One of the most powerful strategies a manager and organization can implement is providing employees with opportunities to apply the best of their natural selves — their talents — as well as their skills and knowledge. This all begins with hiring the right person for the right job. They have identified the needed talents for the job and make the right fit. Promotions are also built around matching the most talented employee with the right job. Great managers have conversations around “what do you do best…what do you like about this job?” Fitting talents to create ‘team-fit’ is much more successful than filling all job descriptions. Just as a great team builds an offense around their great players, great organizations should find ways to build around their talent.
Outstanding performance is a result of all employees knowing what they do best and having the opportunity to do it in their role every day. Regardless of role, having the opportunity to develop one’s strengths is more important to success than the description of the role, a title or even pay.
Only 20% of U.S. workers think their jobs use their talents. Gallup has found that people who do have the opportunity to focus on their strengths each day are six times as likely to be engaged at work, and three times as likely to have excellent quality of life in general. In the Gallup database, organizations that worked to maximum natural talents of employee increased engagement levels of 33% per year. Top work group quartiles also have higher profitability versus low quartile groups by 10-15%.
Managers who align team members’ talents with their job demands experience higher sales, greater profitability, fewer unscheduled absences and lower employee turnover. Teams that focus on strengths every day have 12.5% greater productivity, and team members who receive feedback on their strengths are 7.8% more productive.
5 Things Managers Can Do
Effective team leaders have developed the awareness and skill of conducting ongoing dialogue around talents.