Personality Attributes That Are Important in the Workplace

New study examines personality attributes that are important in the workplace

New study examines personality attributes that are important in the workplace

Managing professional relationships can be extremely challenging, demands placed on individuals can expose individuals personality traits and highlight those that are useful and those that hinder.

A new study recently published in the Perspectives on Psychological Science journal examined evidence of the important personality traits within the workplace and aimed to answer 3 questions:

(a) how well does employees’ standing on these attributes predict job performance?

(b) what types of attributes do employers seek to evaluate in interviews when considering applicants?

(c) what types of attributes are rated as important for performance in a broad sampling of occupations across the U.S. economy?

The authors highlighted that research such as this would be able to help predict valued job behaviours such as:

  • completing tasks well
  • contributing to a positive work environment
  • avoiding counterproductive behavior (such as theft or withdrawal)

Secondly the authors highlighted the studies usefulness in enabling companies to more effectively evaluate job candidates, the study evaluated this in light of the almost universal use of interviews for recruitment. (Sackett & Walmsley, 2014)

The researchers from the University of Minnesota used various standardised measurement tools such as the ‘Big Five’ five-factor model of personality, as well as examining existing data in order to gather the necessary information.

The researchers found that 2 particular personality attributes particularly important within the workplace:

Conscientiousness and Agreeableness are important for workforce readiness for a variety of occupations and performance criteria.

It was also found that Emotional Stability emerged as a highly important factor.

The authors concluded that the findings suggest that many employers within job interviews already consider these important personality traits:

employers often focus on attributes that are both rated as important for and predictive of successful performance.

Some advice was also offered to applicants in order to increase their chances of gaining a job:

A second conclusion, from an alternate perspective, is that it appears that applicants would do well to develop and emphasize these characteristics in the job search process.