4 Reasons to Focus on Employee Strengths in a 360 Review

Written by Explorance.

In a previous post, we examined best practices in communicating 360 degree feedback results. One of the best practices outlined was to focus on the strengths that were discovered in the evaluation. Some 360 feedback processes fail because they center on the weaknesses and overlook the strengths. Today’s post will examine four reasons why an organization should focus on strengths in the 360 process.

  1. Organizational success:

    One of the most important reasons to focus on an employee’s strengths in 360 degree reviews is that they contribute to the success of the organization. It is an individual’s strengths in a variety of competencies that has made them successful in their career. A company flourishes by identifying and nurturing an employee’s strengths, not by remedying weaknesses. Simply put, employee strengths are what build a successful organization. Research has shown that employees whose strengths were valued are far more productive and happy at work.

  2. Employee engagement:

    Companies that focus on strengths in the feedback process have more engaged and motivated employees. Research performed by the Gallup Strengths Center indicates that managers who focus on employee strengths achieve a 60 to 1 ratio of engaged to unengaged employees. Having a high level of engagement is crucial to the success of the company as it increases employee satisfaction, productivity, profitability and innovation. High engagement in the workplace also significantly reduces employee turnover.

  3. Over-attention to weaknesses:

    It is in our human nature to dwell on our weaknesses once they have been pointed out. This can make employees feel undervalued and cause them to be unmotivated in their work. Focusing so heavily on the areas for improvement in your 360 reviews can quickly turn the process into a negative experience. The approach of discovering weaknesses and trying to fix them completely ignores how the employee positively contributes to the organization.

  4. Development planning:

    Where it is important to identify areas of improvement for development purposes it is also beneficial to focus on strengths. Every employee has strengths that can be improved and leveraged with development and training. Creating development plans that center on enhancing strengths provides the opportunity for employees to excel. Effective leadership is often directly attributed to the strengths that person possesses. Rarely is an effective leader’s identified by their lack of weaknesses. Building on an employee’s strengths is important for their personal career growth and for the organization’s development.

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