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March 2018
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TD Magazine

Do What You Love

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Engagement, energy, and dedication rise when employees use their talents.

"Strengths-based HPI [human performance improvement] focuses on how managers and employees can help answer the question, ‘What are you good at?'" That's according to Hawley Kane, the author of the March 2018 issue of TD at Work, "Strengths-Based HPI: A Win-Win for All."

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Kane provides tips on how managers and their direct reports can work together to determine those skills and favored tasks, noting that—while focusing on strengths, since that increases employee engagement and productivity—we should by no means ignore our weaknesses.

Key to finding our strengths includes conversation—more specifically, questions. Managers can start by asking their employees what motivates them. Additional questions include:

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  • What work activities energize and refresh them?
  • What types of work have brought them positive recognition in the past?
  • What work assignments do they enjoy the most?
  • What are their highest priorities for life, and how does work in your organization fit in with those priorities?

    While communication is critical, another avenue that managers can use to help ascertain their employees' strengths is observation. A person's assets become obvious when you look for them.

    As a talent development professional, you can work to bring managers together so that they can share best practices in discovering their employees' strengths. You also can encourage managers to share tips on social platforms such as Yammer or the company's intranet.

    These tips were adapted from the March 2018 issue of TD at Work. Learn more at www.td.org/TDatWork.

About the Author
The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.
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