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What is WORK STYLE?
It’s the way a person prefers to plan & then get their work tasks accomplished, as well as how they communicate professionally with others.
If they’re using the work style that’s most natural to them, they’ll function at peak performance, in a state of ‘flow’. If they consistently use their style, it eliminates burnout – & they’re much more likely to enjoy their accomplishments.
Managers need to recognize & engage employees’ working styles. When teams are formed by combining the qualities & skills of each type, the entire business benefits, by increased cooperation among members. (MANY links – re. jobs related to different personal characteristics)
RESEARCH (Bayl-Smith & Griffin, Australia)
Work Styles are part of the theory of work-adjustment, an important aspect of how people maintain & adjust to (‘fit’ with) their work environment. Person-Environment (P-E) Fit Theory, in industrial & organizational psychology, are used to look at job :
— recruitment & selection
— attitudes, behavior & performance
— tenure & withdrawal (staying or leaving)
P-E focuses more on snapshot measurements, based on people’s overall consistent responses to their jobs & companies.
However, to cope with all the dynamic variations in the work-world, (tech changes, mergers & acquisitions, globalization….) people do have to change their thinking, abilities & motivations, if they’re going to keep up with career shifts & hang on to job security.
Accounting for these various responses has led to the Theory of Work-Adjustment (TWA). It suggests that :
— satisfactory work-performance is a result of the successful correlation between a person’s abilities & the requirements of their work-environment (demands-abilities fit)
— job satisfaction comes from the positive connection between the needs of the employee & the available ‘values’ provided by the company / organization (needs-supply fit).
This chart indicates how people with each of the 4 different work styles will likely deal with the ‘issues’ listed.
Work styles were originally believed to only be an expression of personality traits, the result of :
a. “experimentation & reinforcement”-learning, being solidified in childhood (see research re. aggression), and
b. that such traits gradually diminish with age.
However, with more study about personality, work-styles are more likely an expression of a mixture of what a person believes (cognitions), their social position, & the limitations of their environment. Work styles are made up of :
⚬ Celerity – how quickly an employee usually starts working
⚬ Pace – the usual amount of energy put into tasks (effort)
⚬ Rhythm – typical way they go about doing things (pattern)
⚬ Endurance – how long they stick to tasks (MORE…..)
People with HI levels will start jobs early & respond quickly to task components
Those with LO levels tend to delay starting a task or making decisions
People with HI levels are always busy with work, using lots of energy, while LO levels show as being sluggish, un-motivated, maybe seen as lazy
Rhythm (steady <—> erratic)
Steady = functions at the same level of effort, whether hi or lo
Unstable / erratic = unpredictable, more easily affected by their environment
HI levels = maintain effort over long periods, such as needed for long-term projects
LO levels = not completing tasks, or giving up
NOTE: A person with LO endurance but HI effort (celerity) will delay starting, but once engaged will work energetically.
NEXT : WORK STYLE Types (#2)