Here at Wpromote, we do something unique to invest in our employees. It is our goal to support employees, provide them with relevant training, and help them achieve professional excellence, not just for Wpromote, but for themselves. In order to fill this tall order, we decided to roll out the StrengthsFinder assessment to each and every employee at Wpromote in 2017.
Gallup, the company where Clifton’s StrengthsFinder was born, has been testing performance management for over 30 years all over the globe. Their studies on “success” cover a variety of verticals from business to education across many cultures. According to a Clifton StrengthsFinder Technical Report:
“Gallup (Black, 2001; Connelly, 2002; Krueger, 2004) reports that client-sponsored studies have provided evidence that strengths-based development relates to various positive outcomes, including increases in employee engagement and productivity. Furthermore, managers who create environments in which employees are able to make the most of their talents have more productive work units with less employee turnover (Clifton & Harter, 2003).”
When considering the StrengthsFinder assessment, the first thing to understand is that it was developed to determine people’s untapped potential. When applied to the workplace, this assessment can have a huge impact! According to Gallup, employees with high engagement/fulfillment are 6x as likely to be successful in their roles. Studies have shown that this, in turn, increases productivity and higher profitability. Obviously, this change is not something that happens overnight; rather, it’s the end goal. So, let’s take a closer look at how Wpromote leverages the StrengthsFinder assessment and results.
How Wpromote uses SF to create a collaborative culture
As you’ve read above, using the StrengthsFinder assessment is a great way to improve the quality of life, quality of work, and retain skilled employees. However, the real takeaway here is that this is a residual effect from increasing personal awareness. There is so much value in increased awareness and compassion: less friction with clients/coworkers, more effective communication, and less stress in the workplace. Doing what you are already good at and enjoy doing starts with identifying what those things are.
- What is a talent, and what are yours? – A talent is defined by Gallup as, “a recurring pattern of thought, feeling, or behavior that can be productively applied.” Talents naturally exist within individuals, and we use StrengthsFinder to identify them. Once an employee is aware of their own personal potential by identifying their strengths, they can learn how to hone them.
- Creating a workplace that has empathy – Mutual understanding of each other’s Strengths can break down friction that occurs through simple communication or work styles. As a result, people are less likely to lay blame at the feet of a person and more likely to assign it to the actual issue, and overcome that issue through teamwork.
- Empowering employees – Teaching employees how to ask for what they need. A core necessity of Strengths coaching is talking with each person about their Strengths when things get hard. Sit in that awkward space and pinpoint exactly what it is that your Strength needs in order to operate in a way that is fulfilling and productive.
- Helping others help you – It goes without saying that each person needs to leverage different Strengths throughout the course of their work. For this reason alone, it is tremendously important to know that your least favorite task could be someone else’s favorite, or even a necessity to feed their Strength. Wpromote also sets aside time for teams and departments to do team building exercises to identify their coworkers’ Strengths and learn how to more effectively leverage one another.
How Wpromote implements StrengthsFinder for personal development
On day one, we have employees take the test! Each of our new hires takes the StrengthsFinder assessment during their first week of onboarding. We also create unique assets for the employee to place on their desk to reference their top 5 and keep them top of mind. This also allows for team members to take a peek and, based on those Strengths, more effectively communicate with or leverage one another.
Every week at Wpromote, all employees have the opportunity to recognize and reward coworkers for their achievements and work ethic by nominating them for the coveted HorseBear award. The winner is announced in our weekly internal newsletter along with the employee’s top 5 Strengths, highlighting their skills.
To really make sure that Wpromote fully utilizes everything StrengthsFinder has to offer, we implement various levels of training. In addition to their introductory session, new hires (as well as more senior employees, of course!) have the option to meet with Anne Brady for a “deep dive” into their top 5. These hour-long 1:1 trainings focus on each employee’s potential and personal development. With these “deep dives,” Wpromote is investing in each employee’s future by giving them tools that are applicable in all life situations and which can be used to improve work/life balance as well as increase overall satisfaction. To build on this foundation, teams and departments also have the opportunity to attend a group training. In these group sessions, employees practice and demonstrate how to effectively leverage complementary Strengths with one another.
Wpromote’s top 5 strengths
An interesting StrengthsFinder insight that we share with all employees is Wpromote’s most common top 5 Strengths:
- Achiever – “People who are especially talented in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.”
- Learner – “People who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.”
- Strategic – “People who are especially talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.”
- Relator – “People who are especially talented in the Relator theme enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.”
- Restorative – “People who are especially talented in the Restorative theme are adept at dealing with problems. They are good at figuring out what is wrong and resolving it.”
For Wpromote, implementing StrengthsFinder has been a huge success, and not just in terms of increased productivity and output. SF enhances our culture and shows our employees that Wpromote is invested in their personal and professional development. We look forward to working with this tool in the coming months and years and finding new ways to leverage it to improve the lives of our employees.