Do you think that people in a strong team must relentlessly attack their weaknesses in order to excel?
Do you feel that team productivity relies on the one perfect way to execute every role?
If you hold these truths to be self-evident because your HR compliance team tells you so, then you're missing out on the opportunity to build an energized, high-performance team based on individual employee strengths.
Compliance Kills Engagement
Many managers believe that everyone in the same role (and even different ones) should operate in the same way, especially those in your friendly human resources department.
This developmental compliance philosophy emphasizes task-control over results-generation. It dictates that people must eradicate their weaknesses so as to be interchangeable.
Performance reviews are designed to identify shortcomings so employees can spend countless hours developing identical "competencies."
What does this mindset have to do with developing new accounts, products, or markets? Not much.
Companies that practice developmental compliance are pushing a boulder uphill. Employees passively accept edicts from management and execute only when called to account, which cannot (and should not) be done every second of the day.
Worse yet, people often act on their own- in a completely uncoordinated way- to avoid this energy-depleting, controlling approach... not a recipe for a strong team.
Leveraging Strengths Will Wake You Up
There is a better way. By recognizing employee strengths and developing the innate talents of each person, managers can get people excited, energized, and positive about their work.
People focus and excel more naturally when capitalizing on their strengths than when struggling with weaknesses and tasks that drain them... and team productivity increases.
In their book, Now, Discover Your Strengths, authors Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton state "That excellent performers must be well-rounded is one of the most pervasive myths we hope to dispel in this book."
They develop revolutionary tools to understand, identify, and classify individual strengths which, they believe, is the foundation of a strong team.
Pay Attention and Make Good Things Happen
How do you build a strengths-based team? Once you understand how to qualify strengths, identify what strengths your best performers bring to their roles.
Where you can, select team members by recognizing employee strengths akin to the best people in the role. Organize the team so that employees work in areas where they are instinctively driven to excel. Fine-tune team productivity by overlapping talents to cover and cancel out individual weaknesses.
Empower people to concentrate on what they do best and you will create an energized, high-performing team that continually generates results.
Where does your company prioritize compliance over getting the best out of people? How does that hurt your combined results? What would your workplace be like if people could put their strongest talents to work every day?