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Personality refers toan individual’s relatively firm feelings, thoughts, and behavioral patterns that guide what they stand for. Every individual has a distinctive personality that distinguishes him from other people. Understanding one’s   personality helps to predict how the person is likely to respond or feel in different situations. Effective management, in this regard, calls for deeper understanding of different employees’ personalities, which  helps in recruitment and in placing people into right jobs within an organization (Mille,  2008). There are usually individual differences in the work place in relation to their values, personalities, and attitudes when performing their duties, since people’s stability or transient traits normally influence their behaviors and their performance.  In addition, it is important to consider that firms hire employees with the prospect that they hold particular knowledge, skills, personalities, abilities, and values that are relevant to the organizations goals and objectives.

It is worth noting that personality can change after a long period of time depending on the circumstances in the environment. For example, people usually become more socially dominant, more emotionally established, and more conscientious when they are exceedingly organized  between ages 20 and 40. On the contrary, openness to new ideas and experiences usually declines as people age up (Roberts, Walton & Viechtbauer, 2006). Equally, childhood personality plays a major role in the ultimate personality development, since to some extent they it has a far-reaching impact on  the individual’s characteristics. It has also been found out that job satisfaction and future success in respective careers is partly dependent on the childhood personality.

The success of every organization is dependent of the level of performance of its employees, which lead to the organization’s either meeting the objectives of operation or gaining competitive edge. Based on recent  research, a medium sized manufacturing firm requires an integrated work of employees to ensure productivity. Employees in this case include the lowest paid laborers, technical staff, accountants, and managers. The purpose of this research is therefore to determine whether the performance and efficiency of employees in fulfilling  their duties is influenced by their personalities. This research findings aim at  helping to improve the recruitment process through assisting in  identification of the desired personalities for  the job to be done. It will be useful for allocating jobs to current employees.  The focus in this case is on a manufacturing business that requires technical staff and engineers to operate the machines, accountants, managers in different departments, and sales persons to ensure that the products are sold. This research paper stipulates the objectives of the study, outlines personality testing using observation and survey research methodologies, and discusses the findings based on the big five personality traits believed to cut across all job requirements being found in nearly all persons.

Objective of the Study

1.   To find out the association between the employees’ personalities and their type of work.

2.   To find out the impact of workers’ personalities and type of work on their work performance.

Personality Testing

This is used to determine the personality of the employees and the relationships between the personalities and their performance. Employment personality tests are treasured mechanisms for attainment of insights into the character traits, interaction methods, and behavioral patterns of individuals, and are intended to evaluate the aspects of a person's personality that are permanent in an individual's lifetime, such as a person's level of extroversion, for example,  but not the temporary traits, such as the level of anger (Roberts, Walton & Viechtbauer, 2006). When the tests are administered to potential or current employees, it is anticipated that  specific traits of an individual that are significant to their job performance are outlined. This is mostly useful in forecasting job performance in the area that involves recurrent social interaction with customers, other employees, or the public in general (Mount & Barrick, 1998).

The SalesAP measures personality characteristics that have been identified as  vital in ensuring success in marketing and sales-related jobs. These traits include motivation, extroversion, competitiveness, assertiveness, and goal orientation (Mount & Barrick, 1998). The Sales AP test findings provide overall approval of candidate's appropriateness for sales positions. In addition, Sales AP leads to the derivation of employee’s personality profile, which measures 10 personality traits that are appropriate to an individual’s suitability to perform in a wide range of jobs. They include achievement, assertiveness, motivation, competitiveness, cooperativeness, managerial, extroversion, patience, conscientiousness, and self-confidence (Mille, 2008). Criteria personality inventory (CPI), on the other hand, measures personality based on the ‘big five’ most widely accepted personality traits that include; extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, stability, and openness (Mille, 2008). Previous research  indicates that the traits of extraversion, conscientiousness and agreeableness  are linked to job performance. In relation to this,   the conscientiousness trait has been found to correlate to performance in an extensive range of jobs, while agreeableness and extraversion to correlate to job performance that demands frequent interaction with people.

Research Method

This research will employ the observation technique to match the adult employees’ behavior in different departments with their performance. The methodology suggests that  60 participants, 20 employees, each from three different middle-level manufacturing companies take the Sales AP and the CPI tests in order to identify which personality traits they prefer. This is to be matched later with their current jobs with the aim  of identifying if there is any correlation. The 20 employees from every firm are actually  5 management staff, 5 technical staff, 5 sales persons, and 5 low-end laborers made to perform both sales and leadership tasks to gauge their performance based on the big five personality traits and the SalesAP traits. The survey method used in the research also involves simple ranking of the big five personality traits by the order of priority by the employees.

Findings

Based on the observation technique for both  SalesAP and  CPI's tests, there was a strong correlation between the employees who favored extraversion personality with their actual sales levels and their general performance. The reserved employees had difficulty  approaching potential customers to make a sale, unlike  outgoing individuals who were open and easily sociable, and thus created friends much faster.  Similarly, the employees who favored conscientiousness in  CPI tests appeared more knowledgeable and organized in their tasks and were able to  mobilize other employees to engage into certain activities. This showed high leadership skills seen among the reserved as well as the extraverted individuals.  The observation and the survey determined that 80 percent of the employees who ranked conscientiousness and extraversion as  leading personality traits registered higher performance in sales than those who awarded lower ratings to the two traits. This is because they understood their product and had the motivation and courage to face potential customers and turn their efforts into closed sales. This is a clear indication that there was a close relationship between the employees’ personalities and their levels of job performance.

Scores for specific traits have also been found to relate strongly to job performance for duties where such traits are considered valuable. For example, in the sample of 15 salespersons from the 3 different middlelevel manufacturing firms in different locations, there was a substantial positive correlation of rankings between the CPI's extraversion and their sales productivity as was evaluated by average sales per day.  The managers and technical staff, on the other hand, showed a significant correlation in the ranking of CPI’s conscientiousness with their cognitive related job performance as was measured by their level of organization and efficiency. This was because their jobs did not require much interaction with people, but instead quiet concentration in the machine operation and in their accounting work. These findings indicate that different personality traits influence employee level of performance depending on the job to be done. The big five personality traits are the focus of this study since they describe  individual behaviors associated with the traits and their influence on job performance.

Discussion of the Findings Based on the Big Five Personality Traits

The Big Five personality traits comprise conscientiousness, openness, extraversion, agreeableness, and Neuroticism, occasionally represented in an acronym of OCEAN (Judge & Higgins, 1999). Research findings indicate that every person has some degree of each of the big five in as much as everyone has unique consideration and concentration of one or two of the traits making up the persons personality.

Conscientiousness. This personality trait refers to the level of a person’s organization, being systematic in performance of activities, punctuality, being achievement-oriented, and dependable. This trait involves meticulousness and industriousness of an individual and homogeneously predicts how high an individual’s performance will appear across a wide range of occupations and jobs (Judge & Higgins, 1999). This is the trait that is most desired by recruiters and is therefore important when recruiting and assigning roles in the middle level manufacturing business. This is because this trait makes an individual work in a thorough manner in their workplace and  seek perfection and high achievement while fulfilling their duties. It is expected to make the business accountants, managers, technical staff, and  sales persons who hold this trait drive the firm into high productivity as well as maintain the competitiveness of the business.

It is also worth noting that highly conscientious interviewees normally succeed in interviews because of their organized articulation of points, intertwined by their intellectual ability (Judge & Higgins, 1999). Once employed, conscientious employees usually perform well, based on their higher levels of motivation, need to perform, and achieve  job objectives; they show lower levels of turnover which brings consistency into the business, lower instances of absenteeism, and advanced levels of safety performance in their duties. This quality leads into fewer injuries especially by technical machine operators, which is subsequently good for the firm. Finally, conscientiousness is a significant trait for entrepreneurs that ensures that the business haslonger survival rates owing to the fact that entrepreneurs with this trait seek perfection and  show attention to detail in their duties as well act in  a determined way to achieve their goals.

Extraversion is a personality trait that describes persons who are highly sociable, outgoing, talkative, and interactive (Mount & Barrick, 1998). Individuals with such traits are highly motivated and tend to be effective as well as show high performance in jobs involving sales that require socialization and frequent interactions. Similarly, such people make effective and efficient managers and exhibit inspirational leadership behaviors that inspire employees to perform much better (Judge & Higgins, 1999). Extraverts are good trainers and do well in social and interactive situations, a characteristic that makes them  very effective in job interviews. This trait heavily influences performance and therefore needs to be considered during recruitment and in job allocation.  Their success at the interviews however, may be as a result of preparation or  use of their social network to adequately prepare for the interview.

Extroverts  also adjust faster to new job environment than introverts, since they have the courage to aggressively seek information and feedback on the level of performance as well as develop effective relationships both with  peers and seniors. In addition, extraverts are usually motivated, satisfied and happier at work, a fact that can be attributed to the relationships they are capable of building with the fellow employees, besides they experience  faster adaptation to a new job (Cheung, 2010). This makes it easy  to work with them. However, individuals with this personality may not perform well in jobs that deny them the chance to socialize and interact with others. It is therefore important for recruitment and job posting of such individuals to be done with care, assigning hem to work in the areas that they are likely to perform. This finding confirms that individual personality determines his/her level of performance depending on the task.

Openness. This personality trait describes a person who is curious, original, innovative, intelligent, and flexible to new ideas (Cheung, 2010). Individuals with high trait of openness usually succeed in circumstances that demand flexibility and acquiring new ideas. They are exceedingly motivated to learn new practices and skills, and succeed in training settings. This makes such people have an advantage when they join new organization because they easily seek new skills related to the new assignment. Being open-minded helps  them to find out information and feedback from colleagues concerning how they are performing just like the extraverts. They are also good in building relationships that allow them to adjust quickly to the new job. In addition, open people are highly flexible to change within an organization, thus doing well in the teams that experience unanticipated changes in their tasks. Such people are also good in knowledge generation, development, and sharing when given opportunity to be creative in their workplace. They can easily share their knowledge and skills with others, a trait that ensures consistent operation within the firm. To sum up,  the recruitment process needs to consider hiring people with such traits who can easily learn and share their skills with other employees to ensure sustainability of the manufacturing business.

Agreeableness. Thisthis is one of the big five personalities that describes a person who is tolerant when faced with different situations, as well as sensitive, kind to colleagues, affable, trustable, and warm. These traits make them  likeable and easy people to get along with (Judge & Higgins, 1999). As a result, they are very efficient in teamwork activities and are always willing to help  others by working consistently without any conditions. Similarly, agreeable people are less probable to revenge when treated unfairly, due to their high tolerant ability.

In addition, individuals with this trait usually become effective leaders because of their ability to create a fair working environment for all when they are in leadership positions. Unlike the disagreeable people, the agreeable individuals are tolerant to any job conditions and do not easily quit their jobs in protest to the conflict between them and their bosses or peers, but seek solutions from within (Cheung, 2010).It is also worth noting that people with agreeable traits may not be in a position to initiate and push for constructive change within the organization, especially when foreseeing resistance that may result into conflict. In most cases, such individuals avoid change-oriented communication, which makes them and the business miss the opportunity for constructive change that would lead into increased performance in the organization. Based on this finding, it is important to note that employees’ performance in their respective roles to some extent depends on thepersonalities, which needs to be considered when hiring.

Neuroticism;. This trait describes individuals who are anxious, temperamental, irritable, and moody. Neurotic individuals in most cases experience emotional adjustment difficulties and are mostly stressed and depressed, which in turn affects their productivity. Such people usually have a challenge in forming and maintaining relationships due to their unfriendly nature. Neurotics are habitually unhappy with their jobs to an extent that they report high intentions to quit, but may not necessarily make  their threats real. This characteristic is very harmful to people’s career because they grow at lower pace and in case they achieve managerial positions, they are likely to create unfair working environment (Cheung, 2010).    In contrast, individuals with low neuroticism usually experience positive emotional dispositions like positive moods and are more content with their jobs as well as more committed to their employers. This trait has big negative effect on the performance of the individuals. Their level of anxiety and depression makes them undecided on what to do and reduces their level of concentration on their duties. Their inability to create positive relationship makes them independent, thus not productive especially in jobs that require teamwork. It is also important to note that friendly working environment increases the level of motivation among the employees, which in turn results into high productivity. This performance level can minimally be achieved by the neurotics based on the fact that they are likely to create unfair working conditions when they ascend to managerial positions. 

Other personality traits outside the big five which  are still very important for high performance include self-monitoring, where individuals evaluate themselves against the set standards, self-esteem, where  individuals believe in themselves, proactive personality, which  makes a person motivated to fix a problem, change things, and have the desire to solve problems without being told, and self-efficacy involving an individual’s confidence in his ability to perform.

Conclusion

The success of every organization is dependent on the level of performance of the employees. Based on this research, it has been found out that individual’s personality traits strongly influence the performance levels. It is therefore very important to understand a person’s personality to be able to predict how the person is likely to respond and act when faced with various  work situations. Every individual has a distinctive personality that distinguishes him/her from others. Effective management in this regard calls for deeper understanding of different employees’ personalities, which also helps during recruitment and in job allocation within an organization. This personality testing employed  the sales achievement predictor (SalesAP) that measures personality characteristics identified as  vital in ensuring the success in marketing and sales-related jobs. It also employed the criteria personality inventory (CPI) that measures personality based on the ‘big five’ most widely accepted personality traits that include extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, stability, and openness.

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