Unfortunately, workers rarely get to use their signature strengths around the office. If they did, they’d see their responsibilities as not just a job but a true calling. In simple terms, signature strengths can be compared to career-related DNA. Like genetic cells, they differ from one person to the next and everyone has them; they’re what help ease the flow of a given role by allowing its everyday challenges to directly correlate with each person’s ability to meet them. It’s this kind of synergy that enables workers to fill compatible jobs, apply skills and contribute to a company’s success in ways that are specific to the individual.
How often do we take the time to accurately assess the unique imprint of the personalities of our people? Why do we so often feel helpless or unprepared when employees fall prey to burnout, struggles and lack of motivation?
A business acquaintance recently faced this very dilemma. He was starting to see a marked rise in employee dissatisfaction, particularly among his youngest workers. With each passing day, their disinterest on the job became more obvious and more detrimental to group productivity; it was clear he needed to quickly implement some innovative methods to engage this particular group of workers.
I advised him that the easiest way to enhance morale and grow business is to uncover each employee’s signature strengths and talents – and then utilize them! These innate characteristics are usually undetectable in an interview but they are the springboard to each worker’s day-to-day success and satisfaction.
After administering the Omnia® Profile behavioral assessment on these employees, the results were astounding. To the manager’s surprise, he discovered a priceless treasure of previously untapped talent among his junior staff. For example, one employee was a strong public speaker and fast-paced individual who, when paired with a similar colleague, was able to design and lead a fresh, revamped marketing program, one based on networking and presentations with an emphasis on enhanced community partnerships. It was a win-win situation for both the previously discontent employee and the business.
Delving into a worker’s unique traits and passions and discovering what lies beneath his or her surface leads to better alignment with the right career choice. It also enhances two-way communication and sparks a genuine desire to excel that may otherwise go unnoticed.
How can you lower your risk of employing unhappy, unproductive workers?
Tailor roles at your institution to the signature strengths of your individual employees. Emphasize service over sales for those who may not have the competitive nature and risk-taking mindset needed to push hard to convince prospects and close deals. Be sure the person overseeing a staff possesses supervisory skills, knows how to correctly motivate others and has a genuine desire to work with people. Project management versus people management is often the answer for someone assertive and self-driven but not highly sociable.
Get to know your existing and potential employees. The more comfortable they are in a given role the more likely they’ll be to stay loyal and give back to you.