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Personality-Job Fit Theory: Using Traits to Predict Workplace Behavior

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  1. 0:05 Personality-Job Fit Theory Definition
  2. 1:10 How Job Fit Issues Develop
  3. 1:40 How Personality-Job Fit Is Calculated
  4. 2:09 Examples of Personality Types…
  5. 4:01 How to Fix Personality-Job…
  6. 4:39 Lesson Summary
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Taught by

Jennifer Lombardo

Personality-job fit theory revolves around the idea that every organization and individual has specific personality traits. The closer match between the traits of the person and the company equals a higher chance of workplace productivity and satisfaction.

Personality-Job Fit Theory Definition

Personality-job fit theory revolves around the idea that every organization and individual has specific personality traits. The closer the traits between the person and the company match, the higher the chance of workplace productivity and satisfaction. The best personality fit will also decrease job turnover and stress, absenteeism, and poor job satisfaction. Personality-job fit theory or person-environment (P-E) fit is a match between a worker's abilities, needs, and values and organizational demands, rewards, and values.

Director Adams of Ninja Corporation has an employee problem that she's not sure how to handle. Adams recently hired an experienced accountant who has been extremely productive in his past career. Since the hire, he has had enormous difficulty with being motivated and productive. Adams has asked for a meeting with the human resource manager to discuss how to fix the employee issue.

How Job Fit Issues Develop

The human resource manager, Jill, is well trained in motivational and stress theories of workers. She spent some time interviewing both Adams and the new manager, Nick. Nick explained in his interview that he demands daily feedback on job performance and a structured work environment. Ninja Corp is known for a loose workplace structure, and supervisors only give feedback at performance reviews due to busy product development schedules. This is causing stress on Nick and resulting in his poor work performance.

How Personality-Job Fit is Calculated

Jill understands how to run a personality-job fit calculation. She measures specific worker characteristics, such as worker skills and traits, and then compares them to the work and job environmental specifics. If there is a difference, it's called a discrepancy. This discrepancy can then be calculated as an index to see how vast of a difference exists. The larger the distance, the more stress on the worker.

Examples of Personality Types and Job Fit

Jill is familiar with the six different personality types that exist. She stressed to Adams how important it is to match up employee personalities with the correct tasks. Here are the six employee personality types and their matching job examples:

Realistic: Employees prefer physical activities that require coordination. They are also shy, inner-directed, and would excel in a factory or farmer environment.

Investigation: Employees enjoy analyzing and organizing and are naturally curious and independent. Jobs that would work well for this type of employee would be mathematician, scientist, or reporter.

Social: These employees enjoy helping and mentoring others. They would find a good fit with jobs such as social worker, teacher, counselor, and clinical psychologist.

Conventional: Employees enjoy regulation, order, and rules. They are efficient but unimaginative workers, and jobs such as accountant, bank teller, or file clerk would fit their personality type.

Enterprising: This type of worker prefers verbal activities and yearns for power. They are very confident and ambitious. The best jobs for this type of personality would be lawyer, real estate agent, or public relations.

Artistic: This last personality type prefers creativity and likes to use their imagination. The best job fit would be a painter, musician, writer, or interior decorator.

Jill explained these personality types in detail to Adams. Adams needs to provide regulation, order, and rules for the new accountant to flourish since he has a conventional personality type. Adams agreed that she was willing to work with the new employee to improve his productivity and attitude.

How to Fix Personality-Job Fit Problems

Jill has found the best way to fix any personality-job fit problem is to ensure that it does not occur in the first place. All new potential employees will have to be assessed through a psychological test and competency-based interview. This will allow for employee personalities to be matched to the best job fit.

Nick's situation can be helped by providing training to help him understand why the organization is set up the relaxed way that it is, and it also can help him become less structured. Nick's manager will provide better communication and feedback to hopefully head off him leaving his position with the company.

Lesson Summary

Personality-job fit theory revolves around the idea that every organization and individual has specific personality traits. The closer the traits between the person and the company match, the higher the chance of workplace productivity and satisfaction. The best personality fit will also decrease job turnover and stress, absenteeism, and poor job satisfaction.

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