Blanket back-to-office policies may be the easiest route for some HR pros and employers, but the Myers Briggs Co. has urged decision-makers to speak with workers to personalize such plans.
What HR leaders assume people need to successfully implement a change may be different from what they actually need, according to a July 7 report from the organization famous for its personality assessment. Instead, “ask your employees how they work best, and then develop policies,” John Hackston, head of thought leadership at Myers-Briggs, said in a statement. “Don’t assume.”
The report first urged employers to generate trust and buy-in for new initiatives by seeking employee input on problems and potential solutions. Instead of mandating a complete return to the office, it suggested, an employer could survey employees about their needs and engage in a discussion about what a return might look like. And to accommodate a variety of individuals, HR can facilitate live discussions, allow for written comments and provide other avenues for information sharing and input.
Once a decision is made, HR should remember that some employees need to see an employer’s data and reasoning. Some will want to hear how the shift fits into the bigger picture. Others need to talk through the change. “As a leader or HR manager, you need to make sure that, when it comes to change, the type of information, the communication channels, and how it’s presented are all available for different personality types to get that information in their preferred way,” the report said.
Remember, too, that while some individuals may be resistant to such changes, others will be excited and become early adopters, the report said, advising HR to leverage those employees as champions for the initiative.
“The bottom line is this: change is personal,” Myers-Briggs said. “Understanding people’s personality preferences and psychological needs can help. It can help you to give your employees or team members what they need to be in the best place possible, with the best mindset, when change is inevitable.”