When employees develop their personal strengths at work, they thrive. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of what their strengths are. This encouraged the construction of strengths assessment tools such as the Values in Action Inventory of Strengths and the Clifton StrengthsFinder 2.0. However, these inventories may be unsatisfactory in describing all types of work-related strengths employees can identify with. Therefore, we test the comprehensiveness of these indices in the context of work. Based on our findings, we design an iterative procedure guided by the Critical Incident Technique to develop a novel index of occupational strengths. First, we inductively generate the index from 954 strengths reported by 231 Dutch employees and 87 of their colleagues and test its internal reliability (Study 1). Then, we translate the index and assess its applicability with 1056 strengths reported by 176 employees from English-speaking countries (Study 2). Finally, we examine the robustness and generalizability of both versions with an additional Dutch (N = 218) and English (N = 216) sample (Study 3). By building an index through the language of the employee, we generate a specialized tool for human resource development professionals and managers to help employees focus on and apply their best selves.
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