A new report from Aviva and Robertson Cooper finds personality type plays a key role in wellbeing and urges employers to develop tailored approaches to wellbeing.
Personality type plays a key role in workforce wellbeing, with more introverted workers likely to struggle more, according to a survey.
The ‘Embracing the Age of Ambiguity’ report by Aviva and business wellbeing specialists, Robertson Cooper, reveals that personality plays a key role in determining our preferences, behaviours and outcomes. It says those who are coping better across mental wellbeing, lifestyle, health and work satisfaction in the pandemic tend be more naturally emotionally resilient, conscientious and optimistic. Those with lower emotional resilience are the most vulnerable and need the most support during this time.
The report says this as well as other factors such as age and family responsibilities show that a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work and it urges employers to find out what individual employees need, for instance, in terms of flexible working, and what motivates them most. The research shows only one in six employees (15%) agrees their employer is trying really hard to understand what motivates them and just a quarter agree their employer is genuinely concerned about their wellbeing (26%).
It says that, despite the stereotype that introverts are happy to work alone and extroverts value socialising, an analysis of the findings suggests introverts are the most concerned that their workplace will not be enjoyable in the future (44% vs. 32% of extroverts). Introverts are also most concerned about the security of their job (32% vs. 25%), as well as their ability to juggle childcare and other family commitments (40% vs. 28%). A third of introverts (36%) are also concerned about not having enough face-to-face contact with colleagues, despite the rise of video conferencing calls.
In addition, the research shows younger workers are more likely to feel some degree of anxiety (53% reported feeling anxious vs. a national figure of 34%) and are the most likely to rank their mental health as poor (17% vs. 11% across all age groups). Almost a quarter (24%) of younger workers agree that working from home makes them feel less connected.
Debbie Bullock, Wellbeing Lead at Aviva, says: “A third of employee wellbeing and satisfaction levels are determined by personality types. Personality is fixed, but resilience can be developed in employees, and managers are in a great position to ensure their colleagues have the right skills and confidence to grow in their careers during this continued uncertainty. A little insight, the right conversations and skill-building can go a long way to help identify when people may need more support.
“Wherever they are working, people remain a business’ number one asset, and by providing them with the right tailored support, their contribution will be more valuable than ever before. Whilst many employers rightly segment their workforce along demographic lines, it’s critical to include personality type as an additional dimension. This will enable far more targeted interventions and ensure that employers provide the best physical, mental or financial welfare for their employees. The strongest businesses will be those that lead by example and adopt new ways of providing employees with tailored support.”