7 Powerful Steps to Becoming a Strengths-Based Organization

Taking the Clifton StrengthsFinder solves one key issue—identifying an individual’s talents—but there is more work to be done to develop an overall strengths-based culture. The most successful companies that adopt a strengths-based approach put the program enthusiastically into action over the long term, step by step.

This is not accomplished in a single session, or by simply taking a test, it comes from forming the individualized strategy that works for building and maintaining a strengths-based approach that will improve profitability, retention, employee engagement and will help you attract those tough-to-recruit millennials.

In their most exhaustive Global study on the ROI, Gallup has come away with some incredible insights as highlighted in their recent Article: Global Study: ROI for Strengths-Based Development.

Here are some of the key takeaways from that study that may cause you to shift from a question of how can I afford to do this, to how can I afford not to do this.

Real-Life Performance Boosts

Gallup researchers recently completed an extensive study of companies that have implemented strengths-based management practices. This study included 49,495 business units with 1.2 million employees across 22 organizations in seven industries and 45 countries.

Ninety percent of the workgroups studied had performance increases at or above the following ranges:

  • 10% to 19% increased sales
  • 14% to 29% increased profit
  • 3% to 7% increased customer engagement
  • 6% to 16% reduced turnover (low-turnover organizations)
  • 26% to 72% reduced turnover (high-turnover organizations)
  • 9% to 15% increased employee engagement
  • 22% to 59% reduced safety incidents

The Power of Harnessing Strengths

Strengths-Based Companies improve many of the key business metrics that traditionally define success, such as sales, profit and employee turnover, but they also improve intangible company characteristics that are often the most difficult to change. Companies that drive transformation using the strengths approach report better company culture, more communication, happier employees and greater productivity—that’s the power of harnessing strengths!

7 Best-Practice Steps to Becoming a Strengths-Based Organization

How can your organization approach the impressive numbers Gallup found through their research? This study, combined with Gallup’s work with hundreds of organizations, identified seven best practices for optimizing strengths initiatives. We’ll take you through each of these best practices that we utilize with our clients to make your organization not just strengths proficient, but truly Strengths-Based.

  1. Leadership alignment: Starting at the top, leaders participate in 4 to 5 personal coaching sessions and 3 to 4 Senior Leadership workshops to ensure that commitment, self-awareness and strengths messaging permeate the business.
  2. Manager alignment: Managers participate in the two-day Best Manager Academy and receive 4 to 5 individual coaching sessions to make the most of their own strengths and learn how to best utilize the strengths of their team.
  3. Internal communication: We advise and provide regular internal communication to continuously reinforce the focus on strengths to drive adoption and attention throughout the organization. Examples of this include managers utilizing Strengths based exercises as part of their standard 1-1 sessions with the teams they lead, or actually creating project teams around different strengths.
  4. Strengths community:  Access to the StrengthsEngage online e-Learning platform provides additional resources that are available 24/7. This process helps create an online ecosystem where Strengths can be discussed and insights around talents are shared.
  5. Performance management: Coaching for leaders and managers helps them develop and use a strengths-based approach during employee evaluations and annual reviews.
  6. Coaching: Our “Train the Trainer” program certifies individuals identified through the steps above within your organization who will continue to evangelize strengths, ensure new employees are on-boarded appropriately and provide continuing education in-house.
  7. Brand building: Being a Strengths-Based company boosts your brand, demonstrating your commitment to excellence to improve employee recruiting and retention.

Organizations that experience the most success have an unrelenting commitment to strengths, actively pursuing that culture through these seven powerful steps. Getting through these steps typically takes a minimum of 12 to 18 months. But it doesn’t end there. Once your organization is Strengths-Based, there is no limit to what you can achieve with a road-map for continuing to drive better engagement, retention and recruiting.

So to turn that CEO question slightly what happens if you invest in your people and they stay? Perhaps it is your turn, to become a Strengths-Based Organization to really see what you can accomplish. Contact us if you want to learn more about how to make this a reality for your organization.


Do you know your Top Five?  Take the StrengthsFinder ® HERE.


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Brandon Miller is the CEO of 34 Strong Inc. a leader in StrengthsFinder ® training and organizational development. 34 Strong works with organizations across the United States in developing teams around talent to optimize performance and maximize results. Brandon is a Gallup Certified StrengthsFinder ® Coach and specializes in working with organizations on developing sustainable strengths-based organizational culture. Brandon’s top five strengths are: Maximizer, Achiever, Activator, Strategic, and Arranger.

Sources: Clifton StrengthsFinder®, StrengthsFinder®, and each of the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder theme names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc. 34 Strong is not affiliated with Gallup, Inc. or its subsidiaries.

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