Corporate Social Responsibility is an ethical concept, and its definition across the globe can vary widely – as detailed in our previous Defining the importance of CSR post. Personal and cultural experience is central to an individual’s development of ethical standards and values; thus we can assume that CSR, and engagement in it, must (to a certain extent) also be a subjective and personal experience.
Generally, for external CSR programs, a broader approach can be used, given that a target audience for the organisation’s core competencies should be available, or easily defined. Internally, the ‘one size fits all’ approach does not always apply. Whilst a company will have an organisational culture unique to itself, employees will integrate with this at different levels. Employees at the lower end of engagement, can negatively affect intra-office cohesion, openness of communication, personal productivity and the productivity of those around you.
One way of better understanding your staff is through psychometric testing. Whilst this can often cost up to $1000 to get done professionally, there are numerous low-cost industry standard methods that will give you a wider understanding of personality types.
The Myers Briggs Personality Test is the most widely used personality test in the world. The test is a host of questions that deal with your experiences and approach to various situations. Below is the basic breakdown of core Myers Briggs personalities:
The test is always administered by professionals, who have the ethical obligation to administer the test, followed by a compulsory consultation with the individual. So be aware that what I’m endorsing below should not be meted out officially in the workplace, and definitely should not be done without the appropriate involvement of Myers Briggs-trained professionals, end-to-end.
There are numerous free versions on the internet, and this one at 16 Personalities is easy to take, and gives a strong (although generalised) detailed description of your Myers Briggs personality type. In addition, it gives a good overview of how that personality type acts with strengths & weaknesses, romantic relationships, friendships, parenthood, career paths and workplace habits. We are aware that self-diagnosis on the internet can be dangerous, but in this case it is not offering life-changing advice, merely offering you some insight into the way in which your general approach to the world works. Sustaining People tried it out for fun in the office, and it provided people with an opportunity for self reflection, and a transparent conversation about various behaviours we see on a daily basis. This sort of open and nonthreatening discussion about how we interact on a personal level can have a great impact on team cohesion and personal engagement within an organisation.
Having endorsed all of this, the opposing argument to the validity of Myers Briggs states that the test, developed in the 1940’s has no relevance in today’s society. Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, writes “The characteristics measured by the test have almost no predictive power on how happy you’ll be in a situation, how you’ll perform at your job, or how happy you’ll be in your marriage”. His article Why the Myers-Briggs test is totally meaningless is a good devils advocate, and a worthwhile read in conjunction with taking the test to make up your own mind as to its real worth.
Why not take the free test for yourself and see whether you are an Analyst, a Diplomat, a Sentinel or an Explorer? Of course, its just for fun, but it’s a bit of work related fun for a Friday! If nothing else, its a chance to engage with those around you and perhaps open up discussion around how your organisational culture meets your personal and professional needs.