Workplace diversity across different aspects determines organizational success to a certain extent. One of the many facets of human diversity shows in the form of personality traits. Invariably, different employees have different traits and thus, have unique strengths and weaknesses. While managing different employee personality traits can be a challenge at times, this diversity augments innovation and creativity in the workplace. It enables an organization to deal with a wide range of situations, because each personality trait is equipped to deal with one or the other challenge that might come along the way.
Employee Personality traits: Customizing the Approach
Business leaders need to adopt a customized approach to deal with employees with different personality traits. Adopting a one size fits all approach might be biased against a few, thus, compromising their potential and performance. Managing different personality traits enables leaders to build on the strengths of their employees, while at the same time, helping them work on their weaknesses. Additionally, it creates a map for better collaboration, by pairing complementary personality traits together.
Managing Employee Personality traits
There are five major types of personality traits observed among employees across different organizations. Here are a few quick tips to manage them effectively.
- Openness: This refers to an employees readiness to adapt to changing circumstances and accept new avenues.
Managing those employees who score high on this personality trait requires managers to give them new avenues to explore. As they are responsive to change, they are always looking to go beyond the usual and, therefore, offering them new and exciting projects will augment their engagement.
Those low on this personality trait are generally averse to change. The best way to manage them would be to introduce change incrementally. This does not mean you don’t push them out of their comfort zone. Just be sensitive to not push all the change in one day.
- Conscientiousness: This generally revolves around an employee being diligent and hardworking towards their responsibility.
Employees with high levels of this personality trait display commitment, dedication and discipline at work. Managing them is generally an easy task. To engage them, it is best to delegate them tasks which require reliability, These employees have great potential to come out as leaders.
However, those who score low generally lack that reliability and rigour in their work. They might have the same or even more calibre as their counterparts, but generally lack the diligence. Managing them requires constant mentoring and coaching to encourage them and create focus.
- Extroversion: By nature, extroverts enjoy the company of others and fancy recognition and acknowledgement.
Employees who recognize themselves as extroverts are outgoing and always ready to take charge. Extroverts generally make great leaders and excel at people facing roles. Managing them requires leaders to appreciate their work and boost their spirits. At the same time, they can get impulsive and it is the manager’s responsibility to ensure they don’t take decisions impulsively.
Introverts generally prefer working alone or in very small groups. They take time to open up and managing them requires patience because they may not feel engaged the second they join the organization. They are best for intellectually driven projects and managers who leverage this can optimize their strengths.
- Agreeableness: This personality trait is often related with characteristics like warmth, compassion, cooperation.
Managing those who have a high agreeableness quotient is quite simple because they rarely revolt. Adopt an empathetic approach while dealing with them. To facilitate their growth, equip them with skills to deal with confrontation and other difficult situations.
Those who score low in this are often crude, competitive and display raw emotions. Empathy is again the card to play here. Managers should be composed even when they are crude and explain to them where they are going wrong. Additionally, invest in coaching and mentoring them to be sensitive towards the emotions of others while displaying their opinions.
- Neuroticism (Anxiety): This refers to the propensity towards being very moody and experiencing emotions of anxiety, worry, anger, fear, among others.
Managing neurotic employees requires empathetic managers, preferably with a coaching background or supporting apps or platforms. Such employees require constant positive reinforcement and feedback to ensure their wellbeing at work as well as out of it.
Those on the other end of the spectrum are easier to manage. They have a better work life balance and feel satisfied with their professional and personal life.
Managing employee personality traits at work
Managers need to adopt a very cautious and sensitive approach to ensure employee wellbeing and engagement. At the same time, each person is bound to have more than one of these personality traits. Therefore, organizations must invest in manager capacity building programs, mentoring and coaching to equip them with the right tools and skills to effectively deal with these different personality traits and stride towards organizational success. SuperBeings is one such platform organizations can leverage to advance personality and strengths based management and boost performance.