Discussing Strengths and Weaknesses with Employees
Why discuss strengths
It is important for employers to discuss their employees' strengths for a couple of reasons. When an employer talks to their employees about their strengths it can help them develop their strength even more, making them a better employee. When an employer discusses an employee's strengths it shows the employee that their employer is not focused on their weaknesses and they can therefore have a more positive attitude at work.
Why discuss weaknesses
Many employers do not look forward to talking to their employees about their weaknesses. But addressing weaknesses is just as important as addressing an employee's strengths, maybe even more so. The only way that an employee can work on their weaknesses is by first acknowledging that they have them. And many times it takes someone else, such as their employer, to point them out to them.
It is never a good idea to single out an employee and discuss their weaknesses in a group setting. But if several employees have a similar weakness, it might be helpful to discuss this weakness to the group as a whole. This can be an easier way for an employer to approach a minor weakness that does not necessarily require any one-on-one attention.
The concern that comes with discussing a weakness in a group setting is that some employees may not think that they are part of the problem or that they do not have the particular weakness or weaknesses that are being discussed.
Strengths can also be discussed in a group setting. The concern with mentioning strengths in a group setting is that they may be taken on a lighter note if they are said to the group in general. If an employer would like to single out certain employees and point out their strengths to the group they should understand that this option could work for or against them. It could be a good idea because it can encourage others to be better. But it could also be a bad idea because if other employees' strengths are not mentioned they may become resentful if it happens on more than one occasion.
Most employers have employee assessments from time to time. This can be a great opportunity for them to discuss their employee's strengths and weaknesses. During the discussion, it is recommended that the employer first point out their employees strengths before delving into their weaknesses.
When an employer is discussing their employee's strengths and weaknesses it is important that they set up goals to help their employee turn their weaknesses into strengths. There is no point for an employer to discuss their employee's weaknesses if they do not have a plan to help make the employee better.
An employer can also help their employee set goals to help them make their strengths even better. Everyone has room for improvement, even in things that they do well.
Having some type of incentive can help an employee work extra hard on their weaknesses and to be a better employee. An employer should set up a type of incentive that is specifically tailored to their employees. Sometimes employers can set up an incentive for all of their employees in a particular department, or they may need to set one up for each individual employee.