you manage your financial assets. The book “Now, Discover Your Strengths”, Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton Ph.D., is based on a Gallup study of over 2 million people. It explains how to utilize the diverse pool of talents, skills and ability that each member of your workforce brings to bear on the totality of your business product or service.
The book is geared to shake up your thinking about how you run your company. Each year Business Today magazine publishes a list of the “Ten Best Companies to Work For,” and from the employees’ point of view, recognition of their personal abilities, inclusion in product/service development and freedom to use their skills to the full potential rated high in each of these companies.
In many ways the “revolution” that is discussed in detail in the book has the ability to produce substantial benefits to the company’s bottom line; employee satisfaction increases productivity, improves employee retention and customer loyalty.
By using the “personality theme” concept, employers can identify and learn how to position the members of their staff in positions that will utilize their skills most appropriately. In total there are 34 characteristics that are identified such as “learner,” “developer,” and “achiever.” Employing the techniques in the book, a business owner can effectively match the various tasks of the company with the right group of individuals to perform them.
While there are many books that focus on employee management, very few provide a method to quickly to put the theory to the test. Here is where “Now, DiscoverYour Strengths” breaks away from the crowd and brings the content into the readers’ reality. The reader can complete an interactive questionnaire developed by the Gallup Organization which has been conducting research for 30 years related to the best way to help a person fulfill their potential in an organization. By using this web-based component, business owners can gain insight into their own 5 natural abilities.
The Gallup Organization found that many companies still manage their employees from the perspective that:
1. An employee can be taught almost anything
2. What an employee does not know is where there is the most room for growth.
To quote the authors, “The great organization must not only accommodate the fact that each employee is different, it must capitalize on these differences.” Their book shows clearly how this approach is increasing business productivity as well as reducing employee turnover.
This “strengths revolution” will change business significantly as the principles are embraced by more companies. And business owners are listening; finding qualified employees can be very expensive, it is in their best interest to retain them for as long as possible.
Learning to identify and utilize the natural abilities of each employee to its fullest potential will also reduce training costs. Most organization almost take an apathetic position when a certain area of an employee’s work performance is lacking, opting to send the employee for training instead of focusing on the tasks where they excel.
In this age of entrepreneurship, business owners who take their employees for granted, may begin to lose them to the ever-increasingly attractive idea of working from their home. The need for recognition is one of the basic 5 motivators in human behavior, “Now, Discover Your Strengths” show business owners how they can take this motivator and put it into hyper drive to create a business where everyone recognized as not only being a member of the organization, but responsible to the organization as well.
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