In our 20 years of running a successful creative staffing agency, we’ve met some companies who spend a lot of time and money focusing on an employee’s weakness and helping them overcome those weaknesses through ongoing training.
At Artisan Creative, we decided to focus on our team’s strengths instead. We believe the best way to keep team members engaged and productive is to develop and invest in their individual strengths. By consistently playing to everyone’s natural talents, our team has become better at collaborating and communicating with our clients and talent.
This year we selected StrengthsFinder to create a common platform to build and communicate from. Each team member first took the on-line test and with the help of a certified coach, we reviewed the finer details during an in-person session to help find and align the collective strengths of the team.
This created an open line of communication within our A. Team and has enabled us to better understand ourselves, our behaviors and reactions to situations.
Here are a few pointers from StrengthsFinder that we now use on an ongoing basis:
1. Know your own strengths.
To best develop other people’s strengths, we must first understand our own. Only then can we help our team develop theirs. This applies equally to the candidates we screen and help throughout their careers.
We each have our own unique strengths and no two people are identical — and everyone is at their best when there is a focus on a strengths-based approach to working.
This practice fosters an environment where people feel comfortable discussing their strengths authentically. It also helps recognize team communication, natural strengths and how to maximize those strengths.
2. Understanding one's own strengths gradually leads to effective use of those strengths in the workplace.
We can help our team understand and utilize their strengths in internal communications with other members and external communication with vendors, talent and clients.
By building on one another's strengths and accepting and accommodating differences, teams gain a keen awareness of how their strengths support their peers.
3. Help people who aren't using their strengths.
When people don't apply their strengths to a task or revert to focusing on their weaknesses instead, we can redirect attention to what they do best naturally to create their best pathway for success.
4. Harmonize team strengths.
Any team can be positioned for success when team members understand and leverage one another's strengths. We can further optimize groups by bringing together teams with complementary strengths to balance and improve performance.
5. Keep strengths top of mind.
At Artisan, we review and recap instances where a strength was beneficial in a given situation: For example, how did someone’s strategic talent provide input for a new marketing initiative, or how another team member’s “developer” talent helped one of our talent in their career path.
Understanding one another’s natural strength has enabled us to stay connected, communicative and collaborative.
What strengths do you focus on?