In 2018, we began our search for a way to give employees the tools they need to better understand themselves, how they work, how they learn, and how they interact with the other members of their team. Our goal was to find a single solution that could help every employee grow, both professionally and personally, in areas like communication, emotional intelligence, collaboration, and leadership. Sounds like a tall order, right? We thought so too, until Cassie Thompson, Infinity’s director of organizational development, suggested we explore the CliftonStrengths Assessment, a program she (and about 25 million others around the world) used to great success.
The CliftonStrengths Assessment is designed to help individuals discover and develop their greatest talents. You can learn more about how the assessment works here. We started by having every Infinity team member take the assessment to learn their top five strengths. Shortly after, we took the additional step to allow team members to see all 34 of their strengths. While the purpose of the assessment is to allow individuals to home in on the areas they already excel in, we believed that letting team members have access to their full list would help them get a better sense of both where they shined and where they could use additional support from their team.
During the first year of implementation, we also developed a series of training workshops where we examined all 34 strengths in detail. These trainings enabled team members to get a better sense of what their strengths meant, how their strengths worked together, and how they could leverage their talents both inside and outside of Infinity.
We knew that introducing CliftonStrengths to our organization would not be a single-step solution, and that maximizing the program’s effectiveness would require ongoing efforts. That’s why we conduct one Strengths training academy and one supervisory training per year. We also provide Strengths coaching sessions to any interested team members. All new hires and interns take the assessment, and Strengths continue to play a pivotal role in our annual review process.
It’s safe to say that the CliftonStrengths Assessment transformed (and continues to transform) the way our agency thinks, works, and solves problems. Shortly after implementation, Strengths became an integral part of our company culture. The Infinity team truly embraced the program, and within weeks, our Strengths began to appear throughout our organization. They are represented in our internal email signatures, they hang on our walls as posters, and they even help frame our internal conversations and strategic discussions.
We leverage our Strengths daily to understand how we can create the biggest impact on projects, how we can best communicate with our coworkers, and even how we can build the most effective teams to take on complex challenges.
Since introducing the program in 2018, we’ve seen substantial changes in how our employees operate on a day-to-day basis. Individual performance has improved across the board, as has overall employee satisfaction and engagement.