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How to Deal With Your Employees’ Weaknesses

employee engagement people manager strategy people ops problems strengths-based leadership
How to Deal With Your Employees’ Weaknesses - LeAnne Lagasse

Welcome to People Ops Problems with LeAnne Lagasse, a bi-weekly video series designed to help Business and People/Culture Leaders improve employee engagement, retention, and communication with their employees. Sign up now to get it in your inbox.



How we deal with our employees’ weaknesses will shape their performance, their learning and development, and our organization’s employee engagement, retention, and overall workplace culture.  


Watch the video above, or read the outline below, to learn 4 strategies for managing your employees' weaknesses. 


 👉🏻 4 Strategies for Managing Your Employees' Weaknesses


  • Strategy #1 – Invest in Their Strengths,Not Their Weaknesses

    • According to the Gallup Organization, when an organization’s leadership fails to focus on individuals’ strengths, the odds of an employee being engaged are a dismal 1 in 11 (9%).
    • But, when an organization’s leadership focuses on the strengths of its employees, the odds soar to almost 3 in 4 (73%).
    • Employees who focus on using their strengths are 3 times as likely to report having a high quality of life, 6 times as likely to be engaged on the job, and experience almost 8% greater individual productivity than those who focus on their weaknesses.
    • Strengths-based organizations experience better financial performance, higher employee engagement, lower turnover, and even higher customer satisfaction scores.


  • Strategy # 2 – Get Perspective About The Nature of Their Weaknesses

    • Adopting a strengths-based approach does not mean we ignore weaknesses. Rather, adopting a strengths-based approach means we get a better perspective on the nature of our weaknesses.
    • Four General Types of Weakness
      1. Weakness due to a lack of experience or skill in a specific area.
      2. Weakness due to character/integrity.
      3. Weakness due to a lack of talent or strength.
        • Ask yourself, 'What doesn’t come naturally to them?', 'What is my theory as to why this is a weakness?' and 'How might their strengths explain this weakness?'
      4. Weakness due to overapplication or misapplication of our talent and strength.
        • Ask yourself, 'What comes a little too naturally for them?' and 'What talents and strengths are they dialing up too much?'


  • Strategy #3 – Create a Culture of Self-Expression Around Weaknesses

    • Start with yourself. Be aware of your weaknesses and take responsibility for them. Model this behavior and create a comfortable environment for people to openly discuss their weaknesses.
    • When we openly discuss our weaknesses with our teams, not only are we helping them learn what they can expect of us on our best days and our worst moments, but we're also sending the message to them that on this team, we own our individual weaknesses. We’re not scared of naming them.
    • The message is: We need diversity of talent on our team in order to reach our goals. Our differences are advantages, and we can cover for each other’s weaknesses when we work together in light of our strengths.
    • A few questions to ask your team members to mine for weaknesses:
      • “Which parts of your job come most naturally?"
      • “Which parts come least naturally?"
      • "What drains you of energy?”
      • “Where do you want and need to learn and grow?”
      • “What are your theories as to why these things are challenging for you?”


  • Strategy #4 – Manage and Design Around Employee Weaknesses

    • Growing in self-expression around our weaknesses paves the way for self-regulation – the ability to apply our talents when and where we need them and manage around our weaknesses instead of trying to fix them.
    • A few questions to ask yourself?
      • Am I creating environments where my employees can succeed, or am I setting them up for discouragement and failure?
      • Am I aligning my employees’ talents and strengths to their roles?
      • Am I giving them feedback and coaching them about their weaknesses?
      • Who can I partner them with, and who will complement them in their areas of weakness?
      • What will drain them of energy, and how can I offload that for them?
      • What am I expecting of them that isn't realistic?
    • A few more questions to ask them:
      • “How can you manage around the weakness?”
      • “How can you aim your talents at the outcomes you need?”
      • “How can you use what comes naturally to tackle what doesn’t come naturally?”


Hey, thanks for being here and for watching/reading. My goal is to consistently create content that's engaging, applicable, and inspires you to continue learning and growing as a leader. If you have ideas for future content or any questions at all, please shoot me an email at: [email protected].

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