“You are comfortable working without a rulebook, and you are at your best when you have to make many decisions.”, Lisa* reads in her CliftonStrengths results. It is this kind of insight that is a real booster for personal development. Tapping into a core strength, it unleashes motivation to act upon it. Being specific, it enables seeking and recognizing contexts to apply a strength effectively.
Why focusing on strengths
There are three major reasons why at Liip we encourage Liipers to put a strong focus on their strengths in their personal development:
Quality of our work: At Liip we have 200 talents in our ranks. As an organisation we benefit enormously, if every single one reaches their highest levels of excellence. Every gain in quality is passed on directly to our clients. As most of our client projects use a multitude of Liip services, many different clients benefit from individual Liipers getting even better at what they already excel in. It makes our offer irresistible. As an organisation we know this. And we therefore want all our employees to reach their highest levels.
Collaboration: In a self-organised company, self-awareness is decisive. Teams can collaborate better if individual members know well in what areas they are good in. This allows team members to complement themselves by working together with other Liipers that are excellent at what they themselves are less good at. Encouraging Liipers to develop their strengths is at the same time a trigger for building strong and complementary teams.
Enthusiasm: We believe that enthusiasm is key to continuous learning. Enthusiasm puts the brain in a state of desire to try and test; to imagine and create; and to seek exchange and new input. Enthusiasm can spark easily around core strengths – as these have often developed as a result of prior enthusiasm.
Our personal development offer
There are two key components to our personal development offer.
Every Liiper has a budget of time and money that they can spend yearly on their personal development. This can be spent on anything that a Liiper deems important for their development in their main role(s). It includes conferences, coaching, courses, as well as long-term education programs.
Additionally, every Liiper is encouraged to choose a People Developer. In regular meetings throughout the year, a People Developer can accompany the Liiper in their personal development journey. Depending on preferences, this accompaniment can take various forms, from peer-coaching to talking bubbles.
The offer is complemented by specific strategic training, a time budget to attend and hold Liip Talks, and guilds to strengthen internal exchange on specific topics.
How we support strengths-based personal development
It is one year since we decided to put a focus on strengths in our development offer for Liipers. In the meantime, we have tested various tools to assess key strengths. And we have developed a way for People Developers to accompany Liipers on their journey to harness their strengths more fully.
Amongst the tools we tested, the CliftonStrengths stood out. The language it employs is inviting to engage with the findings, rather than imposing them as truths. The findings focus fully on how to leverage these strengths and can get very specific.
Already ten People Developers have chosen to add a strengths-based approach to their peer-coaching offer. Liipers can assess how the findings of the CliftonStrengths resonate with their experience together with their People Developer. They can choose to focus on their top strengths, for example by getting aware of blindspots that hinder them from fully harnessing a strength. They can also choose to focus on complementary strengths. This approach has especially been promoted to cope with challenging environments, such as the new working reality under Corona.
Insights from our journey so far
Expect smiles and insights that feel like you have been carrying them around for a long time without being able to pinpoint them precisely. Really. All Liipers and People Developers that have so far embarked on the strengths-based people development journey feel that they are getting richer.
*name edited for anonymity.