Work Traits Matter When Building Your Team

BY Kathy Crosett
Featured image for “Work Traits Matter When Building Your Team”

Finding people with the right mix of skills is a good way to start on your goal of exceeding sales goals for 2022. But you also need the right mix of work traits. Your team members must be able to play well together. In addition, your individual relationship with each team member is more important than you think.

Why Work Traits Matter

On paper, managing people sounds easy. And some managers take the easy way out. They hire people who make them feel comfortable. They give team members their goals for the year, and then they head to the golf course to “develop business relationships.” With nobody guiding the department, employees with incompatible work traits may end up closing few deals because they’re constantly arguing about process.

In another scenario, a newly promoted sales manager may show a previously undetected personality trait. Now that they’re in power, they’ll insist on team members working in a specific way, or they’ll jump into an at-​risk sales situation and close the deal to make themselves look like the hero. In either situation, these negative tendencies demoralize team members.

Goals and Your Team

Adam Bryant, in his How to Build A Successful Team article for the New York Times, encourages managers to develop a plan. “Once you have a simple plan, you have to keep reminding your team of the priorities, even if it can feel repetitive.” Beyond the team plan, each person should understand their role in achieving goals. As you make assignments, consider each individual’s work traits. You can access this information by having them take psychometric assessments. When you see that an individual scores high in their desire to assist others, consider assigning them to a customer service role. Team members who possess drive, resilience and high-​level social awareness may do very well in business development roles.

If you’ve recently signed a contract with a client that will require extreme responsiveness when they have a question or encounter a problem, you’ll need that trait in abundance. Using a team optimization platform, review the combined work trait scores for the people currently on the project. If you need to bump up the responsiveness factor, look through the assessment results for other individuals in the department to determine whether you should move them onto the team for this client.

Work Traits and Manager Fit

If you’ve found a candidate with work traits that match the demands of a specific position, don’t rush to make an offer yet. You’ll need to match those traits to your profile as a manager. Are you both aligned on the concept of details such as time management and delivering results? If not, don’t dismiss the candidate. Other positive aspects may make the person a great hire. But as a manager, you’ll need to remind yourself to hold the employee accountable if they drift away from the task at hand and offer the customer something that interests them instead of trying to solve the pain points.

Team Rules/​Culture

Leaders and managers don’t set culture. But they can certainly guide culture through their words and actions. If you want people to treat each other with respect, take stock of how you interact with team members. In doing so, be mindful of individual temperaments. Some team members will be more neurotic than others. They might interpret your communications in a way that you didn’t intend. Their assessment scores reveal those details.

Your Team And Performance

As Brian Uzzi, a professor of management and organizations at Kellogg, reports, “Talent doesn’t reach its full potential unless you get them to work as a team together.” Using a great psychometric platform to build a team based on work traits, behavioral tendencies and likely manager-​employee interactions will definitely improve your outcomes.

Photo by MART PRODUCTION from Pexels