How important is it to focus on employee strengths or weaknesses? Which works best?
There’s a reason why managers’ focus on strengths and weaknesses is so important. Most organizations are obsessed with fixing weaknesses. They consequently conduct performance reviews, 360-degree assessments and they like to evaluate how well employees and managers are measuring up to predefined goals and competencies.
Managers are instructed to look at an employee’s assessed gap and coach for greater performance in areas of weakness. The goal is to raise awareness of deficiencies and encourage progress toward a set standard, building strength where it is lacking. An executive coach, an offsite training program and in-house learning programs may be assigned.
Such assessments, however, usually pay only cursory attention to an employee’s strengths. The assessment,performance review and subsequent remedial programs focus instead almost exclusively on gaps or weaknesses.
Focus on What Works
Too many managers assume that employees need to be good at many things, rather than excellent in key areas — a decidedly negative view of human capital.
More recent studies in behavioral sciences and organizational performance have firmly established that focusing on what works, followed by a program to scale it to greater levels, is a more practical and efficient approach to developing people and performance.
Our training and coaching emphasize a positive, strength-based approach. Our processes are unlifting, enthusiastic and practical — some say inspiring.