More personality diversity in the workplace means a company benefits. That company gets a better balance of strengths and weaknesses. That’s essential for any business to stand out in a competitive business world.
Some business owners, however, dismiss workplace diversity. That is a huge mistake that will hinder growth and limit any potential that your brand may have. Personality diversity in the workplace isn’t just a social responsibility. Your workplace culture should reflect the world around you if you want the business to succeed.
Why is it beneficial to have a diverse workforce?
If every member of your team has the same personality, then problem-solving becomes more challenging. Consider the companies that seek risk takers in every job advert that they post.
If everyone you hire is a risk-taker, you will face the risk of making rash decisions in order to grow rapidly. Rash decisions can be avoided, or at least the decision would be more considered, if you had someone who was risk-averse on your team.
In other words, personality diversity in the workplace makes growth much more likely. Here are the specific benefits your company can reap with a diverse workforce:
Difference in Perspectives
We all view the world in different ways. Some people are detail-focused, while others have one eye on the big picture. Some people view the world positively, others not so much. Perspectives aren’t ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. They’re just different.
Personality diversity in the workplace means that your business gets the opportunity to access a range of perspectives and opinions. When it comes to problem-solving, that access can be priceless.
The more ideas you can access, the more creative your problem-solving can be. That’s only good news for business owners, the workforce, and your customers.
A productive workplace is a combination of teamwork and a shared vision of the brand’s mission statement. That combination ensures that employees are keen to work and are eager to learn.
When you have more personality diversity in the workplace, you gain access to a wide range of skill sets. A homogenous team of the same gender, the same ethnicity, and the same cultural backgrounds will likely share the same mindset and offer similar ideas. That will increase the likelihood of groupthink.
With a more diverse skill set, you are more likely to get a diverse set of inputs. That will aid in critically examining problems and coming up with innovative growth ideas. That can lead to faster and more efficient workflows that can boost productivity.
Competition demands business creativity and innovation. With more personality diversity in the workplace, your company becomes more agile and responsive to new challenges. That feeds productivity and efficiency alike, driving brand growth.
Everyone has different motivations, and in most cases, workplace strengths align with those motivations. Workplace motivation and productivity are directly linked. You may have team members that are more analytical, or more creative, or more outgoing. You can use the respective strengths of your colleagues to resolve tasks more efficiently and effectively.
If you have a member of the team who is great at talking to people but bad at studying data, you have them customer-facing. They will then be more engaged and more motivated to do their job well. If everyone in your team is the same, that leads to people being ill-suited to their given tasks.
That means a drop in motivation, a lack of engagement, and a drop in productivity. Having more personality diversity in the workplace makes for more opportunities to engage team members. It ensures they are doing the jobs that they will engage with.
How to Ensure Personality Diversity at Work
The good news is that it’s not as challenging to build a more personality-diverse workplace as you might think. Some simple steps will ensure the process. Of course, the impact of those changes can take time. The quicker that you implement the following, the better.
Send out personality questionnaires
Once you understand the need for a more personality-diverse workforce, you need to build that more diverse team. The first step is to learn about your current employees. That’s where a personality questionnaire comes in.
With a personality questionnaire, you will learn your team’s strengths, weaknesses, and motivations. You can use that information to empower every member of the team. They will learn more about their place within the business.
That data can also drive your recruitment strategy because you’ll know the key personality types your team is lacking. By getting a more diverse range of personality types in the workplace, you should strengthen your team.
That ability to understand what kinds of people are currently on your team is made easier with personality profile tools. Using tools such as Facet5 or DiSC, you get an instant snapshot of your existing workforce, allowing you to start implementing changes to your recruitment strategy.
So, how should you send those personality questionnaires? Email is always a reliable tool. Make sure your list of employee email addresses is updated. Assure them, too, that their answers will remain private and will not be shared with anyone.
Align recruitment strategy with business goals
Align your recruitment strategy with the overall goals of your business.
That means that if you have an issue with leadership, then your hiring strategy should include looking for those people who are not afraid to make decisions. If your team is always ten steps ahead and focused on the future, then you may need someone willing to sit back and focus on the now.
Having a more diverse workforce can positively impact employee retention.
Having more personality diversity in the workplace will mean a more accessible and comfortable working environment. Everyone will be doing the jobs that they are best suited to. They will then be both mentally and physically more comfortable. That leads to workplace loyalty and employees who are less likely to quit.
Of course, you do need to make sure you’re managing things properly. While a diverse workforce has many benefits, you can also get personality clashes that cause problems for your business.
Create job adverts
Once you know what you’re looking for, it’s time to create your job adverts.
It’s all too common to see recruitment adverts with industry and business buzzwords scattered throughout. Consider how often you have seen the following:
- Well organised
- Team player
If all of your job ads include these buzzwords as a given, then it’s likely you’re missing out on excellent applicants. Not everyone wants to be in a high-pressure job with large teams. They may prefer to work at their own pace and in isolation. That doesn’t mean that they will be any less productive or engaged.
You need to know what personality types are missing from your organisation. Knowing how to then write a more inclusive job description is going to be vital.
That can inform your whole recruitment strategy.
Consider how you want to portray the company. Then select imagery and copy that supports your brand identity. For example, the use of formal or informal language in your ad will impact the types of applicants you attract.
Understand what kinds of personality you want to integrate into your workforce. You will make it easier to create job adverts that will appeal. For instance, if you are looking to hire freelance writers regularly, craft adverts that list the specific skill set your company needs both in terms of hard skills and temperament.
Once you have your job adverts, get them on job search websites. Your social media accounts and website are also great platforms for these.
Recruit and onboard
Let’s say several people responded to your job adverts. It’s time to recruit based on the results of your personality questionnaires and your recruitment and business goals.
Blind hiring is one of the easiest ways to ensure a more diverse workforce. Like it or not, everyone has biases. Blind hiring based on skills and personality avoids the biases that come with differences.
After hiring the perfect candidates, the next step is to ensure that the new employees feel comfortable and welcomed. You will often need to adapt your onboarding process. At the same time, you also need to ensure the existing team members understand that they, too, feel just as valued.
If your workplace is not very personality-diverse, then making changes is difficult. The shift to more diversity will often mean an overhaul of your company culture. It’s not a change that’s going to happen in a quick week. There may even be resistance to the change by members of your existing team.
The key strategy here is to involve your current workforce in the decisions. Make sure that they recognise the benefits of a more personality diverse workforce. Give them access to the studies and research that highlight the benefits. Get their buy-in at every stage of the recruitment process to ensure a smooth onboarding process for the new hires.
If you want your workforce to make better decisions, you need to have a mix of personalities with a wider range of experiences. A more personality-diverse workforce is also more likely to reflect your customer base. That leads to better insights into customer wants and needs. That will mean a more empathic approach to helping those customers.
When every team member feels that they have a part to play in brand growth, they will feel more valued. That improves engagement, raises retention rates, and means an overall improvement in workplace morale.
It’s easy to identify skill gaps, but personality gaps are just as important to identify. It might mean an adjustment in your recruitment process and your workplace culture. In short, it’s not something that will happen overnight.
But the rewards make that goal high-value. Many advantages come with a more personality-diverse team. Only brands that are keen to stay behind can afford to ignore it.
About the Author
Allie is the Head of Content at Omniscient, a marketing agency that works with SaaS brands. Before working with Omniscient, she spent 5 years as a freelance writer and then joined the content team at HubSpot where she worked for nearly 3 years.
She has contributed to more than 100 high-converting articles for HubSpot and collaborated with the folks at Entrepreneur, Hotjar, and Foundr. Her words are bookmarked by entrepreneurs, small business owners, and digital marketers worldwide.