Employee Strengths & Weaknesses | Building a Stronger Team
Working as a team can be highly beneficial. There are more people to share in the work, different perspectives on issues, and more people to bounce ideas off of. But as anyone who has ever worked with a team knows, everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. However, channeling someone’s strengths and helping them learn from their weaknesses can help create stronger employees.
Using an employee’s strengths
We all have strengths – things that we’re good at, that we excel at, and/or that we have the education to do. Each person’s strengths will be different. Even if two people have the same education and experience, their strengths will still be different and they’ll each have their own perspectives. One person may be more detail oriented, whereas one might be more suited to see the big picture.
It’s important to find out your employee’s strengths, because it helps them become an important asset to your team. There are lots of “tests” out there that will help you to find out strengths. But some things to consider:
- Detail oriented
- Goal setter
- Good at verbal communication
- Good at written communication
- Hard working
You can have employees write down some of what their strengths are and then ask other employees what they are good at. Create a list for each employee. This can help you determine what role they should be playing on the team.
One popular strength-finding test is Strengths Finder.
Understanding an employee’s weaknesses
As mentioned above, everyone has weaknesses or areas that can be improved. If you’re constantly throwing an employee into situations that don’t highlight their strengths, but instead highlight their weaknesses, it makes it nearly impossible for them to succeed. For example, if you have an employee that excels at the written word, but you’re constantly asking them to speak in meetings on the spot or communicate with clients on the phone, they may seem lacking. However, if you ask them to write your emails and news briefs, they might excel. Not to mention, if you’re constantly throwing someone into situations which are highly uncomfortable for them and in areas that they aren’t great at, they might lose confidence and not be as passionate about the work.
This is not to say that employees should never do things that are uncomfortable for them. Without being uncomfortable and trying new things, they won’t grow and learn new skills. Rather, it’s just a recommendation to be cognizant of someone’s strengths and weaknesses so that you’re not only highlighting someone’s weaknesses.
You may have a highly skilled employee that is not getting a chance to utilize their skills to the best of their ability. Therefore, your company is losing out on potential opportunities.
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