In the workplace, the ability to accomplish tasks and perform as a team is crucial to fulfilling the needs of an organization. The process of decision-making is complex, and the growing need for new strategies forces people to rely on each other (Higgs, 1996). While effective management and leadership have a significant influence on work productivity, the ability of employees to compensate for weaknesses and complement each other’s strengths is key to good performance.
To efficiently fulfill one’s duties, an individual needs to be on good terms with their co-workers. Trust and the ability to understand what is required of a person takes center role in the workplace. Cooperation is built on a variety of factors, including a good workplace atmosphere, mutual trust, and competency, as well as other variables. Leaders, managers, and the workers themselves develop ways of interaction that can optimize costs and operational benefits. The crucial part of the work management process is the practice of separating people into teams and assigning them specific roles.
Personality and character traits of each individual play a large part in establishing group dynamics and deciding whether people are able to effectively coordinate their actions. People are usually assigned group-based tasks based either on their professional or personal quality. Management needs to take into account the peculiarities of each person when deciding on which people would work well together. In this task, the utilization of various personality tests proves helpful. Their structured nature can be easily adapted to suit the needs of a particular organization, making testing accessible and useful. In this regard, two of the most commonly used tests are the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and the Belbin’s Roles Profiles test.
The first assessment is better suited for identifying the inherent qualities and preferences of an individual, while the second one can be used to understands their fields of expertise. Both tests can be used to define the essential qualities of a worker and serve as a basis for developing group strategies and approaches. The approaches will greatly differ from one another, being betters suited for particular tasks and types of organizations. This paper will discuss the peculiarities of each method and critically compare the two. The evaluation will focus on the benefits each approach presents to organizational culture and the work environment.
Theories of Personality, Teamwork, and Organizational Culture
Organizational Culture and its Elements
One of the core aspects of an effective and comfortable workplace for any organization is the organizational culture. The term refers to a set of underlying assumptions, beliefs, and interactions that create a specific corporate environment (Organizational culture, no date). Organizational culture develops with the growth of the company, encompassing the beliefs of its leadership and staff. The culture is created through the effort of all its participants, with shared experiences and values that are held in high regard. The basic principles of this aspect are based on both formal and informal rules established in the workplace that are respected by all members of the organization (Understanding and developing organizational culture, 2020). A particular structure that is supported by a foundation of beliefs shared by all of the involved individuals leads to the creation of a successful company.
Usually, the founder of the company and the ones closest to them are responsible for setting the standards of respectable attitude. Individuals who have worked at a company for a long time might enjoy the privilege of deciding which company practices are promoted as the norm. In some cases, individuals might not be inclined to participate in organizational culture, due to a clash of beliefs or general indifference. Being pressured into conforming to views one does not support builds tension and worsens the overall productivity of the organization. Bad attitudes may create a divide between the colleagues, with the people being left ostracized and not heard. These problems are the reason why cultivating a healthy and accepting work environment that can be integrated by new workers can be very important and effective.
The HR department and the management are chiefly responsible for promoting and defining the work culture, controlling and selecting individuals that best suit the organization’s criteria. The existence of organization culture helps to develop projects with the main priorities of their creators in mind, keeping a steady focus on the identity of the company. Adherence to a particular organizational culture creates a certain brand and specific expectations helping to garner a dedicated audience (The role of organization culture in an organization, no date).
The existence of culture also benefits the workers themselves, as they can interact with people that share similar values. Forming relationships and cooperating on the basis of mutual beliefs allows individuals to understand each other quicker and accomplish set goals more efficiently. Individual’s personal characteristics, beliefs, and temper play a large role in the formation of organizational culture (Aidla, 2003). How the work process is formed and organized also plays an important role in organizational culture. Affecting the interactions between groups of people is one of the basic features of the workplace culture. The promotion of beneficial relationships between colleagues based on their personal characteristics improves the work atmosphere, allowing people to feel happier and more motivated.
Myers Briggs Type Indicator
The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (or MBTI) is a questionnaire-based test that is heavily reliant on the psychological type theory proposed by Carl Jung. The man is responsible for attributing various patterns of behaviors to identifiable differences between how people view life and make decisions (MBTI basics, no date). Jung has divided the particular psychological preferences into groups, proposing that their creation can tell individuals useful information about themselves. A specified test was developed by researchers to use Jung’s work for the benefit of individuals and society (The story of Isabel Briggs Myers, no date). The Myers-Briggs type indicator uses a series of personal, multi-choice questions to determine the basic characteristics of a person.
The test uses a specific number of criteria to judge the individual’s personal qualities. Four basic dichotomies are present, each representing different characteristics of human nature. A person’s answers lie on a spectrum from one extreme to the other, and the gathered information is then translated into one of 16 possible personality types. The extroversion-introversion duality determines where one’s focus lies, on the outside or the inside. The sensing-intuition pair can indicate whether an individual uses available information received or interprets meaning from what they learn. Thinking-feeling scale shows if a person is more prone to trusting their emotional or logical response. Lastly, the judging-perceiving dichotomy decides if a person prefers fixed plans or is flexible and open to change.
These parameters can be used to gain information about a specific individual, or a whole group. Certain types are predicted to have better or worse relationships with others on a consistent basis due to having specific perceptions of other people’s qualities. The use of the Myers-Briggs type indicator can help facilitate group communication and cooperation. By forming teams among type-compatible people, management potentially can increase employee morale and satisfaction. While the validity of this assessment is sometimes called into question, the evaluation is widely used in business and informal environments to improve organization and achieve better results.
Belbin’s Roles Profiles
Unlike the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, Belbin’s team roles have a more specific application and goal. Developed by Meredith Belbin in 1981, the evaluation was designed to identify the weak and strong sides of a team. Helping to predict the success of management teams, this approach has found wide use in the professional sphere. The test determines what job is best suited for an individual in each particular setting taking into account their behaviors and communication patterns (Belbin’s team roles, no date). Belbin’s assessment identifies a number of distinct roles a person can fill, with each of them being necessary to maximize work efficiency.
A single human can be comfortable with two or three roles, meaning that even small groups of people can effectively work together and deliver good results (Institute for Manufacturing, no date). The responsibilities can change over time under the influence of personal growth or other external factors.
Each role has equal importance to delivering results, but not all of them are necessary at the same stage of work. Furthermore, a single person can fulfill multiple roles, or change their specialty while working on a project. Roles that need to be prioritized are primarily determined by team objectives and current tasks. Nine possible team positions, as described by Belbin, are Shaper, Implementer, Completer Finisher, Coordinator, Teamworker, Resource Investigator, Monitor Evaluator, and Specialist (The nine Belbin team roles, no date).
They can be further grouped into the sets of three, according to their orientation. The first three are action-focused, the next is people-oriented and the last three are cerebral. This distinction determines their overall responsibility in the work environment, with each particular role further specializing in one particular aspect.
Comparison of the Two Models
Effect on Teamwork and Organizational Culture
As described above, the two tests have their own application in the professional sphere. Developed by a management consultant, Belbin’s roles have a more direct influence on the work environment and management. Using their assessment to determine the roles of employees and assign them into groups based on their strengths can improve performance and help to solve problems connected with the understaffing of inefficient management. If every person in a team performs their assigned role well then an optimal number of people is engaged in an activity at any given moment. Planning around using the skills of the employees can assist in completing more work in a shorter period of time.
The problem arises, however, when relationships between the colleagues are to be taken into account. No matter how competent a person is at their respective job, if they are unable to communicate and compromise with others, work efficiency will suffer greatly. Individuals incapable of reaching an understanding due to inherent differences in attitude and character cannot form a strong team, regardless of their professional prowess. The existence of this problem means that the MBT indicator will be relevant to the professional sphere in a manner that the Belbin’s assessment is not able to replicate. MBTI can be utilized to group people in accordance with their personal compatibility, promoting understanding and communication in the workplace. The Myers Briggs Type Indicator can also be used in determining the best approach to working with any particular individual, as its results can be representative of that person’s attitudes and character.
Evidently, the personality-based approach does not take professional prowess and ability into account, leading to situations where people of similar skillsets may be unable to perform a specific part of the task while working as a team. The logical conclusion in this regard would be to use both assessments to evaluate people’s personal qualities and skills to best determine the further course of action. Taking into account relations between different personality types and their work qualifications to form teams can prove to be an effective strategy to promote progress in an organization.
Organizational Culture’s dependency on Personality Tests
Personality tests and assessments are only a single facet in the creation of a positive organizational culture. Sometimes, people might feel that their impact is not being respected and their ideas are not taken into proper consideration. In this instance, the use of personality-measuring tests can provide some insight into the problem. A person’s desires can be at odds with the opinion of the masses, and their outlook might radically differ from their colleagues (Business News Daily Editor, 2020). The use of testing can recognize and evaluate this problem, which can be then remedied by the staff. A need to constantly readjust one’s expectations and views on different issues according to company standards can be draining and affect professional performance (Giffen, 2015).
People whose interests are not fully being met can be reassigned to another group or leave the organization altogether. The continued usage of personality testing can aid in determining whether the values of an individual and their desires align with the beliefs and policies of a company (Furnham, 2001). Personality tests can also be used in assigning people to work on a non-group basis, allowing managers to take personal strengths and weaknesses of people into account.
Giving people the ability to work within the limits of their professional comfort gives them an opportunity to show better results. However, while the use of various evaluations and tests is certainly important in promoting a healthy organizational culture, they are not a single point of focus for this task. Human resource management and interpersonal communication also play a major part, helping to ensure that the right people are working in the company and that performance of individuals is maximized. General goal-setting and orientation on achievements also have significant influence.
In conclusion, the paper has discussed the topic of organizational culture and two of the most common personality tests used in the workplace. Each organization has its own set of formal and informal rules that comprise its corporate culture, and impact all branches of its growth. Cultivation of a healthy culture is crucial to effective and time-efficient work. The evaluation of workers based on their personal and professional skills has a positive impact on the work environment of the organization, helping the people in charge to find the best people for a certain position.
The perpetuation of corporate culture is a primary responsibility of the HR department and the management. Cultivating a positive environment that values and shares the beliefs of the workers while creating a distinct brand identity is one of the crucial aspects of organizational culture. The culture created through shared efforts and the climate it establishes is beneficial to all of the workers in the company.
The MBTI system is used to evaluate an individual’s personality type based on four major dichotomies. An evaluation of a person’s focus in life, their interpretations of facts, priorities, and personal judgment are conducted, producing one of 16 distinct outcomes. The result is achieved by taking into account a combination of behaviors, reactions to certain events, and patterns of thinking prevalent in a particular person. While dubious in its credibility, the test can nevertheless provide the management with a large amount of useful information. MBTI personality types can be used to determine what people would best work on which assignment.
The use of this testing method also allows the management to group people together according to their personality types to achieve better productivity. Belbin’s Roles Profiles, on the other hand, is strictly used to evaluate personal strengths and weaknesses in the professional sense. The test can determine the main qualities an individual possesses in relation to their usefulness in a group environment. Nine different roles can be filled by a few people, making the process of assigning work and forming teams much quicker. The assessment gives people an ability to be separated into groups according to their skills, using the work or every person in the most efficient manner. Both approaches have their particular application and are not able to account for each other’s results. The best workplace strategy in regards to personality testing is to perform both evaluations. A combination of MBTI and Belbin’s profiles allows to assign people to teams efficiently while taking into account their personal interactions and chemistry.
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