StrengthsFinder 2.0 and the world of work:
Are you engaged?
An “engaged employee” is one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work. They are passionate about what they do and actively look for opportunities to further the company mission, goals and interests. Does this sound like you? Do you jump out of bed every morning and feel excited about what you do? Don’t feel bad if you don’t because you are not alone.
StrengthsFinder 2.0 is an assessment that has changed the way I view myself, my relationship to the world and most importantly how I view my work. It is one that you too can take to help you get on track to a more fulfilling and meaningful life and career.
Gallup, the global polling company has created this assessment to measure your strengths and as a result, increase the likelihood that you will be successful, productive and ENGAGED in your work. Engaged employees are happier, loyal, and more productive.
Here are some examples of statements given from engaged employees
- I know what is expected of me at work.
- I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
- At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
- In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing
- At work, my opinions seem to count.
- In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about
- This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.
As a career management consultant and executive coach I help people find meaningful employment. Questions I like to ask people when I meet them are “What jobs have you enjoyed in the past? What are you passionate about? What do you want to do in your next opportunity? My clients can take a StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment and tie in those wants with what they are naturally good at.
To give you some background on how this assessment solidified—Psychologist & creator of StrengthsFinder, Donald Clifton, asked the question “What would happen if we actually studied what is right with people?” He was a professor at the University of Nebraska from 1950-1969 and authored many books. According to the American Psychology Association he is known as “the Father of Strengths Psychology and the Grandfather of Positive Psychology”
Clifton created a research company. He spent many years researching and writing about management and leadership. In this time he refined and defined his strengths based theories. His company grew so large they were able to purchase Gallup in 1988.
Fast forward a few years. In 2005, Gallup began its World Poll. They continually surveys citizens in 160 countries, representing more than 98% of the world’s adult population.
They ask questions about Local and National Leadership,
Law and Order
Food and Shelter
Questions like how do you earn money? Where do you shop for goods? Do you grow food and bring it to the market to trade? Or do you go to the grocery store and buy what you need? What about where you live? Do you feel safe? Gallup then asks questions about wellbeing. What makes a good day and what makes a bad day. Questions like “Was I treated with respect? Did I laugh today? Did I learn something new? Or did I feel sadness, worry or pain? Gallup was able to take that information and merged economics and psychology to come up with a way to measure a country’s “Emotional Economy”
What Gallup discovered was astounding. What most people want in life, more than love or money, or fame is a good job. For most people that is their daily work. Even in the poorest countries—they found that the measurement of satisfaction, even happiness was directly tied to that of feeling useful. You don’t have to have a paid job to feel useful, but you do need a purpose. Everyone wants a reason to get out of bed every day.
The engaged worker is hard to find. Gallup discovered that only 30% of employees feel engaged in their work– 7 out of 10 of people are not. They are miserable or have checked out. Most workers might be somewhat productive but the majority of the working population in the U.S. are psychologically not committed or are even miserable in their jobs.
Statistics support that person may be you.
Is it time to make a change?
Where to start
Ask yourself this: “Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?”
Gallup found that if people play to their strengths—every day in some capacity, you are 6x more engaged, and twice as productive than those who do not. If you are a manager or owner of a company—you can see how this can directly affect your bottom line.
So what does this mean to you? Do you even know what your strengths are?
After taking this assessment you will discover what your top 5 thematic talents are—and you will be given action items on how to develop them into strengths. Through this process, you will start to understand the common threads and themes of jobs you have held and enjoyed in your life. You will be able to assess where you fall in the continuum for employee engagement.
11 million people have taken this assessment and 1000’s of companies have adopted this assessment to better understand their employees and to help build their teams. In fact Facebook has even made it a point to give this assessment to its employees and tailor their jobs around their strengths.
Do you look ahead to the next year with enthusiasm and excitement? Or is it just another year closer to retirement? You don’t have to necessarily leave your job to improve it. You do need to be comfortable learning about yourself, and to be able to articulate your findings with those who your report to. You will need to proactively seek out opportunities to employ your strengths in your workplace.
You don’t need to be employing your strengths all the time—but like the 80/20 rule—it can apply here too. At least 20% of what you do should be aligned with what you naturally excel at or you might be in the wrong line of work. Like a bad marriage where sometimes good people are just not good together, maybe your job is just not a good fit.
Maybe THIS is the time to make a change.
The best news? You can purchase this assessment online from Amazon for less than $20. Want to create an action plan of how to utilize your natural talents and develop them into true strengths for personal mastery? That’s where I come in as your consultant or coach. Give yourself the gift of knowledge—self-knowledge and start putting it to work where you turn the ship around and start doing not only what you love—but what you are great at. What are you waiting for?