Employees want to succeed in their work and you as their manager can guide them. To be successful as a manager, I would suggest that you focus more on the employee’s strengths than their weaknesses.

Since we tend to get more frustrated by what an employee is not doing, potentially we may fail to recognize the value that they bring to the table.

Create a list of your employees and each of their strengths. That’s your master list of the current strengths within your team. How do they match up to what you need to drive your business unit?

If you are driving the sales efforts in your company, you need a team with strong communication skills. However, do they also need to respect each other on the team? The balance between initiative in growing sales and team building is critical. If your employees are lacking in teamwork skills, you have low morale and turnover problems.

What about Position (Job) Knowledge…..does each individual know what they are suppose to do and are they doing it. You may have different levels of seniority on your team, with some new employees just learning the ropes. Do you have enough job knowledge in order to meet the daily demands of the business?

Creativity is an interesting attribute in that not all employees have it. It depends on your business whether this is a critical attribute. If your company positions itself as innovative and the person is working in the advertising department as a designer, well creativity is a critical function of their role. If they are working in the Accounts Payable Department, quality may be a critical function of their position. It all depends on your business unit to decide what strengths are important for each member of your team.

By the way, “quality” is usually a critical attribute for all positions.

Now that you know the strengths of your team members, see if there are any gaps in what you need and what you have in your employees. Decide what three critical attributes all members of your team must have in order for you to be successful in driving your business.

Do they all have strengths in that area and at what level? Are they all exceptional or a mixture of exceptional and acceptable? If they are unsatisfactory, well that is a different discussion…and I would suggest you address it right away.

Keep in mind that employees perform at different levels. Just because an employee is ranked as acceptable doesn’t mean they are not meeting the essential functions of their job. It is important to ponder whether you can help them elevate their strength a little more without hindering the current level of proficiency.

Creating a list of employee strengths will help you meet the business objectives for your department. You will know how to coach and counsel your staff to elevate their performance.

Author's Bio: 

Pat Brill is the author of “The Secrets of a Successful Time Manager” (www.SuccessfulTimeManager.com) and “Manager’s Guide to Performance Improvement.” (www.GuideToPerformance.com) Check out her blog: www.ManagingEmployees.net. You can reach Pat at pat@TheInfoCrowd.com.