Monday, May 20, 2024

Identifying Team Strengths and Weaknesses

One of the most important activities that you will need to engage in as a leader is constantly assessing the state of your team, each individual employee, and yourself. Before you can put employees in positions to succeed, you have to have a good idea of what their strengths and weaknesses are. Here are some guidelines for how to assess team and team-member strengths and weaknesses:

  • Include other team members in the assessment process. Allow each member of the team a chance to identify their own and other team members’ strengths and weaknesses. Ideally, this can be done privately so that no team member develops resentment toward another for perceived unwarranted criticism. This also allows you to compare your assessment with others.
  • When an employee or the entire team experiences a failure or a success, try to identify why this came about and who was most responsible. In the case of failure, identifying the responsible person is not about casting blame, but it is about identifying what went wrong so that you know where and how to improve. When you are analyzing a success, however, it is good to give credit when someone other than yourself was particularly instrumental in that success.
  • Determine how consistently an employee performs in a given role. If that employee is consistently unsuccessful, try to find another opportunity and role for that employee to be successful. Identify the skills necessary for success in certain roles, and when an employee is consistently successful in a role, note these skills as part of that employee’s skill set. If an employee fails to perform consistently, you may also identify these skills as weaknesses in that particular employee.
  • Observe employees when they act alone or outside of the team structure in order to determine how their strengths and weaknesses might change in different contexts. Perhaps it is not a lack of a particular skill that is the weakness but an inability to apply that skill in a team setting or vice versa.

Until next time ...


Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

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