Capitalizing on Strengths: A Roadmap to Employee Excellence

Does “correcting” weaknesses really work? What happens when we focus on our employees’ strengths rather than on areas where they could improve?

40 years of research by the Gallup Company[1] has demonstrated the benefits of leaders choosing to focus on their employees’ strengths rather than trying to “fix” their weaknesses. This approach has been shown to lead to significant improvements in employee engagement, performance and retention. Changes in workplace safety have even been observed! Furthermore, increased customer engagement and company profitability have been reported.

This question was also what prompted the four decades of research that led to the development of the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment.


Develop instead of correcting

According to a Gallup report[2], only four in ten American employees strongly agree that when they are at work, they have the opportunity to do what they do best each day and use their talents. Perhaps the most common reason individuals, teams and companies struggle to reach their full potential is the misconception that in order to succeed, you must “fix your weaknesses.”

The strengths-based approach encourages people to understand, invest in and connect fully to their innate talents. In addition, this approach requires us to spend our limited time and energy honing our talents. By developing excellence in a few specific areas, the points of our star become sharper.

Build on the value of your internal strengths

There are several factors that often force SMEs to put talent management on the back burner. These include a lack of time and experience, as well as a lack of support, coaching and tools. Despite these obstacles, if they hope to grow and stand out from the competition, these companies must be able to retain the best talent available in their industry.

SMEs are faced with agonizing choices. On the one hand, they must limit the number of employees to ensure their financial survival. On the other hand, they must be able to count on the best talent available in their field to stand out.

The strengths-based approach to talent management becomes the tool of choice for enhancing your employer brand. It will play a key role in attracting and retaining your talent. Companies that are fully aware of the value of their people and invest in their development are often the most successful in increasing their overall performance. The knowledge, expertise and ideas of employees greatly enhance the value of the company and are important assets to the organization! This strategy will allow your employees to become the best versions of themselves.

Become leaders who are aware of the value of your talents.


To learn more about the strengths-based approach, contact us!


By Mel Beebeejaun, MBA, CRHA
Hr Blog Editor – Iceberg Management

  [1] Clifton D. & Harter J. (2003) Investing in strengths, Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc. San Francisco, CA.–investinginstrengths.pdf

[2] State of the American Workplace.