A company’s work culture is an intangible ecosystem that determines whether its employees will be engaged or disengaged in their work. In a way, this culture reflects the company’s ideologies and beliefs. To increase productivity, it is necessary to create a positive work culture where employees can thrive and be happy. But the term ‘positive’ is subjective and can be perceived differently by everyone. So how does one go about bringing this change in the company?
First understand that employees are as different from each other as apples from oranges. Every employee has a unique set of thoughts, ideals, interests, attitudes and aptitudes. Any company looking to revamp their work culture needs to understand these unique personalities before coming to a decision. For example, at the most basic distinction, there can be 2 types of personalities: Extroverts and Introverts. There is a 3rd type known as ambivert as well, if you are feeling particularly progressive.
Introverts are said to be shy, creative, observant and diligent whereas extrovert are said to be outgoing, ambitious, risk-takers and impulsive. Ambiverts are mix of both and change from situation to situation. Now creating a work culture that is predominantly suitable for extroverts will alienate the introverts. And if it is designed to suit introverts, it could be perceived as slow and quiet by the extroverts. Not the kind of energy and enthusiasm that they thrive in.
Catering to either one personality type is not recommended especially because there is no sure way for categorizing individuals efficiently.
There is another finer and comprehensive assessment test that companies can use to identify the different personality types of individuals. The Myers Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI) is one of the most popular and widely used personality assessment models in the world. The theory states that while behaviors may appear random, there is in fact an orderly and consistent pattern. Each of the Myers Briggs Personality Types individuals mainly rely on their perception and judgement.
8 traits according to Myers Briggs Personality Types:
- Extroverts: Energetic and enthusiastic individuals, capable of taking on multiple tasks
- Introverts: Individuals who prefer working on single tasks quietly and at an unhurried pace
- Sensors: Realistic individuals who rely on facts and figures
- Intuitives: Those who focus on possibilities and value creativity
- Thinkers: Prefer a logical analysis of things after carefully considering all pros and cons
- Feelers: Cooperative individuals that consider how their actions will affect others
- Judgers: Comfortable following established procedures and stick to plans
- Perceivers: Individuals who act spontaneously and make flexible plans
Individuals do not possess only one of these traits. It is a combination of multiple traits that forms an individual’s personality type. After the assessment, individuals are assigned 4-letter codes that better explain their characteristics.
A brief summary of the different types of personalities according to Myers Briggs Personality Types as explained in a Business Insider article: (Source)
|Type||Characteristics||Suitable job profiles|
|1||ESTJ||These individuals are more realistic, practical and swift to take decisions based on logical reasoning and hard facts. They like to be in control of things and are often forceful when it comes actually implementing their plans.||Operations Head|
|2||ISTJ||With an affinity for keeping everything organized, they prefer to have all facts and instructions to ensure their activities are completed on time. They are quite down to earth and extremely dependable whenever required.||Project or Program Manager|
|3||ESFJ||Friendly and outgoing individuals who are eager to help others in need. Great at teamwork, they prefer to work in harmony and are sensitive to any conflicts. They like to be appreciated for all their contributions.||Software Developer, QA Engineers|
|4||ISFJ||Loyal and caring individuals who like helping others in their times of need. It takes time for them to accept new ideas but once they are on board, they are highly committed.||Customer Service Representative|
|5||ENTJ||ENTJ have a flair of leadership and quickly take control of situation to solve the problem at hand. They are quick to identify inefficient and illogical patterns. Friendly and energetic in their interactions.||Product Marketing Head, Head of HR|
|6||INTJ||Long term thinkers, these individuals strive to convert their ideas into reality. They set high standards for themselves as well as others.||Chief Executive Officers, Entrepreneurs|
|7||ENFJ||Highly empathetic and compassionate people and more attuned to their emotions. They perform better when there’s a concrete plan and work well with others.||Manager Lever Execs|
|8||INFJ||Committed and hardworking individuals who are adept at coming up with creative solutions for problems. Think before taking action and are highly committed to their goals.||CSR Manager|
|9||ESTP||Friendly and playful individuals who prefer to live in the moment. Perform well despite pressure and come up victorious. They are excellent at negotiation and take all decisions logically.||Sales Manager, Head of Sales|
|10||ISTP||Pragmatic and quiet individuals who spring into action in times of crisis. Known to be private but honest and down to earth in their interactions. They maintain their composure even in the most stressful situations.||Grievance Handling, Operations Manager|
|11||ESFP||ESFP enjoy working with others and bring an element of fun in the workplace. They are flexible, spontaneous and try to avoid conflict as much as possible. Always willing to learn new skills as well as help others get better.||HR Manager, Public Relations|
|12||ISFP||Gentle and easygoing individuals who may appear aloof at first but are actually very nurturing once they open up. They are quite observant and tend to see the best in others as they seek to maintain harmonious relationships.||Customer Support Manager|
|13||ENTP||Alert and outspoken individuals who always seek new and challenging opportunities.Consider far flung possibilities and seek ways to implement them strategically. They can quickly become bored by routine and look for newer interests. Skilled at reading others.||Marketing Director|
|14||INTP||Look for logic and reason in all that they find interesting. They are less inclined towards social interactions. Maintain a critical and analytical approach while solving any problem.||CFO, Finance Managers|
|15||ENFP||Energetic individuals who prefer brainstorming to come up with creative solutions. Very enthusiastic, talkative and playful individuals and base most decisions on strong personal values. They are flexible which helps them improvise whenever needed.||Product Development Head|
|16||INFP||Rate their values highly as well as people who are important to them. Usually flexible unless their values are challenged. Quick to spot opportunities and take steps to convert them. Endeavor to better understand people and enable them to achieve their potential.||Content Writer, Graphic Designer|
This 4-letter code assigned by Myers Briggs Personality Types should be used understand individual’s preferences, and not as their ability or character. For that conduct an aptitude assessment. The end purpose of the assessment is to not just assign personality types to individuals but really understand them as people. What makes them tick? What are their motivations in life and how can these be leveraged in the workplace? What are their strengths and weaknesses? How well do they work with others? Do they have leadership skills or are adept at teamwork?
All these questions are helpful at determining how to best revamp the work culture. Thus, companies are able to avoid creating a 1-dimensional culture that is not inclusive of the different types of employee personalities.
An important point to note is these varied Myers Briggs Personality Types are actually better for the workplace. Each individual has their own special thought process which could complement some or provide opposing views that are also useful for avoiding a one-track chain of thought. It creates a balance in all strengths and weaknesses. All these different types can work in collaboration to help their company reach newer heights.