Symposium 1971 - Helping Employees Be Better: Understanding And Capitalizing On Individual Differences

Friday May 19   10:15 AM to 11:15 AM (1 hour)
 Positive organizational behaviour

Helping employees be better: Understanding and capitalizing on individual differences 
R. Thompson*
Main Abstract Content: Organizational researchers have historically focused on how organizations can maximize returns from their human resources. However, attention has turned to how organizations can positively impact employees both at work and in life. This symposium will look at ways that organizations can help to improve working life, with the unifying theme of individual differences from the perspective of MBTI® based personality types.  Four diverse sessions will address how personality type and type preferences can be used to improve people’s experience of work. First, a large global sample is used to examine wellbeing at work.  This study measures work related wellbeing using the PERMA model, but is the first study of this kind to examine personality type along with culture as they relate to wellbeing. The second study examines how personality type impacts individual exercise and health behaviors, which can have an impact on behaviors at work. The study examines how personality types along with exercise choices are related to job satisfaction and turnover intentions. The next study considers how personality type, particularly extraversion and introversion, and the workspace interact to influence employee reactions to office design.  The study shows how many current office space practices tend to favor those with a preference for extraversion. Finally, the role of personality type in helping employees develop resilience in the context of a large scale organizational change will be presented. Specifically, practitioners who worked with a large non-profit in the United Kingdom will discuss how knowledge of personality type helped to improve self and team awareness, and improve relationships among colleagues in the organization, and resilience for the change. The four sessions in this symposium show how a better understanding of individual differences, using MBTI Type as a lens, allows organizations to help employees be better at both their work, and their life outside of work.


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