Recognise This! – Playing to strengths enables success and engagement.

There’s a virtuous circle of employee engagement, described by the illustration at right. Gallup also puts it this way:

    “To be engaged, you need to identify with the mission and purpose of your company. You’re great at some things and won’t ever be very good at others. If you have the materials and equipment you need to do your job right, you’ll care more about the fate of your organisation. You are naturally inclined toward success at some things, and by adding skills, knowledge, and practice, you’ll be much better at them.”

I see a three step process to higher performance in that:

1)      Help employees understand the mission of the company and how their daily efforts help achieve that mission.

2)      Put people in positions that let them use their natural skills to their fullest.

3)      Give them what they need to do their job well.

Similarly, TLNT wrote recently on Steven Kerr’s “Folly of Rewarding A, While Hoping for B” (a favorite of mine as well), telling the story:

    “A high school basketball player excels at passing the ball, which makes his teammates better. But because his coach and the colleges that might give him a scholarship credit only a player’s ability to score, the player passes less and shoots more — which actually hurts his team’s chances of winning.”

I’d say this basketball player understood the mission, but he wasn’t allowed to use his skills so he couldn’t do his job well.

What’s more important to your organisation? Individual stats or group success?
Each member of the team has different strengths – play to those so that the whole is greater than the individual parts.