Maximizing Worker Potential

Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5WPR

Whether it’s getting the best mortgage loan rate or price on that new car, everyone’s on a constant lookout for the best deal.  The same is likely true for leaders who wish to take their companies to the next level.

Recent research by Gallup uncovered three things that enable companies to achieve this.  Gallup identified a balanced strategy that includes worker engagement, security/health, and strengths-based education and advancement as keys to that success.

Maximizing Worker Potential - Ronn Torossian

Making The Connection

Gallup suggested that merging strengths with engagement and well-being were the pathways to success.  The company pointed to an earlier study they conducted in which they reported that physical wellness alone was not enough.  They pointed to holistic well-being among five critical areas – career, social, financial, community and physical that can quadruple a company’s chances of success. One finding discovered that just 25% of workers felt that their managers ignored them.  Gallup found that managers that focus on employee strengths fostered greater levels of engagement and productivity.  Employees were also motivated to do even better.

Benefits

Companies using strengths-based development experienced increases in engagement across the board – 7% with customers and 15% with employees.  Gallup reported that these companies also saw profits increase 29% while experiencing a 59% decrease in workplace accidents.

Next Steps

Companies wishing to employ strengths-based development first need to assess their current situation and compare it with the national averages.  Only about 49% of workers surveyed by Gallup agreed that they’re able to utilize their best strengths at work each day.  When engagement and well-being were analyzed together, the shortfall exploded to 65% not feeling engaged and having lower well-being.  

Without this knowledge, it’s impossible to move forward.  How does a company manage employee strengths if it’s in the dark about what they are?

The final step is designing a strengths-based development program that takes into consideration the results of the internal assessment and the company brand, goals, values and culture.  What can the company do to improve career, community and social well-being for workers?

These values should be woven into every step of the employee experience from recruitment, on-boarding, training, and development.  It should also include employee exits.  It’s equally important to learn why an employee is leaving for another company, especially if there are some holes or weaknesses in the development program or a competitor is doing a better job at it

As Hamed Wardak, an entrepreneur noted, “Employee communication, too, is important.  Company newsletters need to not only promote what it’s doing, but also the reasons why.  Managers stand at the intersection of company/employee relations need to be especially kept informed and understand the reason for strength-based development.”

With today’s low rate of unemployment, employee dissatisfaction can lead to higher turnover because demand for good workers is greater.  Letting employees know that they’re valuable and that the company recognizes their contributions and is doing something to improve their experience can make a big difference.  91% of workers who quit their last job told Gallup they did so because they wanted a better balance between work and their lives.

 

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