Managing a part-time workforce can be a real challenge. Rotating personalities and staff assets make optimizing your team’s chemistry an ever-changing puzzle. Fortunately, there are four primary personality types that are welcome, regardless of the specific composition of your team. A leader, motivator, problem-solver, and conflict-negotiator are all useful additions, and understanding how to leverage their abilities is essential to success.
A Strong Leader
In an organization predicated on part-time labor, it’s likely that the majority of your work is task-oriented. Whether it’s sweeping the floors or tending to the register, these simple tasks need to get done, and someone needs to be sure they do.
A strong leader is the core of any workplace environment. They’re task-oriented, goal-driven, and motivated in mobilizing the resources needed to make sure your group finds success on an every day basis. Their inspiring and assertive nature can be a boon to the unmotivated and an invaluable asset when the going gets tough.
Working with a strong leader is a matter of understanding their nature and how they interact with other workplace personalities. Because leaders tend to be pragmatic, more idealistic workers may find it difficult to get along with them. However, when paired with the kind of diligent workhorses that thrive in a well-structured environment, the end result is an efficient, functioning workplace that understands the needs of your management staff and puts them into practice with ease.
A Source of Positive Energy
Leaders are heads-down, results-driven individuals with an eye on the prize, but what they often lack is the positive attitude needed to get things across the finish line when the chips are down. Difficult situations can be a thorn in their side, which is why you need a motivator.
Go-get-em employees are the morale engine of a workplace. Congratulating fellow employees when something goes well and rallying the troops when things go poorly, their enthusiasm and cheerleading mentality help provide those around them with the fuel they need to make things happen, regardless of the specific circumstances. From the lunch rush to the holiday shopping season, these are your clutch players when the rest of your staff feels overwhelmed.
This positivity is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, these individuals work well with everyone, as most employees, regardless of their station, find them agreeable and generally uplifting to be around. However, when the going gets tough, pragmatic leaders tend to focus on results, not platitudes, which can make the cheerleaders’ rah-rahs seem like unnecessary clutter in an already crowded workplace. By understanding who’s your go-to motivator in critical situations, you can help to alleviate this conflict, and harness the power of the positive-minded to the benefit of your customer service.
A Natural Problem-Solver
No workplace is without its problems. Equipment breaks down, supplies run out, individuals don’t show up to work, things happen. In situations like these, it’s easy to become frustrated, but it’s in exactly these times that the problem-solver shines.
If you’ve seen any medical dramas on televisions, you’re familiar with the personality type. A patient rolls into the ER and while nurses and other staff are scrambling, this individual assesses the situation calmly, makes assertive requests without compromising the focus of the group, and ultimately resolves the problem forthwith. While the scope of your business may not be this dire, the need for a problem-solver is lost on no one, and these individuals are your go-to when things go awry.
Their pragmatic personality is a boon for strong leaders and other problem-solvers, even if their approach can jar more creative and idealistic members of your team. When the chips are down, problem-solvers do whatever it takes, even if that means pushing others to perform necessary tasks. However, their intentions are always well-meaning, so aligning your staff in times of crisis is essential to facilitating seamless communication.
A Conflict Negotiator
With each of these personality types, conflict can arise, and while it’s tempting to handle all of these issues by yourself, a conflict negotiator can help ease your burden considerably. Whether they’re dealing with an angry customer or mediating between disgruntled employees, your workplace will see less speed bumps with this personality in your midst.
Characterized by empathy and exemplary communication skills, conflict negotiators have a special ability to see both sides of a story and work to compromise. As a manager, you’ve seen the scenario before: a scheduling conflict or “unfair” delegation of tasks causes a rift between members of your staff that simply must work together to satisfy your customers’ needs. The conflict negotiator not only helps work through the issues, but sees them coming and actively promotes an environment of an amicable nature.
Much like positive employees, their likability is their greatest strength, and also a sticking point with pragmatic leaders. Their mentality favors workplace harmony above all else, which makes them the perfect neutral party when conflict arises. However, their tendency to focus on the intangibles of morale and personality may seem like wasted time to those who see business through a balance sheet. Identify these individuals and give them the green light to keep the workplace oiled and running smoothly, and let your leaders know that their function, while hard to quantify, is an essential part of your business.
Everyone is unique, bringing their own special abilities into the workforce, but these four personality types are a critical component of any high-functioning, part-time team. Leaders help guide employee efforts while motivators keep everyone full of positive energy. Problem solvers and conflict negotiators help work out the kinks should they arise, and the whole ensemble ensures that your customers see the best your business has to offer.
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