A key ingredient to business success is being able to use each employee’s strengths to contribute to the overall mission of your company. Honestly evaluating employees’ strengths and weaknesses can help you steer your company toward efficiency and success, as well as provide material for employee performance reviews. Once you recognize each employee’s strengths, you can place employees in positions in which they can make use of them.
Performing Employee Assessments
Identifying your employees’ strengths and weaknesses is the first step to increasing efficiency at work. Everyone brings different skills and abilities to work and some may not be used currently but can be once you identify them. Some common employee strengths include loyalty, hard work ethic, humor, flexibility, ambition, excellent written communication, excellent verbal communication, creativity, tech-savvy, thinking outside of the box, strong interpersonal skills, persuasiveness and industry-specific skills and knowledge. Make a list of your employees’ strengths and have your managers help if you have a large list of employees.
Utilizing Employees’ Strengths
The best managers place employees in positions in which they can best use their strengths and build on them. Revise job descriptions, switch employees’ positions, add or change responsibilities, and do what you need to in order to place employees in positions where they can succeed and use their skills. Focus on the positives and how you can build on each employee’s unique strengths. If an employee is good with people, for instance, devise ways the employee can become more involved with people in your business, like working in customer service to answer calls or replay to emails.
Working on Employee Weaknesses
Evaluate your employees’ weaknesses as well. Consider factors such as tardiness, communication problems, lack of enthusiasm or drive, poor comprehension of materials or programs, and difficulty getting along with others. Work with each employee to come up with measurable goals for improvement. Devise a system to track each employee’s progress and check in regularly.
If an employee has a problem with attendance or tardiness, for instance, create an attendance chart and offer positive reinforcement – such as praise or recognition – for good attendance each week. For employees with technical problems or a lack of understanding, offer training on computer programs or systems. Other ways to track employees’ progress may include having employees keep track of their daily or weekly sales numbers.
For more subjective areas, such as people skills, consider holding office seminars on topics such as diversity, compromise or communication or paying for employees to attend training. Offer incentives for the training – such as lunch for all participants or a certificate. If you need help offering feedback to employees, have your managers work with employees to set and track goals.
Communicating with Employees
Often employees may be unclear of what is expected of them or may not feel appreciated and valued for their contributions to your company. Sit down with each employee once a quarter for a formal performance review. Don’t focus on weaknesses that can’t be fixed but instead offer praise for strengths and encouragement for areas that can be improved. Let your employee know what you see as her strengths, how they have helped your company and ways in which she can use her strengths to benefit herself and your company in the future.