Diversity in the workplace: Why every office needs a Slytherin

Have you ever wondered which Harry Potter house you belong to and prayed that it was anything other than Slytherin? Well it turns out that being a Slytherin may not be so bad at all. Here’s why:

Personality is often explained using the Big Five: Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, and Openness.

It is something that everyone has but that most people know very little about. Understanding personality can have benefits not just for yourself, but for businesses too.

Let’s put this in terms of Harry Potter houses:

 

Gryffindor:

Gryffindors are fiery and loyal, friends matter a lot to them. They are innovators and entrepreneurs with a lot of creative ideas. They love to compete and have a tendency to challenge authority. Adventure is a must for a Gryffindor and they may get bored if they are left alone with the same work every day. Be warned: hiring a Gryffindor may result in an adventurous Christmas party; think Skydiving.

Hufflepuff:

Hufflepuffs love to please and help others. Altruism is in their nature and you may find that these people are the one’s on the tea runs or organising charity events. They focus on team goals rather than being individually competitive. Hufflepuffs tend to fear the unknown and prefer familiarity- i.e. these people will definitely not partake in Gryffindor’s Skydiving party

Ravenclaw:

Ravenclaws are the most conscientious of the houses, they seek knowledge and love to learn. You may find that Ravenclaws tend to get lost in their heads and spend hours reading. They are the ones in the office that love to teach others but they cannot stand stupidity. They love to work alone and are very unlikely to get into conflicts with others.

Slytherin:

Slytherins value order, tradition, and authority. They have respect for their superiors but they always look to seek individual gain. Reputation is of high importance to Slytherins so you won’t find them doing anything that may compromise this. Like Gryffindors, Slytherins get bored easily and like to take risks, however they are more calculated and careful about the risks that they take. A Slytherin may jump up the company hierarchy faster than you realise.

While one of these personality types may seem most ideal for your company, it is important to consider that your workforce is unlikely to be effective if every individual has the exact same traits, it needs to be diverse.

A non-diverse workforce can prove detrimental to the success and efficiency of the company, whereas having employees with different personalities can have multiple benefits:

Increased Adaptability

In a personality-diverse workforce, each individual feels able to adjust to changing conditions and roles due to the support of their co-workers

Higher Productivity

A greater diversity in personality scores among co-workers can result in higher morale, and a mix of personalities can help compensate for other’s strengths and weaknesses to create a stronger, more balanced environment.

Vetting CVs is an important step in the hiring process but it can be extremely tedious and time-consuming, and even then it is difficult to infer an applicant’s personality from that. Taking advantage of Big Data will allow employers to vet potential employees in the initial application stage which will not only make narrowing down applicants easier and more efficient, but it will potentially save the company money spent on sick days and help recruit an overall more effective team.

Author Clare Palmer