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Satisfaction by Design: The Value of Crafting Roles Aligned with Individual Personalities

May 20, 2024

By: Alaina Sims

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt you had to “overcome” your natural personality traits to be successful? For example, a reserved introvert attending a networking event or a cautious, risk-averse person going skydiving. Of course, there can be a sense of exhilaration and accomplishment when you stretch yourself by rising to the occasion of a new challenge. But continually going against the grain of your intrinsic behavioral traits probably isn’t something you’d want to do for 40 (or more) hours a week. And it shouldn’t be something you want your employees to do either.

First, the Bad News

Workplace wellness is a hot topic — and an important one. SHRM’s Employee Mental Health in 2024 Research Series states that 44% of employees feel burned out from their work and 30% often feel stressed. Though there are a lot of factors at play when it comes to employee stress, working in a role that does not align with their inherent personality attributes is a formula for employee disengagement, burnout and, eventually, employee turnover. Workers who are burned out are almost 3 times more likely to actively search for another job.

Now, the Good News

Thankfully the opposite is also true — when employees are in positions that allow them to use the behavioral traits that come naturally to them, those individuals are more likely to be motivated and productive. And that’s a prescription for employee retention and loyalty!

Pro Tip: Set yourself — and your employees — up for success by hiring for job fit  from the start. This includes:

  • Determining the experience, education, or skills that are necessary for the role.
  • Benchmarking employees who have been successful in the position to evaluate the traits that have helped them be effective in the job.
  • Using a behavioral assessment to discover which job candidates possess those successful traits.

Even if you haven’t taken that initial step, you can still create and adapt positions to work in sync with your employees’ individual behavioral qualities. You can start by discovering their unique strengths and challenge areas, and a personality assessment is a great way to do that. The Omnia Behavioral Assessment can illuminate your staff’s intrinsic traits and help you better understand how their personality dimensions interplay with their job responsibilities.

Small Changes Can Make a Big Impact

It might sound like a massive undertaking to adjust a job based on the employee’s characteristics, but it doesn’t have to be. Even small tweaks to job duties or processes can reap big rewards in terms of employee engagement and success. Below are a few examples:

  • Your administrative assistant is ambitious, goal oriented, and always eager to take on new assignments but feels bored by their daily support duties. They need more challenges to stay inspired in the job. For this employee, you can assign increased responsibilities that require the proactive traits this individual possesses. You can also allow this person to take the lead on projects. Finally, consider transitioning the position into an office manager role that will give the employee some authority and decision-making freedom.
  • Your customer service rep is very helpful to clients and excellent at resolving their problems. However, this employee is socially reserved, and the extensive time spent on the phone with customers makes this CSR feel depleted. This person needs some solo work to recover the energy drained from all the social interaction on the phone. Target this individual’s activities toward investigating and solving difficult or time-consuming client issues, and give the employee time away from the phone to do so. Or perhaps let this person focus on live chat customer service interactions rather than over-the-phone support.
  • Your salesperson is outgoing, gregarious, and everyone’s friend, and they will never make a prospect feel rushed into making a purchasing decision. However, this employee can feel flustered working through a fast sales cycle and pursuing a quick close. Instead, let this individual focus on leads and deals that need more time and patience to come to fruition. Assign this employee to prospects who want a friendly relationship with their salesperson and who need to be walked through the sales process by someone who will take the time to do so.

To foster employee wellness and retention within your company, you want to ensure that your team feels engaged, valued, and assured that they make important contributions to the organization. Start by making sure that your employees feel that their natural behavioral traits are an advantage in their jobs, not a hindrance. When their positions are crafted to allow their inherent personality attributes to aid in their job success, you have a recipe for a content, flourishing workforce.

You want to engage and retain your employees; Omnia wants to help you do it! Contact our team of supportive, knowledgeable advisors to discover how to put the power of personality insight to work for you.

Alaina Sims

Alaina first joined Omnia in 2003 as an analyst and was sold on its mission from the start. So much so that, after a move and brief time away, she came back in 2013 and now works as the Senior Manager of Profile Analysis and Workflow. She writes and edits various Omnia products and is the resident “follow-upper” to help keep the department running smoothly. She is grateful for a role that marries her love of data analysis and the written word in a way that enables her to help clients find (and keep) productive, fulfilled employees.

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