How to Identify Employee Strengths and Weaknesses

how to identify employee strengths and weaknesses.

When employees show up each day, they don’t just bring their job skills and work experience. They bring their whole selves to work, and that includes a range of personal qualities, personality traits and interpersonal skills that can help—or hinder—your team’s ability to succeed.

The key, then, is knowing how to identify employee strengths and weaknesses so that you can use them or improve them, all to your team’s advantage. In this post, we share the most common methods managers use to identify employee strengths and weaknesses, including the one we recommend.

Observe Them

If you work regularly with your employees, you might say that identifying employee pros and cons can be as simple as paying attention to how they work and assessing them in real time. But that’s easier said than done. If you’re helping get the work done, that can get in the way of your efforts to identify their strengths and weaknesses. If you’re so focused on identifying their strengths and weaknesses, that can hamper your efforts to get the work done. Paying attention, then, will only get you so far.

Ask Them

An article from ADP says any attempt to identify employee strengths and weaknesses should include asking them two questions: “What do you think your strengths are?” and “What do you think your weaknesses are?” But we don’t think this goes far enough, because it doesn’t take into account the very real possibility that your employees might lack the confidence, self-awareness or creative thinking required to uncover their talents or blind spots.

Ask Their Colleagues

Peer appraisal, as in employees identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the employees they work most closely with, is another possibility. An argument could be made that peer appraisal provides the most accurate viewpoint. But there are enough pitfalls associated with peer appraisal that suggests this method doesn’t go far enough, either. So what method is the best for how to identify employee strengths and weaknesses? We’re glad you asked…

How to Really Identify Employee Pluses and Minuses? With a 360 Survey

Yes, we’re big fans of 360 feedback surveys. After all, it’s in our name—G360 Surveys. Maybe we’re biased but hear us out: When you consider the methods discussed above and the challenges each of them poses, it becomes clear that the best way to identify employee strengths and weaknesses might not be any single method, but all of them. And we can’t think of a better way to combine all of these methods than with a 360 feedback survey, which gathers responses to a variety of questions from a variety of perspectives—yours, theirs and their peers’.

Get started with one of our 360 assessments today.