A Better Way to Use Personality for Predicting Performance
- I keep my desk and workspace very organized.
- My coworkers would describe me as outgoing.
Situational Aspects:Whether or not a person will express a particular part of their personality depends on different aspects of the work situation:
- Task aspects are the day-to-day demands of performing the job.
- Social aspects are the interactions a person has with coworkers, subordinates, or superiors.
- Organizational aspects are the most broad, and relate to the culture and climate of the organization.
Value of Personality-related Behaviors:Along with the three different aspects of the situation, personality-related behaviors are evaluated as either beneficial or detrimental in value to job performance. For example, if the behaviorsof being social (an expression of the personality trait extraversion) is seen as contributing to job performance, then those behaviors will be positively valued and encouraged – whereas if being social is seen as being detrimental to performance, it will NOT be valued and therefore discouraged.
Situational Aspects and Behaviors Coincide:It is important to note that different personality traits (e.g., extraversion, agreeableness, or conscientiousness) may be brought out by different aspects of the work situation. Additionally, a particular trait may be brought out by multiple aspects of the situation, but valued differently for each. For example, being friendly and outgoing (extraverted) while serving customers (a task-related aspect) may be valued and beneficial; while those same friendly and outgoing behaviors may be distracting to coworkers (a social-related aspect) and viewed as detrimental.
How Can Organizations Use This Information?There are three critical ways that organizations can get the most out of the information they collect through personality assessments. Each is focused on a detailed understanding of how a person’s personality drives his or her behavior.
- Conduct a thorough job analysis, focusing specifically on how personality traits relate to job-focused behavior.
- Document the activities associated with the three aspects of the work situation.
- Evaluate people’s personalities and behaviors appropriately.
DeGarmo GroupThis was a summary of the research and practice implications from: Christiansen, N.D., & Tett, R.P. (2008). Toward a better understanding of the role of situations in linking personality, work behavior, and job performance. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 1, 312-316.