No matter what type of job you have, you probably work with people who have different ways of working than you. Every individual has a unique way of dealing with things, which can lead to conflict or miscommunication when someone else expects an approach to be similar to their own. As a result of this diversity, choosing to learn about each person’s approach can lead to innovative solutions.
Understand Work Styles
Managing or leading a team means tapping into your employees’ passion and skills can improve productivity and retention. Workforce data can give you more information about your staff so you can put them in positions where they can have the biggest positive impact on the productivity of the company. Managers may think that employees should work in the same way to be productive, but that approach can actually hamper productivity and decrease employee retention.
Work styles are personality profiles that drive how someone approaches their job. It is beneficial for companies to have employees with a variety of work styles so that each employee can contribute to the success of the company. Some excel at catching and correcting minor details, while others see the big picture and are better at long-term planning and vision. Then there are employees that are very logical and enjoy data-driven activities, while others can create a positive team atmosphere and improve morale.
Adapt Communication Styles
Effective communication can depend on understanding the work styles of your employees. Getting to know their communication style will help you direct them in a way that makes sense to them. Does each employee respond better to verbal or written directions? Are they good at brainstorming in meetings? Do they perform better when given a strict or loose deadline for a task to be completed?
Those who are logical and detail-oriented may prefer communication to be written and timelines to be strict. Someone who enjoys a team atmosphere or likes to brainstorm may prefer team meetings where they can express themselves verbally. Asking clarifying questions may help improve understanding between you and other employees, such as “What do you understand this project to be?” or “How long do you think it will take you to complete this task? What steps are needed?”
Recognize Differences in Perspective
Adapting to a wider variety of viewpoints and backgrounds is essential as companies move toward a more diverse employee base. It may not be efficient or helpful to do things the way they have always been done. Employees may question tasks or their processes, which can accelerate innovation and improve efficiency. A staff member who is good at big-picture planning may see problems with a certain path in the future, while a detail-oriented employee may want to change one of the steps of a process because it creates a slowdown.
Because people can access phones and computers anytime, employees want to move toward working remotely or a hybrid model where they work in the office some days and from home on other days. Staff may also want more control over their schedules if their position does not regularly interact with the public. It may be advisable for your company to examine whether they should focus more on outcomes and results instead of employees being clocked into the building.
Diversity can bring about miscommunication or conflict, but the creative solutions generated can drive the company forward. Understanding how an individual approaches their environment or problems is the best strategy for overcoming these differences. By learning about each person’s work style, you can find innovative solutions that will help your team function more efficiently together.