How employees recognise their strengths

The rapid technological change brought about by the digital transformation, the flood of ambiguous information, a large number of vacancies to be filled and an increasing shortage of skilled labour are just a few examples of how the demands of the modern working world are constantly increasing. This leads to mental and/or physical overload for employees and managers.

This is also shown by the study "#whatsnext - Healthy working in the hybrid working world", which the Institute for Occupational Health Consulting (IFBG) conducted in October 2022 together with Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) and Personalmagazin (Haufe) with 1,098 managing directors, HR managers and those responsible for occupational health management. 38.5 per cent of those surveyed stated that burnout, excessive demands and depression are already highly relevant in their companies today. When asked about the future, as many as 70 per cent of respondents consider this topic to be important in the next three years.

Start building your resilience in good time

The question of how to deal with these challenges in a healthy way requires solutions on a corporate and personal level. This is where the concept of individual resilience comes into play, which describes a person's ability to deal with stress, recover from crises or setbacks and emerge stronger. How can this personal resilience be built up so that it can also be utilised in acute stress situations?

One starting point is to focus on strengths when completing tasks in order to remain successful and healthy. Strengths are unique individual qualities that are practised with joy and vigour. If we live and work according to our strengths, this leads to more motivation, better results, more success, increased self-confidence and more resilience. This makes it easier for us to achieve our goals and improve our quality of life.

Ask the right questions

The following questions can help you to become aware of your own strengths:

  • What do I enjoy doing?
  • What is easy for me?
  • What are the topics on which I am asked for my opinion or my approach?
  • After which appointments do I feel tired and exhausted and which ones do I leave with more energy? What are the differences in the content of these appointments?

It can also bring new perspectives to ask people from our personal and/or professional environment for feedback and to ask in which situations they experience us "fully in our element". It is often easier for others to recognise our strengths and blind spots than it is for us.

Don't be afraid of a strength test

Strength tests are another way to become aware of your own strengths. One example is the VIA strength test, which is available free of charge in various languages and can be completed online in around 15 minutes via the following link: https://www.viacharacter.org/survey/account/register

The result is sent directly after the test has been completed. Further information on the subject of strengths is available on this website. Discussing the test results with someone from your circle of friends or colleagues can provide further insights based on specific examples of how you perceive yourself and how others perceive you.

Sometimes "borrowing" strengths in a team

Consciously tackling upcoming tasks based on one's own strengths means that strengths can be developed. Everyone can expand this work through self-reflection on their own strengths. When several strengths can be combined to master a challenge and find a new solution, learning takes place. A team can organise itself in a strength-oriented and therefore more efficient way if its own strengths and those of the other team members are known and strengths can be "borrowed" from one another.

This means that not everyone has to do everything and the team can support each other. This creates a better team atmosphere and acceptance of differences, as well as faster and better results. Your own self-efficacy, i.e. the conviction that you are capable of successfully mastering tasks, increases - both personally and as a team.

Becoming aware of your own strengths in the team

If a team member has interpersonal strengths, this person can be used as a sparring partner for interactions within the team. The creative team members can contribute their strengths in brainstorming or designing concepts and the detail fans are happy to be asked to proofread the concepts.

In this way, each person can make an active contribution to the team result and is valued for what and how they contribute. These positive experiences increase confidence in their own strengths and those of the team members. As work is not only organised in fixed team structures, but also across departmental and national boundaries in various projects, it can be useful to build up a network of strengths that complements your own.

Building a network of strengths

Who finds it easy to do something that drains your energy? Who brings something to the table that complements my strengths? This leads to individual and team goals being achieved more easily and better and contributes to a positive and appreciative team atmosphere.

The fact that team members can work according to their strengths and create a climate in which they master challenges together increases self-confidence and regulates how stress is dealt with.

It has a positive impact on well-being, health and therefore also on personal resilience. Word of this spreads within the company and also to the outside world, which in turn makes it more attractive to new employees.

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