Diversity in the workplace is a great thing. Traditionally thought as having a number of ethnicity groups comprising a company’s workforce, diversity can also be come from personality types and how employees view work. Some individuals succeed by being more outspoken and inclined to communicate frequently, while others may perform highest in seclusion. Both of these employees can still be productive and valuable members of an organization. Think about your business. Are you maximizing your employees’ potential?
Extroverts or introverts
All companies are different, but one thing remains the same; a balance must be struck between worktime and socialization for a corporate culture to be effective. Some employees aren’t necessarily more valuable simply because they spend their time at work differently.
“Introverts, Extroverts, and the Workplace” states that there are two different personalities in the workplace, although someone doesn’t always distinctively fall into one category. Extroverts get their energy and ideas from external stimuli and may generate ideas by speaking in groups or sharing information. Introverts, on the other hand, do their most efficient and creative work in a private setting (Introverts, Extroverts, and the Workplace). Because these employees respond to different stimuli, both managers and coworkers need to learn how to interact with them.
Generating information flow
Diverse teams have a higher performance ceiling, but they also tend to have a lower floor (Diversity fatigue). Managers must facilitate trust and healthy communication to foster a successful diverse work environment.
Statistics say “in a six-person meeting, two people do 60% of the talking” (Knight). These people are typically extroverts. To allow other ideas a fair chance to be heard, leaders should encourage those who speak less to be more vocal in meetings. This can even begin before the meeting, if managers distribute memos and meeting outlines beforehand. This allows people who prefer to think in seclusion to collect their creative thoughts and prepare what they’re going to say. It also allows them to predict counterpoints to their arguments.
To have all team members work at their peaks, managers should be flexible with employees, allowing them to work how they want, when they want to. This may allow a more reserved employee to work in a coffee shop while social employees can work as they chat in the office. This can also be applicable in the office space, where employers can develop private, quiet areas for those who prefer to work by themselves (Napoletano).
Regardless of what accommodations are made or what the organization does to create a positive environment, employees still have to work well together. While they may not always agree on topics, they must remember that they’re all working toward the same goal. Employees can do their part in creating a productive environment by:
- Not pushing for conflict. Times may arise when employees have different thoughts on how to reach the shared goal, and that’s okay. Coworkers should know when to let the little things slide and save their arguing for only their best ideas
- Knowing everyone’s area of expertise. Each employee brings a specific talent to the table. Respecting what they do and utilizing resources available can go a long way in helping the organization
- Not taking feedback personally. Feedback is meant to be constructive. Any criticisms of an employee’s work will help improve efforts on future projects
- Recognizing that employees who aren’t vocal still bring value. These people are often more detail-oriented and work best by observation. Team members can ask them for their thoughts if they’re important to know
When implemented and monitored, these tips can add to a productive environment with healthy working relationships.
Having a healthy, diverse environment allows businesses to grow and boost creativity. When employees with different ideals and personalities come together to work on a project, they have the potential to create solutions that are more innovative and advanced than ones from homogenous work groups (Abreu). Each individual’s perspective is different from another employee’s. Because of this, businesses with diverse workgroups also have the ability to market effectively to consumers with different perspectives.
A diverse business is more likely to attract and retain talented people from different backgrounds. This talent produces higher quality work and is more likely to feel welcome. Research shows happy employees lead to higher profits. Companies that were chosen as the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For saw on average a 22.2 percent increase in revenues in the year they were selected (Biro).
Workforce planning and staffing strategies are key components in developing a diverse, productive workforce. To find a tailored solution for your human resource needs, visit our website.
- Abreu, K. (2014, December 9). The Myriad Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/240550
- Biro, M. M. (2014, January 14). Happy Employees = Hefty Profits. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/meghanbiro/2014/01/19/happy-employees-hefty-profits/#779283df4f8b
- Dealing With Different Personality Types in the Workplace. (n.d.). Retrieved May 20, 2016, from http://www.today-magazine.com/lifestyles/dealing-different-personality-types-workplace/
- Diversity fatigue. (2016, February 13). Retrieved May 20, 2016, from http://www.economist.com/news/business/21692865-making-most-workplace-diversity-requires-hard-work-well-good-intentions-diversity
- Healy, R. (2012, November 8). How to Successfully Work With Different Personalities. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2012/11/08/how-to-successfully-work-with-different-personalities
- Knight, R. (2015, November 16). How to Be Good at Managing Both Introverts and Extroverts. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from https://hbr.org/2015/11/how-to-be-good-at-managing-both-introverts-and-extroverts
- Introverts, Extroverts, and the Workplace. (2014). The Advisor: Resources for Supervisors, Managers, and Human Resources Personnel, 14-2. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from https://www.csuchico.edu/eap/docs/empathia-advisor2014-04-IntrovertsExtroverts_and_the_Workplace.pdf
- Napoletano, E. (2014, July 25). 3 Reasons Introverts Make Excellent Employees. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/3-reasons-introverts-make-excellent-employees/