Be Diverse, Not Divergent

Do you have a team of employees who all think and behave in exactly the same way?

Of course you don’t. Each employee brings his or her unique personality to work each day – influencing the way he acts, perceives situations, and interacts with co-workers.

How can you get the most from employees with wide-ranging personalities? Today, PrideStaff shares three tips for managing a workforce of diverse individuals – and improving your organizational performance:

Embrace different personality types. Sure, each kind of personality has its drawbacks, but each also has unique strengths, too. As a manager, it’s up to you to identify – and leverage – the positives:

  • A “steamroller” may be overbearing, but he can also be a strong leader if managed properly.
  • A “grinch” may be negative, but you can count on him to voice controversial opinions (and not just be a “yes man”).
  • A “people pleaser” may not know his limitations, but he can be a real asset when you’re up against a big deadline.

Know what’s important to each. While stereotyping and pigeon-holing your employees is dangerous, it’s helpful to bear in mind the preferences and priorities common to basic personality types. For example, a “Type A” person typically likes to be in charge and make decisions. It’s important for these individuals to move ahead in their careers, and they relish autonomy. Do your homework to understand what motivates each basic personality type, so you can give them what they need.

Flex your management approach. Once you understand the advantages each personality type has to offer, as well as what makes them tick, adjust your management approach to minimize problems and facilitate teamwork. Here are a few tips:

  • Provide frequent feedback to those who need it, but resist the urge to micromanage independent workers.
  • Be willing to relinquish some control to strong personalities who want to take charge. Find opportunities for them to lead, whenever possible.
  • Try not to internalize thoughtless comments from people with abrasive personalities.
  • Assign new responsibilities to employees that suit their natural personality styles.
  • Be mindful of the interplay among personality types when assembling project teams.
  • Educate employees about personality types and how they influence work dynamics. The better individuals understand others’ mindsets, the better they’ll work together.

Looking for ways to improve performance of your diverse team?

Contact your local PrideStaff office today. As a leading national employment agency, we provide a full complement of hiring and workforce solutions to help you build, manage and boost the performance of your diverse team.