The Pythagorean Theorem. A Toyota Camry. Washing your hands. Some things just make good sense – like using your strengths at work.
This isn’t a groundbreaking statement – evidence has been mounting rapidly over the past two decades to support a strengths focus in the workplace. A new report, released by The Strengths Lab in partnership with Mayerson Academy and the VIA Institute, reveals that strengths knowledge and use in the workplace has grown significantly since the early 2000s, when Gallup released findings that only 2 out of 10 people had an opportunity to use their strengths at work each day. According to the new February 2019 study, nearly 70% of American workers now report having the opportunity to use their strengths at work each day – a 50% increase in less than 20 years.
Why does strengths use in the workplace make so much sense? Even though we are hardwired as human beings with a negativity bias, it turns out that we show up as our best selves when we know our strengths, see them in others and apply them towards the things that matter most to us – including work-related goals. According to The Strengths Lab report, workers who use their strengths at work are:
- Significantly more likely to feel engaged in what they’re doing.
- Have higher levels of job satisfaction
- Have stronger performance in their job
- Significantly more likely to be thriving or living well despite struggles
So, while using strengths in the workplace does impact critical organizational outcomes, it’s not just about that – it’s also about building the type of workplace culture that supports the wellbeing of workers. When we’re thriving, we’re better at what we do, we stick around longer, and we work harder.
While more organizations than ever before are interested in building strengths-based cultures, many don’t know where to begin. To that end, at Mayerson Academy we work with organizations of all sizes to build strengths-based cultures that maximize employee engagement, performance and wellbeing. To achieve these results, we use the “Know, See and Apply” model to facilitate individual growth and organizational change. Participants in our Strengths-Based Organization Institutes build a deep knowledge of their character strengths and personal strengths practice, develop skills to see and appreciate strengths in their colleagues, and apply strengths strategically to common workplace challenges.
Early results with nearly 20 organizations are very promising – 100% of participants have reported gaining actionable insights for applying strengths at work and 100% of participating organizations have translated strengths knowledge to application in the workplace. These results, along with the findings in The Strengths Lab report give us even more confidence in the potential of strengths to transform workplaces and employee experience. After all, it just makes good sense.