For organisations, productivity is a simple concept – the ratio of output per unit of input. However, for employees, it simply means accomplishing a task at hand. The way employees perceive and relate to the idea of productivity directly determines their productivity levels. For without the right attitude and reception from employees, productivity levels take a hit and it is people who are at the core of productivity. Therefore, it’s easy to conclude that there is a direct connection between an employee’s personality and productivity and finally, the company’s bottom line.
Ultimately, “people make or break the place, not processes”. Therefore emphasising on the people factor and understanding employee personalities is integral to master the equation of productivity.
The Importance of Personality-Productivity Connection
Many studies suggest that about 20 to 25 percent of an individual employee’s productivity is dependent on their personality. For instance, a study done by PI Worldwide found that retail sales managers with higher degrees of assertiveness achieved an average of 35% more year-over-year sales growth than their less assertive counterparts.
The nature of work has radically changed today with the advent of service-based and team-oriented workplaces. Companies are slowly recognizing their employee’s personality traits as key competitive differentiators.
How often have you refused to return to a restaurant because of a cranky waiter? Similarly, the human element of business interaction is what determines the success and performance of any organisation.
Besides, the leader’s personality and style also have a direct impact on the company’s performance. Effective leaders exhibit qualities of inspiration and passion more than their less effective counterparts. In simple words, personality runs throughout the organisation to shape its success.
Applying the Concept of Personality to the Workspace
Several companies have used personality assessments to study the individual traits of an employee and determine how well they fit into a role. Here’s how you can use personality assessments during each milestone across the employee life cycle.
You can identify a specific personality trait you require for a role and mention them in your job descriptions. Personality assessments can also be used to determine the employee’s working style and select the right match for the role.
Will the employees you recruited need more training or can be brought up to pace more quickly? With the insights from personality assessments, you can gauge what is exactly needed for the employee to make them comfortable and adjust to their new role.
Appealing to the employee’s personality can help you engage them better and reduce employee turnover. For instance, some employees prefer to take up challenges while others like to do routine tasks. Therefore, when you understand your employee’s personality and work style, you can assign duties accordingly and increase job satisfaction.
Some people are more open to working in a team and are very outgoing, while some like to work independently. Discovering such personality traits during the interview process through discussions and assessments will help you decide whether they can thrive in your organisational culture.
5. Coaching and Development:
Managers can use personality assessments to devise their coaching strategies for their direct reportees. This is because such assessments help them understand the employee’s forte and leverage behavioural strengths to drive performance. For instance, you can pair a slow learner with an enthusiastic employee so that the employee gets the right influence and support.
Ways to Increase Productivity Using Personality Types
Each individual is unique and the key to unlocking employee productivity and engagement is through understanding the unique traits of each individual. There are several personality types in the workplace. Here are four prime personality types and how you can improve productivity based on their attributes:
1. The Thinkers
These employees are analytical and tend to conceptualize the world based on facts and figures. They are objective and logical. Often found in leadership roles, you can try to increase their productivity by appealing to their sensible side. You can exhibit facts about their performance and work with them by setting realistic goals to improve their performance.
Provide them with different learning, coaching, and mentoring opportunities to help them expand their knowledge and grow.
2. The Judgers
These employees are good decision-makers and demonstrate astute organisational skills. They are good planners as well who like to schedule in advance and bring things to a close so that they can move on. In order to appeal to this personality, build a work environment where everyone in the team is held accountable for their actions.
The judgers like order and organisation, so you can also involve them in strategic planning initiatives and project management.
3. The Feelers
Contrary to rational thinkers, feelers like to go by their own emotions and connections with others. They are great team players who can be very supportive and create a warm environment where everyone is happy.
You can engage these employees by appealing to their passion. They can be the right fit for creative and team-oriented projects that require strong collaboration and connection. They also want to make a difference and like to take up challenges.
4. The Perceivers
Perceivers are at loggerheads with the judgers and seem to be very open-minded, adaptable and open to taking risks. They are less-structured and like to go with the flow. One of their strengths can be to think on their feet and respond well to changes. An effective way to engage them can be to make them the cheerleaders in the team to encourage others.
Have open conversations to help them achieve their goals and seek co-operation. Be compassionate to their needs and in turn, they will help drive the business to success.
The above are some general characteristics and traits of a few personality types. It’s always important to remember that employees come from different generations, backgrounds, and possess a unique set of values, interests and goals.
That is why you will need to recognize and tailor your approach based on the personalities of the employees to enable productivity and engagement in the workplace.
The personality of an individual is like a motor that drives their behaviour. So why not fuel the motor in the right direction and adopt a people-friendly approach?