Understanding the person behind the role
Diversity is important for businesses to succeed, with research by McKinsey (2020) highlighting that the greater representation of gender and ethnicity in a business, the more chance they have at financially outperforming their competitors. More and more companies are investing in inclusion and diversity (I&D) practices, but where does personality diversity fit in?
Whilst it is important to invest in visible diversity in the workplace, there is still a need to understand each individual’s personality. Consider this, a team of four designers, some are reaching retirement age whilst others are just starting their careers, they are different genders, born in different places and have a range of social and economic backgrounds. In many ways, they appear to be a diverse team. However, they all prefer to work alone and tend to enjoy controlled environments with order and routine. In this case, opportunities may be missed that someone with a preference for change and taking risks would have suggested and encouraged. The same issues arise if the team of four designers each have the latter preference. If no one in the team has a preference for structure and order, then hasty or unnecessary risks may be taken. It is the combination of both personalities that would encourage a balanced and effective team.
Why is personality diversity important?
1. Encourages different perspectives and opinions
Different personalities will bring different opinions and perspectives. When there is a problem that needs solving or new ideas that need generating, differing opinions create a variety of options to choose from.
Having different perspectives also means that ideas can be challenged. It promotes the opportunity for debate, conversation and engagement, which helps to develop a considered and measured solution.
2. Utilises individual strengths and preferences
Going back to the earlier example, teams with a mix of personality preferences are likely to have different strengths and be better suited to different roles and tasks.
For example, an individual with a high preference to be analytical, may be better suited to a project that requires data analysis, than an individual who would feel uncomfortable dealing with numerical information. The second individual may be more suited to a project that requires looking at the bigger picture.
Having a diverse team allows people to play to their strengths and work together to compensate for each other’s weaknesses.
3. Improves workplace culture
By understanding the diverse personalities in the team, managers can match individuals to the task and assign them work that they will prefer and enjoy doing. This is likely to increase their chances of success and allows each individual to contribute in their own unique way. This in turn improves overall employee engagement, motivation and job satisfaction.
When employees have increased job satisfaction, this promotes a positive work culture and reduces the likelihood of occupational burnout and stress. This means that employees are less likely to take sick leave or even quit, which reduces absence and turnover costs for the organisation.
How to achieve personality diversity in your team
Many employers focus on hiring individuals that have the skills or abilities to perform a job. While this is important, considering the personality of each applicant and the traits required in the role, allows the employer to find an individual who will work best in their role, with their team, and as part of the company culture.
Personality assessments such as HUCAMA Personality Factors, give organisations an in-depth understanding of their employees’ personalities and equip them to identify potential strengths and derailers within the team.
Find out more about HUCAMA Personality Factors.
Belias, D. & Koustelios, A. (2014). Organizational Culture and Job Satisfaction: A Review . International Review of Management and Marketing , 4 (2) , 132-149 . Retrieved from https://dergipark.org.tr/en/pub/irmm/issue/32080/355053
Dixon-Fyle, S., Dolan, K., Hunt, V. and Prince, A., (2020). Diversity wins: How inclusion matters. McKinsey & Company. Retrieved from: https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/diversity-and-inclusion/diversity-wins-how-inclusion-matters