Is one of your goals for 2020 to build a stronger culture for your staffing firm? If you’ve researched this topic at all, you know that building a strengths-based culture can transform your organization on all levels, from employee retention to sales performance.
Just ask staffing expert Kelly Merbler, founder of Florida Staffing Association. We had a chance to speak with her on a recent Crushin’ It In Staffing podcast episode. As a respected keynote speaker, executive coach, and certified StrengthsFinder coach, Kelly has vast experience educating and helping staffing businesses reach their goals.
In a quest to build a robust strengths-based culture, Kelly emphasizes the critical role of your own influence on those around you:
“I’d always ask people not to point the finger at their leader, but to really look at themselves as well, because you may not have the title of a leader, but everybody in some way provides influence to other team members and those around them.”
And although recognizing your own influence on your company, no matter your role, is a fundamental concept, Kelly shared what she considers the three pillars of a strengths-based culture.
The Three Pillars of a Strengths-Based Culture
Keep these critical concepts in mind in order to begin your journey toward a strengths-based culture.
#1 Engage Your Team
Embracing the power of engagement is necessary for paving the way to a more productive and fulfilling work environment for every member of your team.
Engaging your team is perhaps the number one component for building a strengths-based culture in which every employee embodies the true spirit of your organization. As Kelly says, “How are you engaging your employees from the moment you start speaking with them on the phone? Because it’s not only about what you need done, it’s about how you can get the best out of that employee to help serve the mission, vision, and values of that organization.”
Understanding from the get-go that employees want to be part of a company with purpose will allow your leaders to help them get the most out of their experience. For example, do you give your employees the opportunity to take on new initiatives? Are their thoughts, ideas, and opinions valued? Do they have the support to grow in their roles, both personally and professionally?
Developing a culture around these factors will set the stage for enhanced engagement in which every person on your team can thrive.
#2 Capitalize on Strengths
In our podcast episode, Kelly acknowledges the severe toll that burnout can take on any organization. However, through an engaged process, she explains how companies can combat burnout by taking time to onboard employees in a way that’s truly meaningful and collaborative.
Often the best way to do this is by evaluating the specific values and strengths each employee can bring to the organization. Kelly says to ask, “What is the strength they each have and how can we plug that in, in the role they’ve been given at my organization, to make sure they are continuously developing those strengths and are on a career path in which we can continue to use them?”
Through this approach, you can significantly drive expectations and performance, leading to greater development and career growth within your company.
#3 Understand Why Employees Leave
In order to build a strengths-based culture, companies must seek to understand by employees leave. Kelly explains, “The way employees exit speaks a lot about you and your company values, your culture, and what you stand for. When someone has spent 20 years, for example, at an organization, are they retiring? Or were they let go because they were not a fit for your organization?”
Getting to the root of why your employees leave is essential for making meaningful changes to your culture. It also helps you create an environment that breeds effective employees. As Kelly reminds us, “People don’t leave companies – they leave leaders.” As younger generations enter the workforce, new employees increasingly want leaders who are going to invest in their growth and allow them to capitalize on their strengths.
The Bottom Line
While it may take time, investing in your employees will result in direct investment in your culture. Putting your employees’ strengths and goals at the forefront of culture-development will ultimately allow you to build an organization that truly exemplifies a purpose-driven mission.
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