Leaders Who Focus on Strengths Cause Employee Engagement to Skyrocket

When leaders focus on individual employees’ strengths, commitment to the organization soars, says Tom Rath in his new book, Strengths Based Leadership. When a leader doesn’t focus on strengths, but only talks about where improvements are needed, employee engagement is as low as 9%, he reports. But when the focus is on employees’ strenghts, engagement soars to as high 73%–an eightfold increase!

This is no surprise to those of us who promote the “gospel” of story-based communication focused on stories about “people caught doing things right.” Armstrong International CEO David Armstrong says that when he started telling “hero”stories about people in his company who enacted the organization’s values, employee morale, commitment and teamwork shot up. As David told me, “When I step into any of the workspaces in our company, I can see, feel, touch and taste the difference that stories make.” Author of several books of stories about people in his organization exhibiting the behavior he wants, Armstrong is dedicated to the practice of leadership storytelling.

What are you waiting for? Start telling stories about people caught doing things right and tell us what happens.

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