Picture this: you've built a successful company from the ground up with dozens—maybe hundreds—of employees. But you are dissatisfied with how your staff are working. You're paying them well, and they all have terrific skills, but they just don't seem to be as dedicated, or as loyal, or as happy as you need them to be. What's going on?
Every workplace suffers conflict; it's unavoidable. And this being a personality blog, we spend a lot of time blaming it on personality clashes. It's comforting to think that all we have to do to stop conflict is take a personality test, recognize each other's quirks and foibles, and make sure certain people never work together. Analyzed through the personality lens, workplace conflict doesn't seem like a big deal at all.
Picture this: you walk into the office one morning and there's already a heated conversation going on. Brandon is berating Donna for not responding to his emails and causing him to miss an important deadline. Donna is furious with Brandon because she thinks his criticism is unfair – she has been snowed under with other commitments and helping Brandon did not feature highly on her list of priorities. She's upset that he's shouting at her in such an insensitive way.
We all know of those all-hands sessions where senior management announces the big, corporate goals that will determine the next few months and years. For some, it's energizing to hear about the great vision the organization has set for itself. Everyone should feel like they are contributing to the success of the business, and some personalities – notably Intuitives – get a real buzz when they feel part of something big.
People with a Perceiving preference – that's the "P" in their Briggs and Myers four-letter personality code – are spontaneous and adaptable workers. These types thrive in dynamic and ever-changing environments and may seek out employers that offer flexible working arrangements so they can remain wide open to schedule changes. If you need quick-thinking people who can respond resourcefully to changing situations, it pays to get a "P" or two on your team.
Take care if you think that Feelers are the peacekeepers of the workplace. While they certainly strive to maintain harmony and appear caring and tactful, the fact is: Feelers communicate differently than Thinkers and this can be to their own detriment. Feelers tend to argue less, apologize more, and personalize each and every experience – all of which can undermine the team's success.
Here are five ways that Feelers unwittingly sabotage communication in the workplace – and some tips on what you, as a boss, can do about it.
In an ideal world, personality type would not be a predictor of career success. But, we don't live in an ideal world.
Birds of a feather flock together, as the aphorism goes, and it's just as true for humans as it is for groups of animals in the wild. We all have a tendency to associate with people of similar personality to ourselves based on our shared attributes. This can affect our social networks. To cut a long story short, most of us have a stable network of contacts who look a lot like ourselves. What we're lacking are challengers, opinion leaders and mentors that can add a little salt to the soup.
Interaction. Connection. Honest commitment. Everyone knows that building a basic sense of trust among team members is essential for creating a synchronized and top-performing team. Even if an employee works alone on the frontline, he or she will always fit into a wider team with each member reliant on another and communicating constantly. Having the ability to trust your teammates and speak up when there's a problem is an absolute necessity.
To help your employees stay on track and to keep them engaged and productive, you'll need to set some metrics or milestones that you can measure and work towards. Most companies hand out performance goals at the annual performance review. Properly considered, they can help employees improve performance and job satisfaction.
The powers-that-be have announced it, the managers are fired up to implement it .... and the employees just aren't ready for it. So, they resist.
What are we talking about?
Leaders have the most challenging of jobs: leading a team of diverse employees to get behind a single vision and work collaboratively to achieve a common goal.
Not all leaders can do this effectively however.
Why do some leaders succeed while others fail?
One old adage of management theory is whether you motivate someone by dangling a juicy carrot in front of his nose (money, promotion or vacation time) or beating him with a stick (pay cuts, firing or being publicly lambasted for failing to hit sales targets).
As much as I like to sing the praises of the 9-to-5, the fact is, these hours are pretty much obsolete these days. From checking emails on weekends and phones keeping us on call 24/7 to the relentless rise of technology that lets workers access work at anytime from anywhere, the reality is, we're all working much longer hours than a decade ago.
Retaining your top managers should be an ongoing priority - not only are they expensive to replace, your employees will feel the loss of a supportive manager like a wound. Yet many companies don't have the first idea why their long-serving, long-suffering managers are leaving. If you think it's about money, then you couldn't be more wrong.
In fact, it's a company's fierce urge to fit every manager into the same box that's driving the best managers away. Here are the five main reasons why good managers may be quitting your company, and what you can do to buck the trend.
Whatever sector you work in, there's a fair chance that short-term contract or "gig" work is a key feature of your current and future workforce. More and more people are choosing to work independently in order to gain better control over their lives and there are advantages for employers too, in terms of managing workforce capacity without long-term commitment. Today, around a third of workers use contract or freelance gigs as their primary source of income, and this number is expected to grow to 43 percent by the year 2020.
Meetings are mind-numbingly dull and boring.
Most of us have experienced this at some time or another but when you're an Artisan, the problems are multiplied tenfold.
Artisans or "SP" personalities are the temperament with a natural desire for freedom, a need for action, and a hedonistic drive to enjoy life. They're at home with the concrete tangibles, not the ideas, concepts and long-range focus required for strategy planning. They want to go for it now, not think about some ill-defined future.
How then, do you involve them in strategy meetings?
As trainers and managers, we often talk about improving teamwork in a business, but what does that actually mean? How do you measure teamwork? And is that something you should even be doing to keep track of what's going on at your business?
One approach is to measure the team's output such as hours billed, units sold, number of tickets answered, repeat customers, or whether the team completes a project on time and under budget. It's easy to track these actions since they're concrete, and you can judge at a glance the team's improvement over baseline performance.
You’re telling the room: any type can do anything. Personality theory is about understanding yourself better, playing to your strengths and broadening your horizons. It was never intended to pigeonhole anyone.
On the inside, you’re thinking. How can I, someone with a preference for Introversion, train groups of people as my job? My energy comes from in-depth, one-on-one conversations, not noise-filled, overstimulating group work. I’m much happier working and spending time alone.
Losing even one employee can be a huge loss to your business. Not only do you lose a valuable pair of hands, you potentially lose a chunk of experience that’s difficult to replace. Productivity declines, and morale may take a hit across the wider workforce, especially if you are left understaffed. These factors can have devastating effects on everything from leadership to service quality and of course, the bottom line.
Still, what can you do to keep employees?