Which yields the best ROI: Fixing staff weaknesses or growing their strengths?


MotivationIt has been drummed in to us from a young age that we “Grow the most in our area of weakness”. For example, when looking at a school report what do we naturally gravitate to? The lower scores, this is often where the most energy is focused for development. Research by the Gallup Organisation has shown we actually grow the most in our area of strength and least in our area of weakness.

One of Gallup’s researchers Marcus Buckingham has this to say “years of research prove that individuals and teams playing to their strengths significantly outperform those who don’t in almost every business metric. In fact, the single best predictor of a consistently high-performing team is the answer to this question: “At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best everyday?” Teams with individuals who do massively outperform teams with people who don’t-they’re more profitable, more productive, less likely to quit, less likely to have accidents on the job…the list goes on.”


You will get the best ROI if the training and development budget’s focus, is on building strengths rather improving a person’s weaknesses. This approach also has a positive impact on staff motivation and retention, as it feels great to learn more in your area of strength. This doesn’t mean that weakness is ignored, instead strategies are put in place to manage weakness i.e. better systems, processes, another person.

How can I discover my strengths? Buy the book ‘Strengths Finder 2.0’ by Tom Rath (you’ll get a ‘code’ with the book to enable you to complete the Clifton StrengthsFinder 2.0) and complete the assessment on line at ww.strengthsfinder.com


  1. Marcus Buckingham, //strengthscampus.com/page/business-case-for-strengths-1#
  2. Gallup Organisation, www.strengthsfinder.com