LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS
how to create better teams using the cliftonstrengths assessment
Stephanie hand, human resources shareholder
Collaboration and communication are the “engine and fuel” of the modern workplace. Teams within and across departments must work together to achieve optimal business results.
Of course, it is also important for individual employees to understand their strengths and challenge areas. This will allow them to approach necessary feedback with a positive attitude, express themselves more authentically, and ultimately make better work-related decisions. The team as a whole, and indeed the entire organization, will be strengthened as a result.
One way to create better teams within your company is to use Gallup’s CliftonStrengths assessment. CliftonStrengths, a Web-based assessment consisting of 177 items, measures an individual’s talents which according to Gallup are your “natural patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving.” This blog covers the five reasons why you should consider implementing the CliftonStrengths assessment to strengthen your team.
1. Self-awareness contributes to a stronger team.
CliftonStrengths bolsters individual self-awareness through its assessment results. Teams with members who have high self-awareness are more likely to perform well, make good collective decisions, and handle conflicts in an effective manner. In addition, self-awareness often leads to enhanced self-development (i.e., team members who recognize their areas of opportunity can now take proactive steps to maximize these strengths as well as “shore up” their weak points).
2. Insights from the assessment can help you build a more balanced team.
It is no secret that top-performing teams contain a well-balanced mixture of strengths. For instance, you will need team members that have the energy to execute decisions and tasks, those that are skilled at relationship building and communication, and others that consider the long-term strategy.
All these talents are needed for strong team performance, and they all need to be in proper proportion to one another. Having your employees take the CliftonStrengths assessment can help you build new teams (and adjust old ones) to achieve this balance.
3. Shared language leads to more effective and positive communication.
Language has been described as “the fundamental currency for any relationship.” This certainly holds true in the workplace. A language “disconnect” between team members can result in misunderstandings and the loss of direction and momentum.
The CliftonStrengths assessment enables teams to have open and honest discussions around strengths and challenge areas. It also provides a common vocabulary that all team members can utilize during such discussions. This “shared language” can minimize or eliminate confusion, and at the same time, give managers and employees the tools to frame critical feedback in tactful, positive terms. The outcome will be a tighter, more cohesive unit.
4. The right people in the right roles = maximum team performance.
The CliftonStrengths assessment allows you to link personality strengths with performance outcomes. Assigning a team member to an ill-fitting role may be setting him or her up for failure. In contrast, the assessment enables you to determine which employees would be best suited for specific positions within the team structure.
You can also leverage the insights gained from CliftonStrengths to facilitate clearer communication as to which team members are responsible for certain aspects of a project. By managing expectations in this way, you will minimize the risk of overlapping effort and prevent misunderstandings.
5. Better relationships mean better teams.
Bottom line. When team members have a stronger understanding of one another, both on a personal and a professional level, it becomes easier for them to collaborate effectively.
The CliftonStrengths assessment fosters an increased level of compassion and perception since it provides insights on the strengths and challenge areas of each team member. When all team members are “on the same page,” they will be able to communicate with one another more freely, work through conflicts more easily, and function as a unified team more seamlessly. Each team member will be able to acknowledge his or her own areas of opportunity and celebrate the strengths of others.
In conclusion, the CliftonStrengths assessment is a valuable tool for building better teams. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about CliftonStrengths or any of our offerings, contact us today.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
STEPHANIE HAND + HUMAN RESOURCES SHAREHOLDER
Steph Hand is a Human Resources Shareholder at Lutz with over 19 years of experience. She plays a key role in the people strategy for the firm including Lutz’s performance management process, employee relations and retention, talent management and benefits and compliance efforts.
AREAS OF FOCUS
- Human Resources
- Talent Management
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
- Human Resource Association of the Midlands, Member
- Society for Human Resource Management, Member
- Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional
- Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)
- BS in Education, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
- MA in Communication, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, NE
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