We recently took the Clifton StrengthsFinder test to see where everyone in our agency has strengths. The idea behind this is to focus on the positives, and I love that. Each one of us has something unique to give – but those attributes might not be obvious or top-of-mind in traditional job roles. Maybe an employee has a strength that isn’t obvious because it isn’t highlighted in their particular job.
Too many organizations take the negative view of their employees, where they focus on what people do wrong or are bad at, putting them in a box they can’t get out of. But if you take the positive view – that people are multi-faceted and have many potential ways to enhance the business they work within – it will likely surprise you what can be learned and accomplished.
We are exploring how to use each of our unique strengths to weave an even stronger d.trio culture and client focus. We view each other as resources that can enhance each other’s game and offer even more value to our clients – in small and large ways. So far we’ve found some great skillsets that we are using today: a penchant for doing great research and ferreting out nuggets of insight, a proficiency for (and love of) identifying and mapping customer journeys, skills for copywriting, an ability to strategize into the future to “future-proof” and lengthen the life of marketing tactics that have a shorter-term shelf life and more. Plus, we’ve discovered we have some really great event planners (foodies, if you will) – never a bad thing at an agency!
Why focus more on skillsets instead of job descriptions? Because employees will be happier doing the things they’re truly good at and enjoy doing.
Why should we care what people enjoy? Because if employees are happy, they look forward to work, work is more fulfilling and that can lower turnover. It also makes employees know that they are seen as more than a job or a cog in a machine. Recognizing individual skills give people buy-in to contributing to the greater success of the organization and its clients. That is the kind of engagement that companies thrive on, and builds remarkable cultures.
We have just begun exploring where this might go. Who knows, in the future we may incorporate a “build your own job description” as a part of the hiring process to let people showcase their strengths. Since writing job descriptions is not a strength of mine, it seems like a good place to start.