5 Ways to Understand Your Staff's Strengths and Weaknesses
JUNE 10,2021 | MANAGEMENT | By SARA KELLY
All of your employees will bring something different to the table, which is a good thing. Having a dynamic and collaborative workplace means you can approach and solve your problems differently. With a dynamic team that understands their own and each others strengths and weaknesses employees can support each other and offer alternative ideas.
Therefore, as a business leader it’s essential to understand each of your employees’ main strengths and weaknesses and how you can assist their development and guide their activities in the workplace.
Strengths and weaknesses of your employees can range depending on experience and character and will develop over time. By understanding your team's core strengths and weaknesses, you will help them realise their potential and achieve substantial growth.
Here are five easy ways to realise the strengths and weaknesses of your team:
1) Listen and Observe
It may look easy, but ensure you are carefully observing and listening to your staff. You can work to uncover certain traits or behaviours that might be considered a key strength or weakness.
2) Past Experience
You may have already done this when interviewing your employee for the position but exploring their experience will be insightful.
You will be able to understand their achievements and failures in their career and find out why. What are the critical skills they’ve learnt? You can then use this information to drive their development and push them to the next level.
3) Ask Directly
Being direct will give you answers straight away, and can be more insightful. Open conversations that allow your employees to self-reflect on their strengths and weaknesses. Staff can realise what they’re good at and areas they could improve.
4) Show Your Human Side
Start regular meetings or catch-ups with your employees and determine their career aspirations, goals, and motivations. Allow staff to make mistakes and offer your support. By knowing this, you will allow your team to grow and learn new skills.
5) Use Peer Feedback
Hold team meetings where others give comment on their peers strengths and weaknesses. This if managed well can be an incredibly valuable exercise and will uncover valuable insights on both the actual strengths and weaknesses, the peer perceived strengths and weaknesses, and the personally perceived strengths and weaknesses.
The key to understanding your team's strengths and weaknesses is to be open and friendly. Allow staff to come to you and be open and constructive in your discussions. Be sure to praise their good performances and allow staff to reflect on poor performances and come to you with feedback. Remember that building a successful team is not spending all your time trying to improve peoples natural weaknesses, work on them where necessary but better still change their tasks / activities to maximise the benefit of their strengths and find a way to minimise the tasks they have that fall into their weaknesses.
As a quick way to track your teams you can create a SWOT analysis that uncovers your employee's key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This will help staff become more self-aware, and you will certainly learn something new about your team. Over time you can map the changes in your team using this system.
Working with your teams strengths and weaknesses will quickly drive improvements in performance, teamwork, and bottom line profitability. Companies implementing these systems tend to have both higher performing, and closer teams that perform well through all challenges.
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