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3 Ways to Uncover Your Employees’ Hidden Strengths

Aug 6, 2020 | Human Resources, Leadership

Strengths aren’t about what people are good at, they’re about what people have the potential to be good at. When you work to uncover your employees’ hidden strengths, you’ll create a more powerful team. Follow these strategies to get started.

Consider Traits, Not Skills

An employee’s skill set will tell you something about their strengths, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Soft skill attributes such as emotional awareness, optimism, and self-motivation reveal employees’ hidden strengths and potential to perform well in various positions. When considering employee potential, think beyond their aptitude to eventually serve in a leadership role. Not everyone has their eye on that prize, and you’ll create happier employees when you match them with responsibilities that align with both their strengths and their goals.

Give Employees Opportunities to Shine

You won’t uncover hidden strengths if employees only do what they were hired to do. To find out what employees are capable of, you have to empower them with new responsibilities. Use delegation and mentoring programs to help gain insight into what employees have the aptitude and motivation to accomplish. Be careful not to typecast employees into narrow roles that fit with their obvious strengths. A person may be exceptionally good at something because it’s all they’ve ever done, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s the only thing they can do. They themselves may not know how high they can fly until they’re given the chance to spread their wings.

Use Custom Training Programs to Reveal Strengths

While there are always compliance, human resources, and other training courses the must be part of every employee’s training program, you should also leave room for employees to create their own custom learning paths. When employees can choose how they want to expand their knowledge, it can sometimes reveal a hidden strength. Giving employees power over their learning paths also provides them with opportunities to improve on areas they perceive as weaknesses. The willingness to do this can, in and of itself, reveal a strength that will help them succeed.

Think About Team Strengths, Too

While you’re assessing your employees’ hidden strengths, also consider the overall strengths of your team. Your goal should be for team members to have a nice blend of complementary strengths. This not only makes the team more well-rounded and efficient, it also gives team members excellent opportunities to learn from each other.

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