Think about a great day at work…
Did you make a meaningful connection with a client? Knuckle down and complete an important project? Energize your colleagues around a shared goal? Strategize to overcome a business challenge?
Odds are, you were at your best when you engaged your unique strengths and talents on the job.
In February, 20 Children’s Friend staff in our Early Intervention program started a journey to identify and utilize their unique strengths. Staff took the CliftonStrengths assessment and are now receiving individualized training and technical assistance from Leadership RI. Gallup research finds that people who use their identified CliftonStrengths are more engaged and productive at work and 3x more likely than others to have an excellent quality of life.
Natalie Redfearn, Manager of Early Intervention, said she is “surprised at how much the staff are talking about this initiative – both their own strengths and how those strengths play out in relation to their co-workers. This has opened up doors to communicate about what we need from each other.”
CliftonStrengths recognizes and helps supervisors support employee talents and strengths. However, success of the program is dependent upon management practices. This month, Early Intervention managers and supervisors will receive additional training. The goal is to assist managers in integrating strengths into daily operations with their employees and work teams. Leadership RI will also organize a “field experience” that will bring the managers to a company that has embedded strengths-based practices into their environment, allowing managers the opportunity to see strengths in action and to learn best practices they can take back to the Early Intervention team, and Children’s Friend overall.
This work is directly tied to the Children’s Friend strategic plan, and specifically the goal of developing “a social/human capital approach to employee relations to build a culture of innovation and accountability”. We know that low employee engagement and high turnover are direct threats to the safety and well-being of the children we serve. Through this pilot of CliftonStrengths with Early Intervention, we’ll look at ways to help stabilize the workforce, and grow innovation and accountability from that stability.
To learn more about CliftonStrengths in Rhode Island, watch this short video from Leadership RI.