‘’You are a true collaborator.’’
Without exaggerating, this is something I see in at least one-third of all job openings. Also, we received dozens of requests from our customers to develop a workplace interaction game. And so, we did. In fact, I can even proudly share that we built and validated the world’s first Workplace Interaction Game for hiring.
Not to help our customers hire only collaborative people though, because that would actually be a very dumb decision. There are namely a number of risks involved with having only collaborative people in your team. Just keep reading to find out.
Workplace interaction: Collaboration vs. individualism
Workplace interaction describes how we interact with each other in the workplace. When looking at both opposites of the spectrum, someone can be either very collaborative or very individualistic.
And although you might live in the assumption that collaboration is something to always prefer over individualism, it’s in fact not desirable for every position you are hiring for. Here’s an overview of the pros, cons, and suitable tasks/environments for both ends of the spectrum.
Characteristics of collaborative people
People who score on the collaborative side of the spectrum are characterized by the following strengths and weaknesses:
- They are good at working together with others;
- They are more likely to ask for feedback and help;
- They value team goals over personal goals;
- They have more tolerance to others’ mistakes;
- They have a high willingness to share information.
- They might struggle with tasks that require independent and instant decision-making;
- They might also face challenges when it comes to productivity and growth at an individual level.
As a result of having these characteristics, people who are very collaborative will suit a job opening that requires good teamwork and integration of various information. However, there is a higher possibility they may need feedback from others more frequently, and they will also likely struggle a bit more in a job that requires a lot of independent decision-making and self-motivation.
Characteristics of individualistic people
People who score on the individualistic side of the spectrum are characterized by the following strengths and weaknesses.
- They are good at working and making decisions independently, which can result in a higher generation of creative ideas;
- They are more likely to work efficiently and effectively at an individual level;
- They tend to be self-motivated and do not need monitoring from colleagues.
- They might pursue personal goals over common goals, which can hinder information sharing;
- They may struggle with asking for help and feedback from their colleagues;
- They might also face challenges responding to others’ feedback even when their colleagues offer a better solution for the problem;
- There is a possibility that they respond negatively toward others’ mistakes and disagreement in opinions.
As a result of having these characteristics, people who are very individualistic will suit a job opening that requires working and making decisions independently, self-motivation, prioritising personal goals, or creativity. However, they will likely have some more difficulties when having to work together with others very often.
The risk of having only collaborators or individualists in your team
Now, as you can see, both types of people represent some strengths and weaknesses. That’s why neurodiversity is so important in your team – because this is what will happen when only having one side of the spectrum in your team:
- When only having collaborators in the team, the team will be less creative, less efficient, and take longer to come to decisions, as there’s a constant search for consensus.
- When only having individualists in the team, the team members will be very much focused on only their own goals and don’t learn a lot from each other, as less information is being shared and less feedback is being asked.
There’s no right or wrong when it comes to workplace interaction. It’s just about hiring for what you need most in your open position, and what you need most in your team.
How Equalture can help
Here at Equalture, we develop neuroscience games, measuring both cognitive abilities and behavioural traits (including of course workplace interaction ;-)), to help you hire the best-fits based on science instead of bias. And these games are not only meant for your candidates, but also for your existing team. Here’s how it works:
- Step 1. Let your existing team complete the games to get an overview of your current team composition;
- Step 2. Use your team insights to determine what to look for in the next hire;
- Step 3. Let your candidates complete the games as part of their job application;
- Step 4. Hire the candidate who fits your hiring needs best.
Want to read more? Here you can do so.
Want to try a game yourself?
Let’s all first critically think about what we actually need in a hire, before copy-pasting the standard set of criteria that every company has included in their job descriptions. It would actually be refreshing to read that a company is looking for an individualist because for some jobs, you simply do.