As they say, “do what you love and love what you do.”
However, not everyone gets the opportunity to do what they love. The managers often do not let the employees love what they do because of their behavior.
According to a survey by Gallup, managers do not appreciate their employees’ strengths and try to fix their mistakes instead. The reports show that only one out of three employees say that they have the freedom to perform what they excel at.
Another study shows that strength-based management improves the organization’s engagement and productivity.
Let’s tell you about the advantages and disadvantages of strength-based management in detail.
What is a Strength-Based Management Approach?
A strengths-based management approach considers the employee’s strengths over the weaknesses. This management system does not ignore shortcomings but assigns tasks based on the worker’s strengths. When the managers focus on the employee’s strengths, the team works on their weaknesses to turn them into strengths.
Core Principles of Strength-Based Approach
The definition of a strength-based approach gives nine guiding principles that act as the backbone and guiding practice.
Everyone has Potential
One of the main characteristics of the strength-based approach is that limitations do not define a person. Each team member has strengths and capabilities that differentiate them from others.
We Become what we Believe in
Strength-based management encourages seeing challenges as opportunities. Such leaders, like coaching leaders, push their teams to take on challenges and believe in their potential.
Your words Determine your Reality
One of the most common issues with traditional coercive leaders is their choice of work. They do not care about using bad language with their employees to get the job done. Modern leaders opt for a friendlier approach and use thought-out words to motivate their teams.
Change is Necessary
Changes are critical in any transformational leadership to change the way people think and behave. It allows them to improve and do better in their jobs.
Better Relationships Lead to Positive Changes
When people trust in their management, they change per needs. They are ready to accept challenges and do their best to succeed. On the contrary, unsupportive management cannot bring the best out of its people.
Every Individual is the Author of their Story
One of the nine guiding principles contributing to the advantages and disadvantages of strength-based management is understanding by the management. You must understand that each person creates their own story. You may guide them but do not shape them.
Begin with Acknowledgment
Begin the change and strength-based approach by acknowledging what the person already knows. They may be more willing to take on challenges relating to what they are familiar with.
Change has no Shortcut
It suggests that there is no single method for change. It is a journey and process with several steps. It requires patience and flexibility.
Change is Inclusive
When you are working to bring changes in an organization through a transformational or strength-based approach, it must be inclusive. The leaders should inform the team of the expected changes and discuss how to cope with them.
Advantages of Strength-Based Management
Improvement in skills and job roles of the employees is among the most prominent advantages of strength-based management. It gives them the confidence to explore different domains and expand their skill set. Highlighting your employees’ natural abilities pushes them to give their best and take on new job roles faster. This approach gives rise to better leaders for the future with better hard and soft skills.
A positive environment in the organization always allows the employees to be more productive. Another survey by Gallup also suggests that employees working on areas of their strength are 7.8% more productive. When the teammates learn new skills and take up challenges, they perform better and give improved results.
Less Time Consumption
Many managers often focus more on fixing the weaknesses of the employees than strengthening their skills. However, enhancing and utilizing existing skills takes less time than fixing imperfections. Often employees do not cooperate with the management, resulting in time wastage. Thus, it is better to focus on the skills and abilities of your team and work to improve them.
Builds Self-Esteem and Confidence
Strength-based management helps build self-esteem in the company. It also improves emotional intelligence and teamwork in the organization. The workers believe in their skills and abilities, which gives them the confidence to believe in themselves.
Every department in a functional organization performs a specific function. The tasks are divided among different team members. The division of tasks among the team members according to their expertise and area of interest brings them together to accomplish goals. It keeps everyone in the team engaged and offers better solutions utilizing their strengths. Reports show that the strength-based approach engages double the employees as the average engagement of 30% in the US.
Better Mental Health
The strength-based approach focuses on the team members’ strengths but does not drain them. Employees feel less stressed, upset, and tired when the right strategies for strength-based management are used. One method is not to keep them working for hours continuously if you want to adopt a strength-based approach in your organization, ensure not to burn out your employees.
Less Turnover Rate
Helping employees improve the skills they feel confident about instills trust in them. It enables the team members to contribute to organizational success in the best possible way. Happy employees do not leave your company to move to another.
Disadvantages of Strength-Based Management
No Scientific Evidence
There is no scientific evidence regarding employees in a strength-based management company. While different studies suggest that people in a company work better when their managers focus on their strengths, no studies show exact results. The absence of scientific backup does not mean this approach is ineffective.
Increase in Competition
This management approach allows employees to identify their strengths and improve them further. It drives a sense of competition among peers as well as the higher personnel. However, it may become a disadvantage of strength-based management when the executives see the juniors as a threat. They might think the juniors will become experts and take over their position.
Overused strengths have the tendency to become toxic in the long run. Team members who work hard on their skills believe that the company cannot survive without them. This overconfidence can lead to unreasonable demands and issues within the organization. The managers might not realize when some of their teammates become toxic because of their overconfidence.
The suitable strength-based management approaches make sure that you do not ignore the weaknesses of your employees. Sometimes the leaders entirely focus on their strengths without understanding how their shortcomings can hinder their progress. Successful strength-based management highlights and improves the string points without neglecting the weaknesses.
The Bottom Line
The advantages and disadvantages of strength-based management depend on how you implement the system. It can help boost productivity, increase engagement, improve skills in less time, and reduce turnover. Alternatively, you may neglect the weaknesses of your team workers leading to overconfidence and a sense of competition. Thus, it is essential to apply strength-based management considering the guidelines to get the best out of it.
Tom Ruth mentions, “If you focus on people’s weaknesses, they lose confidence.” So, focus on their strengths and see how it facilitates organizational growth.
Matthew is a Co-Founder at BusinessFinanceArticles.org. Matthew was a floor manager at a local restaurant in Wales. He lost his job after the pandemic and took initiative to make a team and start the project.
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