Why Does Personality Matter in the Workplace?

It’s a long-standing question: How should companies hire? Should it be according to skill, personality, or experience? If you’re going to ask experts, the answer is all of the above.

However, much of the discussion revolves around skills and experience. Today, it’s time to bring more attention to personality. Let’s found the ways why it still matters:

1. Workplace Conflict Is a Source of Stress

More businesses are conducting a personality test for applicants for a reason: workplace stress. In a survey by the American Institute of Stress, about 28% of workers claimed their stress came from different people issues, including any conflict in the office. About 50% said they needed help in managing it.

Meanwhile, the effect of stress is profound. It is closely linked to health problems than family or financial issues. Worse, it can increase the risk of violence in the workplace, which, incidentally, may also be partly because of a person’s personality.

In the same survey:

  • 10% were concerned that one of their colleagues could become violent
  • 25% felt shouting or screaming because of workplace stress
  • 14% wanted to strike their colleague but didn’t
  • 18% experienced verbal intimidation, threat, or harassment over the last 12 months

2. Motivations Can Differ among Employees

Do you wonder why some employees tend to excel over others? It’s not always because they underperform. It could be they have different motivations for working, partly molded by their personality.

Motivations explain why millennials tend to job-hop more often than other generations. According to the Gallup survey, at least 21% had changed jobs in the past year. An overwhelming 60% were open to other job opportunities.

Analysts believe that it’s disengagement that’s forcing them to leave. Many companies don’t provide them enough incentive to stay, and that includes having worthwhile, purposeful jobs.

Business meeting

Differences in motivation are also what encourage parents to seek work or companies that provide job security or health benefits.

When employers understand the reasons their employees report to work, they can decrease the risks of disengagement, burnout, and dissatisfaction. Instead, they can make them more productive, which is a win-win for everyone. Employees are happy with their jobs while businesses make good money.

3. The Right Personality Can Be Cost-effective

The wrong employee is a liability, and sadly, it can be costly for the business:

  • This person can damage the reputation or the culture of the brand.
  • They underperform or are incapable of doing the job, thus reducing productivity and efficiency.
  • They can also decrease the morale in the workplace, increasing disengagement.
  • You miss the chance to hire the right talent.
  • You might lose the best people.
  • Turnovers are expensive. Statistics showed that it could cost the business at least 33% of the position’s annual salary.
  • Bad personality traits can mean significant financial loss. Take, for example, inside job or retail theft.

Please note that differences in personalities should not be the basis to discriminate applicants or employees. Businesses can benefit from some diversity.

However, they also warrant a more careful, strategic hiring process. Otherwise, a personality mismatch can spell severe problems that can affect everyone in the organization.