Do You Get to Use Your Strengths at Work? A New Gallup Study Says a Majority of Americans Don’t

I read an interesting bit of research this morning from the Gallup organization on whether or not people feel as though they get to use their strengths throughout the day as a normal part of their working life. The research was a part of all of the Strengths-Finder stuff they’ve put out over the years. Lots of businesses and churches use the Strengths-Finder tools and language to improve productivity. Over half of the people they surveyed (5000+) said that they do not get to use their strengths throughout the day. It was interesting to me that women beat men on this, and results seem tied to race and economic status. Also worth noting was the fact that the more one uses their strengths, the more self-confidence they have, and they report higher levels of hope, altruism, and overall well-being.

How would you answer their research question: “About how many hours out of the day yesterday were you able to use your strengths to do what you do best?” 

Here are some pull quotes from the article:

“The majority of American adults say they are not able to use their strengths to do what they do best throughout the day — with 57% saying they use them for six hours or fewer each day. About one in four report that they use their strengths at least 10 hours a day. Women use their strengths for more of the day than men do, with 26% using their strengths at least 10 hours a day compared with 23% of men. Overall, women say they use their strengths an average of 7.1 hours each day versus 6.6 hours for men.”

“…low-income Americans are much less likely than those with higher incomes to say they use their strengths during the day. Those with incomes of less than $24,000 per year report using their strengths an average of 5.8 hours a day compared with averages of 6.7 to 7.0 for higher-income groups. Above moderate levels of income, Americans are no more likely to use their strengths.”

“Among racial and ethnic groups, whites report using their strengths an average of 7.0 hours per day — compared with 6.9 hours for blacks and 6.8 for Asians. Hispanics are much less likely to say they use their strengths throughout the day — averaging 5.8 hours a day. Twenty-eight percent of Hispanics report that they used their strengths to do what they do best for three hours or fewer “yesterday.””

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About Tim Suttle

Find out more about Tim at

Tim Suttle is the senior pastor of He is the author of several books including his most recent - Shrink: Faithful Ministry in a Church Growth Culture (Zondervan 2014), Public Jesus (The House Studio, 2012), & An Evangelical Social Gospel? (Cascade, 2011). Tim's work has been featured at The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Sojourners, and other magazines and journals.

Tim is also the founder and front-man of the popular Christian band Satellite Soul, with whom he toured for nearly a decade. The band's most recent album is "Straight Back to Kansas." He helped to plant three thriving churches over the past 13 years and is the Senior Pastor of Redemption Church in Olathe, Kan. Tim's blog, Paperback Theology, is hosted at Patheos.