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Strengthening our knowledge of Strengths

Focusing on an individual’s capacity to perform, specifically at areas of high performance, is a concept that stemmed from the educational research of the 1950’s.

The original notion of strengths focused on generating gains in development by investing in what people naturally do best. It stands to reason that people are motivated and enjoy doing the things they do well. By helping people to do this in the workplace we can help to increase overall organisational productivity, engagement and longer-term retention levels. Employees value having the opportunity to do what they do best every day and are energised by doing the things they enjoy.

However, whilst strengths can help to stream employees into areas of best fit, we cannot entirely move away from ensuring the required levels of competency and standards are met. Assessment for strengths, therefore, needs to ensure that questions are able to assess what is underpinning performance and validly predict external ratings of effective behaviour and performance.

The use of strengths-based tools within the workplace is dependent upon how the instruments and reports are applied and what the organisation is seeking to gain from the process.

For Selection

In the context of selection, a traditional competency approach may result in candidates being missed who have not yet reached the required level of competence but who could have future potential to excel. Conversely, a strengths only approach may only show the bright side of a candidate and miss crucial elements of performance information. Saville Assessment’s strengths-based instruments allow an approach which incorporates weightings to both strengths and limitations to generate an overall fit score that more accurately encompasses the whole person. Applying strengths to screen out unsuitable candidates in high volume recruitment situations enables recruiters to significantly reduce the number of candidates whilst simultaneously increasing the calibre of candidates to take through to the interview stage.

Organisations can select in the best candidates by using Work Strengths to power a dynamic interview guide, ensuring a fair and standardised process that allows for your best candidates to be probed around their individual watch-for areas.

For Development

Strengths, in the context of development, should ideally avoid simply focusing on limitations or coaching to overbuild strengths. Instead, a more robust process would involve working on building the employees existing strengths and managing limitations whilst simultaneously considering any of the implications of overplayed strengths and what impact these may have on other workers or roles.

Saville Assessment’s suite of strengths-based assessments allows specific roles and sectors to be targeted. These include general work roles, operational roles, commercial roles, roles with customer interface and administrative roles in public or private sectors, each with relevant sector norms for accurate comparison. The assessments are provided in a short, straightforward and easy to understand format.

Benefits of a Strengths Approach

Strengths-based assessment encourages positivity which ensures that even candidates who may eventually be rejected still gain from the process. This positive candidate experience works to enhance employer branding. Sophisticated distortion mechanisms ensure accuracy and honesty in candidate responses. Based on Saville Assessment’s comprehensive Wave® model, our Strengths assessments boast higher validity than similar competitor measures, which translates to better outcomes.