You're a conscientious, passionate leader who cares about creating a quality product or service. You also care about employee productivity, happiness, and retention. These things shouldn't conflict with each other; a satisfied, stable workforce means good things for your bottom line. A vital part of taking care of your employees is a deep knowledge of their strengths, and the ability to encourage their use on the job. Read on for several ways to discover and leverage strengths.
1. Provide Resources
Employees will feel empowered when they have all the resources they need to do their jobs well. They not only need detailed information regarding best practices for their specialty but also organization-wide operation manuals that identify and address safety, security, maintenance, daily duties, and more. To find helpful guides outlining what's needed in most companies, do a search using terms such as operational facilities management to find useful information.
2. Administer Inventories
Self-awareness helps employees identify and leverage their areas of strength and weakness. Your knowledge of these areas will assist you in supporting, encouraging, and guiding your workers. Tests and inventories such as the DiSC (dominance, influence, steadiness, conscientiousness) assessment, the CliftonStrengths assessment, and the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory) are commonly used in the workplace to help employees and leaders in their professional and personal lives.
3. Observe Objectively
Give your new employees a chance to settle in and get comfortable in their work environment. Casually and objectively, observe how they go about doing their job. Notice how they interact with their co-workers. Refrain from micro-managing. Be encouraging, and set a good example. It's also a good idea to put new employees close to competent, compassionate co-workers who have similar job responsibilities.
4. Encourage Conversation
As your new employee gets oriented, make it clear that you're available for questions and concerns. You'll get a sense of how they think, reason, and solve problems. Also, it's an opportunity to form a solid relationship so you get a better idea of specific strengths and areas of growth. While an open-door policy might seem like a time-waster, it does help improve employee morale in the long run. Keep specific open office hours to preserve time for your deep solitary work.
5. Look at the Stats
Whatever field you're in, there are measurable objectives and goals that each employee aims for. Take a look at the stats for your new employee as you near the end of their first quarter. Where does your worker seem to be excelling? This is important information for you, as it might drive your future decision-making. Also, keep an eye on deficient areas so you can quickly offer support or backup.
6. Notice Effort
Most employees have a favorite aspect of work where they excel. They make an extra effort, but the task or way of being seems natural. This might relate to their relational style, a type of project, or a specific mode of working. Make note, and think of ways that you can help your employee build on these strengths. In the future, it might be an area of promotion or leadership.
7. Listen To Conversations
Do you ever sit on a bench and people-watch? Bring that same attitude in your listening to employee conversations. The most casual interactions will give you a lot of information about worker dynamics, individual gifting, and unique personality characteristics. Also, casual conversations will give you an early heads-up about potential problems or issues.
Getting to know your employees' strengths requires keen observational skills and curiosity about the way others tick. Give these suggestions a try to help the process along.