How to Use a SWOT Analysis to Evaluate Your Teams’ Strengths

Have you ever walked into a business and everyone seemed to be doing his or her own thing? No one appeared to care much about you as a customer but was off in la-la land, concerned only with what they had to accomplish.

Worse yet, it seemed like the whole company functioned that way! Yeah, it’s crazy I know, but it happens in many businesses.

Where were the owners or managers to correct this behavior?

Who knows, maybe so buried in work in their offices that they couldn’t take time to see what was really going on.

SIDE NOTE TO LEADERS AND MANAGERS: People don’t always do what’s expected, but what’s inspected.

Later, I will spend more time dealing with what good customer service truly is, as I used to be a senior manager and corporate trainer of customer service professionals, but I will move on for now; however, great service seems to be rare in some sectors in the marketplace today.

Agree or disagree?

Questions leaders should pose to themselves and their teams:

Do you know your personal strengths well enough to see where you fit on a team in your field?

How do you discover and develop your strengths as a team?

How do you daily engage your teams’ strengths to maximize areas such as creativity, productivity, profitability, and sustainability?

Let’s use a familiar business evaluation tool, The SWOT Analysis, to assess our individual and team capacities.

The SWOT Analysis

The SWOT Analysis is a simple collaborative instrument that many companies engage to uncover the assets and liabilities of their business or organization. (I have included one with this paper as an attachment). It purports assessing four areas: Strengths, weaknesses, obstacles, and threats. These quadrants are discussed in team collaboration but may be idiomatic and introspective as well.

So, let’s now apply those from a strengths-based approach: 

S=Strengths

What are the strengths of every c-suite executive, staff member, faculty, employee, etc.?

W=Weaknesses

What are those areas in our team/business/organization that we have low impact and challenges due to not having elevated strengths there? Do we need to increase our staff by hiring those needed, implement professional training, etc.?

(Obstacles and Threats will be covered in part 2 next week)

How do we discover strengths in our team members?

  1. Identify and designate a strengths-based assessment as a company, employ it as an HR resource tool given to all employees, both existing and new hires. (if possible, in the interview process BEFORE hiring)
  2. Create a matrix to enter ALL employee data (there are specialized programs that assessment companies utilize for their products, such as CliftonStrengths and Gallup’s support tools, or just use an Excel spreadsheet)
  3. Engage the assessment as a team and discuss strengths to build upon and weaknesses to manage.
  4. Keep up company-wide strengths-based conversations for at least one year after implementation. Research indicates that engagement is key to sustaining growth as a company and maximizing outcomes.
  5. Apply these strategies at all levels of leadership and departmental meetings.

Every company has strengths and weaknesses. Strengths should be developed and built upon, while weaknesses are managed, to prohibit negative impact. Take theses questions and strategies, along with the SWOT Analysis, to discuss and develop your strategic team or company goals.

Prescribing Your Success,t

 

Dr. John

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