According to the Gallup 2017 State of the Global Workforce report, only 15% of full-time workers are actively engaged and enthusiastic about their work and workplace. Although Gallup reported considerable variations between countries, the statistics of engagement never exceeded around four in ten.
So, what does this mean? When employment engagement levels are down, businesses experience a much lower level of productivity. If companies value their process over people, their overall development always suffers. Employee engagement is a hugely influential factor in the success of any business, so it’s essential that we understand how to engage our staff (and no, that doesn’t just mean a pinball machine in the office and a free gym membership). Ultimately, the most engaged workplaces have an understanding of what they’re employees need to function at their best, and most importantly, that every employee’s needs are unique. Employee engagement is a two-way transaction, requiring businesses to actively engage their staff, understanding what motivates individuals and makes them successful. Employee engagement = productive, engaging, and exciting work environments.
Recognising the different personality types that make up your office environment is an essential factor in overall engagement. The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is one of the most widely used personality tests, regularly utilised by businesses (over 75% of the Fortune 500 have reported using the test), education facilities and the military. The MBTI assesses your personality based on four scales: Extraversion (E) – Introversion (I), Sensing (S) – Intuition (I), Thinking (T) – Feeling (F), and Judging (J) – Perceiving (P). After answering a series of questions, participants are given a four-letter acronym that best fits their personality preferences. The MBTI can be incredibly helpful in the workplace, as a means of leadership development, team building, career guidance and, of course, employee engagement.
However, engaging with your employee personality types doesn’t mean you have to take a test. Cultivating a sense of engagement by being able to empathically understand a wide variety of personality types can be as simple as learning to recognise them. Here are eight different office personality types, and how you can engage them.
Thinkers are driven by achievement, so it’s essential to make sure that they can excel in their environment. Thinkers make decisions based on the logical consequences of a choice or action, sometimes by removing themselves from a situation to analyse it objectively. It’s important to establish goals for Thinkers that allow them to measure their success within the office environment, but also challenge them to think outside their comfort zone.
Feelers use their emotions in decision-making by mentally placing themselves in situations to identify with the people involved. They want to make decisions based on people-centric values. It’s crucial to let Feelers understand how their actions contribute to the goals and values of the workplace. Their strengths include accepting, understanding, supporting and appreciating others.
Judgers like to plan and keep things in order by regulating and maintaining control of their lives. They crave structure and organisation, so it’s essential to make sure that they are given opportunities in an office environment to be able to utilize their skills fully. Having a clear plan and schedule is paramount to a Judger’s wellbeing.
Perceivers tend to live in a spontaneous, flexible way. They might not love plans and schedules, but this makes them great at dealing with last minute changes. They are generally very able to adapt to the changes and demands of an immediate situation. While you might need to check in every now and to make sure they’re on track, they’ll always be the ones to call when dealing with last minute dramas.
Extraverts tend to direct their energy and attention outwards, preferring talking to writing, and meaningful work relationships. It’s vital to allow extraverts to engage in social interactions at work as much as possible by working alongside other team members and in small groups. If possible, allow extraverts to take initiatives in their work, and prove their resourcefulness.
Introverts tend to focus their energy towards their own inner world of ideas and experiences. They like to work solo in quiet spaces. They prefer writing to talking and generally are more productive when left to their own devices. Introverts are great internal processors and are often very capable of monitoring their own process.
Sensors create meaning from their conscious thought, choosing to prioritise the facts and reliable data over their emotional intuition. They like precise schedules and logical sequencing. It’s essential to be able to approach sensors with practical, grounded and direct instructions for sensors. Forget overall concepts, stick to a clear, strategic and well thought out plan.
Intuitives are happy to trust their gut. They are great at spotting overall patterns, and content to focus on the future, rather than getting bogged down in the nitty gritty of the present. If you’re spending a day dealing with Strategy, make sure you’ve got some Intuitives around. They thrive when given a chance to think big, use their imagination and plan for the future.