How Well Do You Know Your Coworkers?
What's your Myers-Briggs type? Would you consider yourself more of an innovator, a socializer, or a diplomat? Do you feel like more of a Type Green, Type Red, or Type Gold problem solver?
While those last few sentences might not mean much to the layperson, they're key concepts being explored in an increasing trend of workplaces utilizing psychographic tools to manage their employees better.
Yes, the term "managing employees with psychographic tools" sounds like something out of A Clockwork Orange, but the reality of it is much more exciting. These tools allow employers to better respond to the needs of the staff while also providing greater insights into the sorts of roles and responsibilities that different people respond best to.
Simply put, psychographic tools are workplace management solutions that evaluate and assign different "personas" to employees, depending on their personality types. Employees often take a couple of assessments that measure things like how they respond to stress or what mental framework they use to solve problems. While this might sound scary and overly clinical, the reality looks pretty similar to the kind of personality tests you can take online to find out things like what kind of breakfast food you are–except with significantly more math involved.
A psychographic tool like the increasingly prolific Insights Discovery evaluates which energies are most present in someone's decision-making process and assigns them a color. If you're curious about what color your energy is, you can find out for yourself here!
For example, an Observer personality type—someone with Cool Blue energy—might trend towards approaching problems with a careful, analytical frame of mind. Conversely, a Coordinator with Earth Green energy is more likely to pride themselves on being reliable, diplomatic, and diligent. These colors are a lot more than just badges to share on your Facebook or Instagram; they correspond to some very real insights about how a person might behave in the workplace when confronted with a challenge or opportunity.
Having insights into the different personality types that make up a workplace is valuable information for managers and bosses. It lets them utilize a team's strengths, create compatible group types of problem-solving on projects, and better engage employees. Given all of the complex ways in which the corporate world has had to rethink conventional office workplaces since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, this information is especially valuable in keeping a remote staff engaged, focused, and happy.
It's not hard to see the benefits of this. A grand total of 13% of employees in America report feeling consistently engaged at work, while a whopping 70% feel they're part of a dysfunctional team. By cultivating a better understanding of what motivates employees and what sort of problem-solving environment they're likely to work best in, managers can create teams of like-minded personalities while focusing an employee's attention towards tasks that are more likely to use their unique skills.
You don't have to be some bigwig C-suite decision-maker to benefit from understanding the mechanics and applications of psychographic tools! By understanding the different methodologies and schools of thought that make these psychographic tools work, anyone can better understand the personalities at play in their workplace.
One workshop, in particular, Effective Communication Using Insights Discovery, offers participants a chance to better understand the different types of intrapersonal and professional communities that comprise their workplace. Hosted by the Daniels College of Business Executive Education Department at the University of Denver, this program offers a deep dive into Insights Discovery in order to better equip participants with the skills needed to make effective decisions using these new programs.
Given the range of possibilities that psychographic tools bring to the workplace, they're likely to evolve into an increasingly present part of offices in the future. Workshops like this one represent an excellent opportunity for bosses, managers, and employees alike to cultivate a deeper appreciation for the unique personalities around them while also enabling entirely new approaches to office problem-solving!
And, if nothing else, there's always the chance you'll get to brag about being a Cool Blue personality type. That sounds pretty good to us!
What do you think of personality assessments? Spot on or Way off? Share your thoughts in the comments.