Employees want to succeed in their work, and you as their manager can guide them to that level. To be successful as a manager, I would suggest that you focus more on the employee’s strengths than their weaknesses. Since we tend to get more frustrated by what an employee is not doing, we can fail to recognize the value that they bring to the table. In another blog entry, I will focus on how to deal one-on-one with an employee’s weakness.
Now back to strengths. You should have a list of employees and each of their strengths. That’s your master list of the current strengths of your team. How do they match up to what you need to drive your business unit? If you are driving the sales efforts in your company, you need a team with strong communication skills. However, do they also respect each other on the team? The balance between initiative in growing sales and team building is critical. If your employees lack in teamwork skills, you have low morale and turnover problems.
What about Position (Job) Knowledge…does each know what they are supposed to do and are they doing it. You may have different levels of seniority on your team, with some new employees just learning the ropes. Do you have enough job knowledge to meet the daily demands of the business?
Creativity is an appealing attribute in that not all employees have it. It depends on your business whether this is a critical attribute. If your company positions itself as innovative, and the person is working as a designer, well creativity is an essential function of their role. If they are working in the Accounts Payable Department, quality may be a critical function of their position. It all depends on your business unit to decide what strengths are essential for each member of your team. By the way, “quality” is usually a critical function of all positions.
Now that you know the strengths of your team members see if there are any gaps in what you need and what you have in your employees. You may decide that there are three critical attributes that all members of your team must have for you to be successful in driving your business. Do they all have strengths in that area and at what level? Are they all exceptional or a mixture of exceptional and acceptable? If they are unsatisfactory, well that is a different discussion and will be addressed in another entry.
Keep in mind that employees perform at different levels. Just because an employee is ranked as acceptable doesn’t mean they are not meeting the essential functions of their job. It is essential to ponder whether you can help them elevate their strength a little more without hindering the current level of proficiency.
Strengths and Weaknesses of Employees