Strengths-Based Development

Bad news for nay-sayers, punishers and “spare the rod, spoil the child” advocates!

The highlights in Gallup’s July 2016 report Strengths-Based Employee Development: The Business Results, tell a fascinating story.

•  Managers account for 70% of variance in engagement across business results
•  Gallup studied strengths-based practices for 1.2 million employees globally
•  Strengths-based companies saw better sales, profit and customer engagement

A few more compelling facts from this report follow here.

  • Only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged.
  • When Gallup asked managers why they thought their company hired them for their current role, they commonly said they thought their company hired them because of their success in a previous non-management role, or they cited tenure.
  • Gallup estimates that organizations name the wrong person as manager about 80% of the time.
  • One in two employees have left a job to get away from a manager and improve their overall life at some point in their career.

So, is there any good news?


Gallup researchers recently completed an extensive study of companies that have implemented strengths-based management practices. Though many research studies have shown strengths-based employee development leads to more engaging and productive workplaces, we believe this study is by far the largest and most comprehensive to date.”

 The outcomes?

  • 10% to 19% increased sales
  • 14% to 29% increased profit
  • 3% to 7% higher customer engagement
  • 6% to 16% lower turnover (low-turnover organizations)
  • 26% to 72% lower turnover (high-turnover organizations)
  • 9% to 15% increase in engaged employees
  • 22% to 59% fewer safety incidents

67% of employees are engaged who have a manager that focuses on their strengths.

If you are a leader who wants to achieve these kinds of results, here are a few questions you can ask in that next 1:1 that will help you to shift to a strengths-based relationship with your team members.

“What was the most rewarding project you have worked on?”

“What would you say that people most count on you for?”

“What work activities or projects do you enjoy the most?”

“What strengths are you using at work today? What strengths do you have that are not being utilized today?”

“What attracted you to this role initially? What had you hoped to be able to do?”

Start simple. Listen acutely. Keep your mind open. Watch for wins!