Building strengths to achieve excellent, satisfying performances. That’s the CliftonStrenghts approach. This year, we set the goal of using it to master our tasks according to our strength profiles. Which advantages result from the orientation towards strengths and what perspectives do they open up?
Towards a strengths-oriented corporate culture with the CliftonStrengths-Assessment
81 percent less absences. 14 percent increase in productivity. 23 percent more profitability. Which company would not like to see such numbers? According to an evaluation by the Gallup Institute, the factor that makes the difference in this case is a fundamental one, the employee commitment. A key to this, however, can be the strengths orientation, which is located in positive psychology and promises that the development of strengths (= a mature talent, i.e. a natural pattern in thinking, speaking or acting) has much more potential than avoiding deficits.
“There are two aspects in particular about a strengths-based corporate culture that convince me: first, the systemic thinking behind it – that it is a resource-based approach that promotes shared efficiency and the growth of people in the right places. And second, the humanistic perspective to it: it just makes people feel good.”
Developing strengths in order to achieve excellent, satisfying, and flowing performance. Managing weaknesses to avoid stumbling in everyday life. This approach fits perfectly within the New Work philosophy of doing work that you really want to do – according to the famous saying of the “Godfather of New Work,” Frithjof Bergmann. On one hand, the approach encourages individuals to master tasks according to their strength profiles – in other words, in different ways. Teams are thus encouraged to use the strengths of all members collectively and in a complementary way. “On the other hand, the New Work approach considers good managers to be, among other things, coaches of their employees,” adds Christina Weigert, VP of Corporate Development. “They support them in developing their potential and encourage and challenge them individually. Of course, this is only successful if the manager is well aware of the strengths of his or her employees and is aware of his or her own talents and uses them accordingly.”
Our Head of Knowledge & Learning, Michael Urban, first brought the CliftonStrengths Assessment, a globally recognized strength test that is used by 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies, to the company when he joined in early 2022. In early 2023, Christina Weigert completed her training as a Gallup Strengths Coach. Together, the two strength coaches have now helped nearly 30 WARGITSCH employees get to know their individual talents better, value them equally, and put them on the path to consciously applying them in the workplace.
“It’s an incredibly liberating, motivating, and perspective-opening attitude to have a clear focus on what’s right with you, what you’re naturally good at.”
Strengths orientation results in establishing a common, positive basic language, but it also involves learning to develop new strengths and deal with shadow sides and blind spots. It can explain why someone is initially cautious (example talent cautiousness) or needs data and facts (analytical) before they start a project, while others immediately go into action full of confidence, possibly ignoring risks (positive attitude, drive). Why some respond easily and flexibly to change (Adaptability), whereas others prefer to follow a structured plan (Discipline).
At the end of the day, the noble and simple-sounding goal is that each person should do what they do best in the medium term. After all, according to research by Gallup, by actively using their strengths, people have more self-confidence and energy at work as well as in their private lives. They are more productive, happier, healthier and less likely to suffer from negative emotions such as worry, sadness and stress. An orientation regarding their strengths “simply does people good.” And if these psychological aspects lead to economic benefits, then it’s also good for companies.
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Head of Knowledge and Learning
Systemischer Berater & Stärkentrainer