Are You Sabotaging Your Employees?

Last Updated Jun 12, 2008 6:56 PM EDT

Slacker Manager has linked to a survey on whether people are given 'strength-training' at work; that is, are trained to improve their strengths and use them more often.

The answer appears to be a resounding no.

I say "appears" because the data seems based on self-reporting, which is not very reliable.

But I believe it when 55 percent of workers say they've had no training in their strengths, because organizations usually target training at weaknesses, at what we don't know how to do. In fact, that number seems low.

Other salient numbers:

  • 18 percent of those surveyed say they spend less than a fifth of their time using their strengths;
  • 9 percent say they use their strengths more 80 percent of the time;
  • Only 30 percent say they use their strengths a majority of the time.
Earlier this year I posted on the idea of Freak management, which argues that we know our weaknesses because they correspond to our strengths, and we can then focus on making our strengths even stronger.

Should businesses focus more on strength training for employees?

  • Michael Fitzgerald

    Michael Fitzgerald writes about innovation and other big ideas in business for publications like the New York Times, The Economist, Fast Company, Inc. and CIO. He’s worked as a writer or editor at Red Herring, ZDNet, TechTV and Computerworld, and has received numerous awards as a writer and editor. Most recently, his piece on the hacker collective the l0pht won the 2008 award for best trade piece from the American Society of Journalists and Authors. He was also a 2007 Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellow in Science and Religion.