Strengths vs Weaknesses of Employees
Are you the type of manager that concentrates on the strengths or the weaknesses of an employee? It’s important to know how you are evaluating your employees. Are you a demanding manager who focuses on those areas the employee doesn’t perform as well? Or do you recognize an employee quickly when they are contributing to the team. You will build a stronger team when you manage employees from their strengths.
To build a strong relationship with each member of your team ask yourself:
- Do an employee’s strengths meet the essential functions of the job?
- If there are weaknesses in the employee’s performance are they essential to the productivity of the role?
Do you expect employees be able to do it all. If they have high performance in one area, they should be capable of this level of performance in other areas of their responsibilities. A good example as any Sales Manager will know: a successful sales person faults badly on paperwork. How does a manager handle this issue without impacting the employee’s ability to initiate and close sales?
“Stop Worrying About Your Weaknesses, Focus On Your Strengths” by Susan Tardanico on Forbes.com:
Business culture has long focused on weakness prevention, with managers and leaders spending untold time and energy trying to address deficits in themselves and their employees. It becomes a quest to fill the gaps where one doesn’t have natural capability. Taken to the extreme, it attempts to make people someone they’re not.
An important point made in the article is that you and your employees may not know your strengths. As a manager, you also have strengths and weaknesses, and need to know and accept what you bring to the table before you embark on evaluating the individual members of your team.
- Create a list of your strengths. If the list doesn’t flow easily, go online and research list of strengths or find software that evaluates strengths by answering questions.
- Evaluate each employee and what you perceive are their strengths.
- Ask employees to create a list of their strengths, and if they are having a difficult time, provide them with guidance on how to evaluate their strengths.
- Encourage employees to focus on strengths only because most people, including you as their manager, will easily create a list of weaknesses.
- Take all of your data and now start to analyze the strengths of the team. When there is a discrepancy between your evaluation and the employee’s beliefs, then you need to have a conversation with the employee to insure they are the right fit for the role.
Managing by strengths doesn’t mean that you ignore the weaknesses which could impact the business. Rather you maximize the employee’s contribution and insure that your employees are matched appropriately to the essential functions required for the role. The weaknesses that surface you will evaluate whether they are critical and if the employee has the ability, through training, to increase their effectiveness.
Employees may be strong in a position yet it doesn’t match their core strengths. Regularly evaluate whether they are working from their core strengths because that is the area with the greatest creativity and productivity.
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