Category Archives: Strengths

What if you can’t start with the CEO when you build a strengths-based culture?

According to Gallup, there are five steps to building a strengths-based culture.  Start with the CEO or it doesn’t work.Require every employee to discover their strengths.Build an internal network of strengths coaches.Integrate strengths into performance management.Transform your learning programs. But what if you can’t start with the CEO? What if he or she isn’t bought in yet, is suspicious of the strengths concept, or is too busy to care? Gallup recommends that you start with a team, a division or a department. Create a strengths-based sub-culture in the organization. Treat these sub-cultures like test cases to demonstrate ROI. If you can demonstrate that ‘the proof is in the pudding’, then you’ll get the CEO on board. Start with yourself and your team and as Gandhi said, ‘be the change you wish to see in the world.’ Or in this case the change you wish to see in your company’s culture. (data from It’s the Manager book by Jim Clifton and Jim Harter)  PS – StrengthsFinder is now completely revamped and updated with the latest research! Gallup’s online assessment of unique top five strengths. Learn your team’s strengths and learn how to put them into action. Click here to start transforming your team.

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Who do the most engaged employees and the least engaged employees talk to?

Who do the most engaged employees and the least engaged employees talk to? According to Gallup, engaged employees spend the least time working alone. Instead they spend more time communicating with their manager. That’s great! The least engaged employees spend the most time with their customers. Uh-oh. That’s not who you want to have talking to your customers. Emotions are contagious. Engaged customers lead to increased sales, increased revenue, increased stock prices – it’s the Gallup Path. Least engaged employees? They’re not helping with any of that. If you were wondering how important engagement and the quality of managers were, here’s your answer. Want more of the juicy good stuff like increased profit and higher stock prices? It all leads back to engaged employees using their strengths every day, extensively guided by great managers. (data from It’s the Manager book by Jim Clifton and Jim Harter) 

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How are businesses doing with the Gallup engagement Q12? Here’s the data.

The Gallup engagement Q12 survey has been around for over twenty years now. It’s great stuff and I use it often in both strengths training and management and leadership training. It’s been rigorously tested and it’s the way to go for any company that is looking to measure and increase engagement. But what’s it like in the trenches? Has the dial moved? Are workers now more able to agree that each question is true for them, leading them to greater engagement? Here’s the percent of global employees that strongly agree that each of the Gallup Q12 engagement questions are actually happening for them. First you’ll see the statement, then the percentage of workers that are able to say, “yes, that’s true for me.”  Remember, it’s sequential. #1 is the building block for #2 and on and on all the way up to #11 is the building block for #12.  How engaged are we? 1. Do you know what is expected of you at work? One in two global employees strongly agree.  2. Do you have the materials and equipment to do your work right? One in three global employees strongly agree.  3. At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day? One in three global employees strongly agree.  4. In the last seven days, have you received recognition or praise for doing goodwork? One in four global employees strongly agree.  5. Does your supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about you as a person? Four in ten global employees strongly agree.  6. Is there someone at work who encourages your development? Three in ten global employees strongly agree.  7. At work, do your opinions seem to count? One in four global employees strongly agree.  8. Does the mission/purpose of your company make you feel your job is important? One in three global employees strongly agree.  9. Are your associates (fellow employees) committed to doing quality work? One in three global employees strongly agree.  10. Do you have a best friend at work? Three in ten global employees strongly agree.  11. In the last six months, has someone at work talked to you about your progress? One in three global employees strongly agree.  12. In the last year, have you had opportunities to learn and grow? One in three global employees strongly agree.  The highest score was 40% for ‘someone at work cares about me as a person’. That’s great, except a 40 is still a failing grade. The lowest score was 25% for ‘in the last seven days someone has recognized my good work’. Sigh. There’s work to be done – by all of us, no matter the role. Many of these questions can be helped by co-workers caring about each other and recognizing good work, regardless of the role. But this should especially put people in management and leadership positions on notice. 25-40% is not going to cut it.  If you want more from your people, you need to give them more. In this case, more doesn’t mean more money or a better job title.  There’s work to be done. (data from It’s the Manager book by Jim Clifton and Jim Harter) 

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What’s the one thing that blocks the Gallup Path?

According to Gallup, “everything else on The Gallup Path shuts down if an employee has a bad boss.” Great managers inspire. Companies can be horrible, but if a manager is great, an employee will stick around. But the greatest company in the world will hemorrhage talent if there are bad bosses. People leave managers, they don’t leave companies. Want engaged employees and want them to stick around? The key is the manager. (data from It’s the Manager book by Jim Clifton and Jim Harter) 

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It all starts with strengths

According to Gallup, the path to stock increases, revenue growth, increased sales, most anything a company wants, is through identifying strengths. Whatever you want for your company, your business unit, your team, your personal success all leads back to strengths – identifying strengths and then using strengths every day. It all starts with strengths. (data from It’s the Manager book by Jim Clifton and Jim Harter) 

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The Gallup Path

Gallup recently put together a nine-step process that they call “the most advanced meta-analytics ever on the subject of behavioral economics.” They analyzed 300,000 business units around the world and this is what the data revealed. Here’s an easy way to use it. Find what you want to happen. Then look at what leads to it. Increase that and it increases what you want to happen.  For example, if you want a stock increase, focus on real profit increase. Want real profit increase? Focus on sustainable growth. Want sustainable growth? Focus on engaged customers. Want engaged customers? You need engaged employees. Wish you had engaged employees? Put great managers in charge. Want great managers? Make sure you have the right fit in roles. Want the right fit? Identify strengths (StrengthsFinder helps you identify your strengths). Here are some notes on the nine steps. Profit increase predicts share increase 80% of the time.Real sales growth (i.e. not acquisitions but actual sales) predicts profit increase about 80% of the time.It’s customer engagement, not satisfaction. Satisfied customers don’t buy more, they’re satisfied. But engaged customers do. They buy more frequently, spend more per transaction and pay a higher margin.Customer engagement comes from high trust in the organization. The most powerful energy comes from the cross-section of engaged customers and engaged employees. If businesses score above the median in both employee and customer engagement they are 3.4 times in better shape financially than units that scored below the median.Lastly, it all starts with strengths. (data from It’s the Manager book by Jim Clifton and Jim Harter) 

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What percent of Americans plan to work past age 65?

74%. That’s a lot of people! Unfortunately, the data doesn’t show what the percentage is of ‘want to keep working’ vs. ‘have to keep working’.  However, in a recent survey it was found that 21% of working Americans aren’t saving anything at all, and 69% of working Americans are saving between zero and ten percent of what they make. And the percent of people saving nothing jump up when it’s just Millennials and Gen X in the mix. These two age groups are hardly saving at all.  A lot of people are going to be working past age 65 because they have to. Are you more engaged if you have to do something or if you want to do something? Are kids more engaged building snow forts or shoveling the sidewalk? So, this means that we’re growing a work force that is going to be less engaged as they age. You may even be one of them. If so, start saving today. Cut your expenses and save that money. You can keep working as long as you want, but you’ll be happier if you keep working because you want to instead of because you have to. And if you end up having to or are in that situation right now? Find your strengths, and use them every day. Your engagement level will rise and you’ll be happier. And your emotions – happiness included – are contagious. (data from It’s the Manager book by Jim Clifton and Jim Harter) 

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Globally, what percent of employees are either not engaged or are actively disengaged at work?

Globally, what percent of employees are either not engaged or are actively disengaged at work? 85% That’s most of us. It’s a sobering number. The U.S. numbers are a little better. As of 2018, 34% – a third – employees are actively engaged. That still means 2/3 of us aren’t.  So there’s work to be done, by all of us.  To be kinder to each other because so many of us are unhappy. And all of us humans want to be happy. And to help each other find a way through to engagement with our work. An engaged person is a happier, more fulfilled person.  And it starts with finding, then using, our #1 engagement tool we were born with – our strengths.  Learn more: StrengthsFinder – Gallup’s online assessment of unique top five strengths. Learn your team’s strengths and learn how to put them into action. (data from It’s the Manager book by Jim Clifton and Jim Harter) 

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What are the right strengths to have on a team?

What are the right strengths to have on a team? Teams ask me this question all the time during StrengthsFinder trainings. “Do we have the right strengths? What are we missing?”  Gallup found something interesting when they tried to figure out the right strengths to have on a team. They found it doesn’t matter as much what the composition of team strengths is. What matters most is the awareness of the strengths that are on the team already.  You can’t use the tools you don’t know you have. Take the StrengthsFinder assessment with your team, link it to what it looks like in real life and expand from there. Learn more: StrengthsFinder – Gallup’s online assessment of unique top five strengths. Learn your team’s strengths and learn how to put them into action. (data from It’s the Manager book by Jim Clifton and Jim Harter) 

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What percent of employees strongly agree that their manager knows what projects they’re working on?

What percent of employees strongly agree that their manager knows what projects they’re working on? 34%. Only a third.  It’s 9 AM. Do you know where your people are? What are they working on? Learn more: Strong Management – Strengths based training for managers to help their people be at their best. (data from It’s the Manager book by Jim Clifton and Jim Harter) 

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