We’re all really busy. Busier than ever despite our access to increased technology. Authors Jen Fisher and Anh Phillips refer to this as ‘digital taylorism’, our increased emphasis on technology to be efficient and getting more done in as little time as possible.
We tend to put the so called, softer aspects of work such as building relationships and promoting our well-being to the side. Yet, as we regularly see, the cost of doing this is high. In fact, in 2019 the WHO listed burnout in their international classification of disease as an occupational hazard.
Improving workplace wellbeing rates and employee engagement is not just good for individuals, it’s good for business. In my coaching, training and consultancy work I share the importance of understanding your temperament, where you fall on the introvert – extrovert spectrum. It’s only one aspect of personality which is further influenced by our beliefs, values and experiences but it can tend to have a big impact on your workstyle. This in turn feeds into engagement levels and engagement statistics are recognised as pretty good indicators of productivity, performance and motivation.
As we move towards new models of work and teams are dispersed it is more important than ever to recognise our tendencies, weak spots and strengths. Through this awareness we can have open and constructive conversations on how our temperament is impacting our work style.
Feeling like we belong is an important component of engagement and belonging is built through being valued and respected. Despite the fact that the population is divided almost 50/50 in terms of temperament breakdown, over three quarters of introverts in many studies including my own workshops regularly confirm, they view their introversion as a barrier to their career and feel it is perceived negatively.
How can we build true trust and understanding if we don’t have open conversations about temperament? It won’t fix all problems but it can be a good starting point for creating further opportunities to promote strengths, as guide posts around weaknesses and discussions on decision making, communication and motivation all which can be influenced by temperament.
We have an opportunity in time to redesign work. Work which still resembles much of what was built in the industrial age and influenced by Taylorism, we have just added in the digital element which according to Fisher and Phillips is either giving us a dopamine fix when engaging with it or a low level anxiety as we wait for the next fix.
Let’s put well-being as a priority not on a to-do list but as Fisher and Phillips further suggest, design it within the flow of work. Positive work habits growing from increased awareness give back control in an ever increasingly unpredictable world where, belonging within our work environments is becoming more important than ever. Do this by proactively building connections with others, rethink inclusive ways for people to contribute so everyone feels valued and recognised through the use of strengths.
It’s back to the basics for us as we redesign work. Contact me to lead a workshop for your team as you navigate this new journey to redesigned work.
Aoife Lenox as the founder of Inside Strategies is an Introvert Well-Being Coach and Engagement Specialist. Through coaching, webinars and workshops I share how the intersection of temperament and engagement can help us design more meaningful work experiences.