Everyone works differently. This is because working styles are correlated with personality. Personality assessments have recently become popular in organizations because they are known to reveal a lot about leadership and communication preferences. The DISC personality assessment specifically does a great job at identifying behavioral styles for different employees. Each person is scored on four personality traits: dominance, influence, steadiness, and compliance. It’s a free and easy assessment that anyone can take.
Personality tests in the workplace have gotten a bad reputation mostly because historically, hiring managers would use personality tests as a strong indicator of whether or not someone is hired. Recruiting solely based on personality tests is not the way they should be used; they should mostly be used for current employees. When applied correctly, personality tests can be a great way to increase team cohesion and improve communication within groups. And these tests don’t have to be complex - actually, the easier the better. Because they should really only be a guide or indicator rather than a full breakdown of every single person’s personality. I’ve found that the DISC personality assessment is a perfect example of a simple yet effective method in gauging working styles and preferences.
The DISC assessment breaks down each person by four traits:
Each person is scored based on a blend of the four traits after filling out a questionnaire. By taking this assessment, we are able to understand ourselves and others. It helps you identify your priorities and working style, and helps you build more effective relationships with your colleagues. Because once you can understand how others work and what they value based on their DISC score, you can maximize each person’s potential.
You can learn more about the DISC personality test here. I recommend everyone give it a try.
Today’s LGBTQ workforce has undergone a critical shift in what they demand from organizations. The expectation of workplace inclusion can be seen in how diverse today’s workforce is, especially among the younger generations. Not all organizations are using best practices, however. Many individuals continually experience barriers due to prejudice and discrimination both in the application process and during work. Raising awareness is the first step in creating an inclusive work culture.
Studies show that having diverse teams can help drive innovation and critical thinking when dealing with difficult tasks. And it’s true - people work better when they hear from different perspectives. Each team member brings unique insights from their own experiences to collaborate in a creative way. What LGBTQ workers bring to the job is their resilience, courage, and strong leadership styles. They can empathize with those who struggle from a hostile work environment, and strive to include all employees when they’re in management positions. Each and every organization can benefit from having a diverse and inclusive team.
The main problems that LGBTQ workers face are discrimination and a lack of job security. Many are at a disadvantage when applying for jobs because implicit bias can play a big role in the decisions of the hiring managers. Currently, there are no federal laws that protect LGBTQ workers when they’re faced with prejudice and microaggressions. And this happens quite often - more than 40% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals, and almost 90% of transgender persons have experienced discrimination in the workplace, harassment, or mistreatment by co-workers and managers. The Supreme Court ruling that passed last year should, in theory, be a huge step in the right direction. There, however, are still many gaps that need to be addressed with the new ruling. These include a lack of health benefits, enforcement of dress codes, and the lack of appropriate bathrooms. These microaggressions are more subtle yet as devastating as explicit discrimination.
Fortunately, there are a number of things leaders can do to make their organizations more LGBTQ-inclusive. First, they must bring awareness to queerness and why it’s important to be authentic. They should listen and take action when employees speak out about issues of discrimination and prejudice. There should also be support systems in place for those who may be feeling isolated such as an HR team that’s dedicated to addressing these types of issues. Diversity and inclusion should always be included in the mission of the organization so that the concept is deeply embedded into the culture and working style of each individual employee.
Graves, L. (2018). Issue at a glance: LGBTQ employment discrimination. Victory Institute. Retrieved from https://victoryinstitute.org/issue-at-a-glance-lgbtq-employment-discrimination/
Levesley, D. (2020). 8 steps leaders can make to make their workplace more LGBTQ-inclusive. The Muse. Retrieved from https://www.themuse.com/advice/steps-leaders-can-take-make-workplaces-more-lgbtq-inclusive
The Associated Press. (2020). Even with ruling, workplace still unequal for LGBTQ workers. NBC News. Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/even-ruling-workplace-still-unequal-lgbtq-workers-n1231419
The link between work and mental health is a strong one. With the abundance of research on employee engagement and work life balance, there’s no reason organizations shouldn’t be discussing this topic. Unfortunately, there aren’t many that truly value the mental health of their employees and realize that job performance and productivity suffer heavily when working conditions are poor. Businesses run like this end up failing, and management always wonders why.
Sometimes, we have to choose between a job that makes us unhappy and unemployment, which can also impact mental health. The work environment and organization’s culture can have a significant impact on the well-being of workers. Good working conditions can have many benefits such as productivity and innovation while negative working conditions end up exacerbating existing issues. Also, the capacity to perform well is reduced when employees aren’t in the right headspace. They won’t work as safely and will injure themselves, and the company will see high turnover because employees aren’t happy. Imagine how our economy would turn out if all companies were run this way.
The good news is that it isn’t difficult to foster real change within an organization. Mainly, the company culture can bring about awareness for work life balance and stress management. Wellness programs can also be implemented so that each employee has the resources they need. Mental health treatment isn’t usually covered by health insurance, so it’s important that management teams include wellness programs and mental health training whenever they can. Real change starts from the top because when leaders start a conversation around mental health, they’re reducing the stigma surrounding the topic.
On the employee side, the ways in which we can protect our mental health are simple. It starts with ourselves. We need to first be kind to ourselves. When you’re late for a deadline and feeling burnt out, yelling at yourself won’t benefit you - it can actually hurt your productivity. When you pressure yourself less, you actually get more done. Next, we need to take care of ourselves. Try to get a good night’s sleep whenever you can and try making eating a priority. Because when our bodies are at 100%, our brains are too. And lastly, exercise can help relieve stress and body tension, especially if you work a desk job for eight or more hours a day. I’ve tried all of these methods and they’ve all worked for me. I feel more focused and clear in my ideas, and found that meditation helps as well. It helps when I’m feeling stressed or anxious because I can identify the root of these feelings. I am able to work through these emotions in a way that I’ve never done before. These are all very easy changes you can make that can only benefit you.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Mental health in the workplace. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/tools-resources/workplace-health/mental-health/index.html