Susan George: Strength-based cultures in the workplace |

Susan George: Strength-based cultures in the workplace

Susan George

The belief that a positive culture in the workplace promotes increased productivity, better employee morale and the ability to retain competent workers is a widely accepted methodology.

Similarly, research shows the integration of strength-based principles into workplace cultures can lead to even greater employee satisfaction. According to Gallup, “Employees who report being able to use their strengths at work every day are 8% more productive and 15% less likely to quit their jobs.”

Generally, organizations are very interested in developing employee strengths. All too often, though, the strategy is to find out what is wrong with people and try to “fix” it. Unfortunately, this approach can bring about employee inequality and disengagement. In contrast, valuing people’s strengths and talents will lead to more constructive outcomes. The true diversity that exists among people will emerge naturally, along with the benefits that come from differing perspectives and a broader range of world views.

A few years ago I giggled as my employer handed me a book, “Strengths Finder 2.0,” by Tom Rath. He asked me to take the accompanying online assessment test to help identify my strengths. We joked a bit about the potential outcome. Would I have a job once the results were in? With the laughs aside, I was motivated to learn more about my strengths and how they might play out in the workplace and also my personal life.

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Discovering your strengths and those of your team is a fun, insightful activity that can boost self-growth and team building.

Taking the assessment test was fun and the results were very comprehensive. I received personalized descriptions of how five top themes operate in my life and 10 “Ideas for Action” for each of the five themes. I have come away with a deeper understanding of the application of my own strengths and an increased awareness of the unique talents found in all people.

The Strength Finder 2.0 assessment philosophy stresses the idea that every human being has talents waiting to be uncovered. Discovering your strengths and those of your team is a fun, insightful activity that can boost self-growth and team building.

When people are able to function effectively within their areas of strength, they’re happier and more productive!

“Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?” — Benjamin Franklin

Susan George is a co-founder of The Nevada County Regional Chambers of Commerce. She can be reached at

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