Research shows the better you fit into the personality of your living area, the happier you are.  Is employee wellbeing and happiness then also a function of personality fit?

So, where we live does make a difference to our sense of happiness and wellbeing. Whilst we may know this intuitively because of how we feel when out and about in our local area, we may decide where to live based on factors other than our personality! In fact, such decisions are invariably based on work, family and economic factors.

Of course, if there is a best fit for where we live, then there is going to be a best personality fit for our place and type of work!

Personality Fit: The foundation for Employee Wellbeing?

  • How did you decide to recruit him/her?
  • How did you decide to work there?

These questions are unlikely to be answered with the simple response – personality fit. Even though ‘organisational fit’ is of course one of the key principles for successful recruitment, most employees are actually recruited on the basis of skill match and the self-demonstrated personal competences that the hiring organisation seeks. But many people gear their CV and evidence to the job for which they are applying. Potential employees may even, without realising it, ‘force’ the fit. Needing work may be a higher priority than being in the right organisation. Of course when we get into personality fit, things become a lot more challenging to measure and potentially change – the personality of the organisation is potentially deep and enduring; its presence, brand, general feel, culture – even the organisation’s dna. The fit might not be right from the start. The potential impact on engagement is clear. Early excitement of being in a job is quickly overtaken with a realisation that fundamentally something doesn’t quite feel right!

It makes sense that employee wellbeing, and happiness, is impacted by personality; ones own and that of the organisation. Ask anyone who suffers with depression how hard it is to feel happy! This will not come as a surprise, especially if you have experienced significant discomfort with your working environment. If you are one of the lucky ones who feel totally ‘aligned at work’, then the chances are that the personality fit is right for you. Happiness is not related here to the traditional measure of job satisfaction.

Employee Wellbeing: Engagement, Marriage, Divorce?

As personality fit influences employee wellbeing, so it must also, then, play a part in employee engagement. Like a marriage, if the fit is not right for both parties it would be safe to assume that engagement will suffer as a result. In fact, it is safe to say, the marriage would be best not going ahead on that basis! If the work environment is constantly changing ‘the personalities’ must shift together to remain engaged. When the organisation changes so must those working there. However, when an individual changes, does the organisation accommodate, let them suffer, or let them go? When you wake up one day and realise you tried to force the fit from the start, do you change yourself, try to change the organisation or just leave? As with any marriage divorce is an inevitable consequence of a misalignment in the personality fit between the couple, or a lack of acceptance of that difference. With an estimated 42% marriages ending in divorce, ensuring the personality fit in the workplace is inevitably going to have a big impact on Employee Wellbeing and engagement.