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  • Writer's pictureCarole Stizza

Food Network Challenge – Crafting a Workforce for Growth

Updated: May 31, 2021

In a recently published article, State of American Managers, Gallup refers to a term called additive effects when looking to hire and develop star employees who can help a company scale.

What is an additive effect? Additive Effect is a borrowed term from biological and scientific research. It refers to combining multiple elements that, when combined, create a larger effect than when individually applied. Elements that do not help the outcome represent wasted effort or redundancy. In my mind I immediately jumped to the phenomenon that occurs when mixing the right ingredients in baking. Baking, unlike general cooking, requires exact ingredients to react with one another to create the desired outcome – fluffy and tasty cakes, cupcakes, etc. When too many or too little of any key ingredient is added, the outcome is drastically changed and you get voted off another great food challenge. Gallup has found this to be true in hiring and developing the right talent for growth as well.

4 Ingredient Strategies that create results If you want 59% more growth in revenue per employee, listen up. Across a wide swath of industries, Gallup research has found 4 strategies, that when combined, report to add 59% more growth in revenue, per employee. This is a huge factor in success when the economy demands your organization scale and produce. The 4 strategies are often used independently. In fact, less than 1% of organizations use them in combination. Gallup wants to wake you up to use the following in combo due to what they contribute to the 59% added growth:

  • Strategy 1 – Hire Managers with the natural talent to Manage – 27%

  • Strategy 2 – Select the right Individual contributors – 6%

  • Strategy 3 – Take engaging of your employees seriously – 18%

  • Strategy 4 – Focus on Strengths – 8%

Which is the Secret Ingredient? Great question! While all contribute, like baking, and all ingredients are required. It is common, however, that the smallest ingredient may have the largest effect. For example, without a touch of baking soda, the cake will not rise – regardless of how much flour you’ve added. So, while creating a solid hiring method to gain Managers who have the right talent, selecting team members who are natural contributors, and setting up programs that provide solid engagement of your employees, I would argue that understanding how to focus on strengths is a key secret ingredient.


Focusing on strengths, as a main habit, supports all the other strategies, without fail. Research within sports performance found that when concentrating on strengths, instead of areas to improve or any defined weaknesses, athletes developed faster. This is true at work as well. Yes, implementing the other 3 strategies creates a seriously competitive edge. Adding the 4th strategy is the secret ingredient to maintaining a growth environment. In fact, employees who use their strengths on a daily basis are 6 times more engaged at work, and managers who support their team’s strength use create 61% more engagement on their teams. Talk about the perfect ingredient to keep handy and maximize!

Where do we start? Start with understanding each person’s strengths and look to research on the 5 characteristics demonstrated by your managers. Start understanding how to maximize your organization’s natural talents instead of crafting programs to improve or ‘fit’ employees together. Team successes have been built on this technique for years now. Be one of the best by adopting the best practices. Combine all 4 strategies for growth and you will be ready to scale without the stress.

To learn more about helping individuals, managers, and teams gain insights into their strengths, register for my Strengths Strategy Course!

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