Guest Blog- Talent Management: The Strengthsfinder Differential

Guest Blog- Talent Management: The Strengthsfinder Differential

What is the Strengthsfinder?

“What will happen when we think about what is right with people rather than fixating on what is wrong with them?”

This is the question that Psychologist Donald O. Clifton asked in the 1950’s.  Over the next four decades and countries across the world, Clifton dedicated his life to assessing, understanding and communicating the talent patterns existing within each of us. The research uncovered the language of Strengths, which, today is found in the Clifton Strengthsfinder, an online assessment.  The Strengthsfinder measures the presence of 34 talent themes universally found in all people but appearing in varying degrees within individuals.    It starts with the top five most dominant talent themes as a catalyst for sparking individual and group excellence.  Besides accessing it online, it can also be accessed through the Amazon Bestselling book: Strengthsfinder 2.0, By: Tom Rath.  The positive outcome based results, as noted through years of Gallup’s research within larger organizations focusing on strengths, are quite telling:

  • People who use their strengths are 3 times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life.
  • People who use their strengths are 6 times as likely to be engaged in their jobs.
  • People who learn to use their strengths every day have 7.8% greater productivity at work.
  • Teams who receive strengths feedback have 8.9% greater profitability.

Why is this the case?

Gallup’s research over the years consistently shows that organizations focused on Strengths enjoy a higher level of employee engagement.  Some of these organizations utilize Strengths to evaluate employee performance, manage and build teams, on-board new team members, and coach executive leadership.  When the Strengthsfinder is applied and developed in organizations, employee talent is recognized, developed, targeted and aimed.  It provides a language in which to connect and understand self and team-mates, and focuses on getting the best out of self and others.  When applied by managers, the Strengthsfinder empowers managers with knowledge and skills to maximize employee engagement through providing the skills and knowledge needed to drive performance.  Ultimately, employee engagement drives productivity and productivity drives profitability, which in turn drives shareholder value.  When people feel like they get to really contribute in a way that utilizes their talents each day, and their needs are met, so they can effectively contribute, we have the recipe for engagement.  Nearly 12 million people have taken the Strengthsfinder, with about 5000 new assessments taken daily.  When leaders focus on strengths, Gallup’s research indicates common team member characteristics include:

  • Team members look forward to going to work
  • They have more positive than negative interactions with co-workers
  • These team members treat customers better
  • They will tell their friends they work for a great company
  • Daily, they will Achieve more
  • Team members focused on strengths have more positive, creative and innovative moments

The decades of data indicate that focusing on strengths makes a lasting impactful difference.  The ability to identify Talent is the critical first step, but what you focus on through practice, coaching and development is what moves the needle forward, taking those talents to strengths and organizations from Strong People to Strong Organizations.

About the Author:

DV speaking 2Darren Virassammy is Co-Founder and COO of 34 Strong Inc. a leader in Strengthsfinder training and consulting. 34 Strong works with organizations across the United States in developing teams around talent to optimize performance and maximize results.

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