From a 7 to a 9

From a 7 to a 9

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How to get the best out of your employees as a company


Do you remember when you were in high school? There were undoubtedly one or two subjects where you excelled and one or two where, say, you were not the best student. Now ask yourself: which of these subjects did you enjoy the most? And which of these subjects did you spend the most time on? Probably the subject you were worst at.

Pretty crazy, right? Why spend more time on something you’re not good at and don’t like doing, instead of focusing on something you love and are good at? As illogical as this sounds, this is the way it works in many organizations. In many companies there is a culture of focusing on improving your weaknesses instead of optimizing your talents. Instead of growing from a 7 to a 9, you are put to work turning a 3 into a 5.

Higher happiness at work

That while happiness at work arises when you do something you enjoy. And doing what you love usually coincides with doing what you’re good at. In addition, those who do what they enjoy and what they are good at perform better, are sick less often and feel more involved. With this in mind, many assessments, development plans or assessment systems miss the mark. Fortunately, it’s easy to do things differently.


At its core, it comes down to putting people at the center again. The tendency to focus on weaknesses is often deeply embedded in the organizational culture and stems from all kinds of practices in which people have lost sight of the human being. An example is the way in which such organizations deal with recruitment and selection: a vacancy consists of a set of predefined competencies that you must meet for the position in question. The starting point is then this description of the perfect employee, instead of you as a unique person.

We also see this tendency in assessment systems: every employee is assessed, under the pinnacle of equality, on the basis of the same standard. As a result, you and I, different as we are, must have exactly the same competencies, to the exact same degree. For example, you may excel in customer-friendliness, but because you are less analytically strong, that assessment remains at an average each year.

Start today!

But don’t worry, it can certainly be different. And that doesn’t necessarily mean major cultural changes. You, as a colleague or manager, can already start dealing with talent in your organization differently today. Ask yourself or a colleague the simple question: “What makes you happy at work?” And: “How could you do more of that?” When a few team members ask themselves these questions, you can already arrive at a division of tasks in which everyone works as much as possible from their own strength. Not measuring development points, but talents and motivations fits in with this people-oriented approach.

Discover your strengths

An example of a method that measures talents is the Gallup StrengthsFinder method. Research firm Gallup found that there are roughly 34 strengths, with each individual naturally excelling in about five to ten areas. These are your talents and your most important values. At The Rookie Minds we have formulated our Personal Purpose with it, our assessment system is based on it and we have shaped our roles on this basis.

Became curious? You can discover your own strengths by clicking the button below.