NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--68% of managers will have the wrong conversation with their staff today, a new study out for Employee Appreciation Day shows. According to the study, conducted by world leader in positive psychology Michelle McQuaid and The VIA Institute on Character, having a meaningful discussion with employees about their strengths – the things they’re good at and enjoy doing – will motivate and engage them. Unfortunately, today, most managers will continue to focus their discussion on employee weaknesses, instead.
While it appears many employees have taken the use of their strengths into their own hands – with 64% reporting they now believe they will be more successful at work by building on their strengths than fixing their weaknesses – it is clear they reap far more benefits if their manager shares a strengths focus. 78% of employees who report having had a meaningful discussion with their manager about their strengths feel that their work is making a difference and is appreciated – and thus resulting in lower turnover. These employees are the most likely (65%) to describe themselves as flourishing at work.
“This survey shows that there is an important trend occurring in the American workplace that can be characterized as 'moving from what’s wrong to what is strong,'” reports the VIA Institute on Character’s chairman, Neal H. Mayerson, Ph.D. “In increasing numbers, employees and managers are recognizing the importance of building upon their strengths as an important pathway to better performance.”
“Employees denied the opportunity to know and develop their strengths are more likely to be the ones struggling to get out of bed in the morning,” said McQuaid. “If you want to turn disengaged employees around, sit down with them – Employee Appreciation Day is a great day to do it on - and ask them when do they feel the most engaged, energized and happy at work, then focus on developing these strengths moving forward.”
The study found that:
- Almost half of employees whose organizations are committed to building on their strengths say their supervisors are actively involved in their career progress and 45% are keenly aware of the strengths of their coworkers or boss.
- 34% of supervisors can name the strengths of their employees and only 32% of supervisors are having meaningful discussions with their employees about their strengths
- The employees who believe their managers can name their strengths are 71% more likely to feel engaged and energized by their work.
Michelle McQuaid is a workplace well-being expert and author of Your Strengths Blueprint. McQuaid specializes in translating cutting-edge research from positive psychology and neuroscience into practical strategies for health, happiness and business success.
The VIA Institute on Character is a non-profit, positive psychology organization and the home of the VIA Survey, the only, free on—line character strengths survey, and the world's largest database on character.