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Focusing on Strengths...Part of Our DNA

Greg Kirsch

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What if your workplace focused on what you were doing right instead of what you were doing wrong? What if it was a place that actively let you exercise your talents? What if your manager made an effort to ensure those activities that energize you were part of your daily routine?

Because of our adoption of a strengths-based philosophy, Intouch Solutions is that place!

Study after study affirms the value of a strength-based approach to employee management. Focusing on employees’ strengths definitively leads to positive outcomes, like increased productivity, deeper employee engagement, and enhanced creativity and teamwork. In one study of over 300,000 employees, strength-based work environments led to a 38% higher probably of scoring well on the statement: “I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.” And those same units were 44% more likely to score higher on customer loyalty and employee retention.*

Most likely, this is why our turnover is well below the average for the advertising industry.

We provide every new associate with a copy of StrengthsFinders 2.0, and they take the strengths assessment on day one. The assessment provides the associate with the top five talents at which they excel. For example, I know three of my top five strengths are “Strategic,” “Communication” and “Maximizer.” So it makes sense that as the senior vice president of learning, I love sharing (communication) how to handle various business situations (strategic) with a group of eager associates to make them more effective (maximizer).

Having self-awareness of what talents you have is a great start, but we take it further. Tools on our intranet give suggestions on how you can use those strengths in your job. We build annual goals around them. Walk around our office and you’ll see associates’ top five strengths taped to their workstation walls as a testament to the positive acceptance of what each brings to Intouch.

All managers go through a series of management training sessions, with the strengths-based philosophy as the backbone. We infuse the strengths mindset into every tier of the organization.

And we are continuing to evolve and further develop the effort. Recently our top managers went through a series of training events where they learned not only what energizes them, but also what drains them. Each learned about the dangers of strengths in overdrive and received strategies and tactics on how to use this awareness to be more effective and get more fulfillment from his/her job.

Intouch believes in the value of focusing on individual strengths. It just makes good business sense for us. Plus, it creates engaged and loyal associates. We win. Our associates win.

*Harter, J.K., Schmidt, F.L., and Hayes, T.L. “Business unit level relationship between employee satisfaction, employee engagement and business outcomes: a meta-analysis.” Journal of Applied Psychology. 2002: 87 (2). 268-279.

 

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